I received an email yesterday from a lady who reads my blog Edel. Hi Edel! She had seen my photo in an advertisement in the app store and had sent me some screen grabs. Skinny Pics app was using my photo for a before and after shot of how their app can slim down your photos and help you “look good, get inspired”. I saw the email while stopped for coffee with my cousin and I said, that’s SO weird. People are weird. Ridiculous.

There was much laughing and ‘oh internets, you so funny’ about it. But then it occurred to me. I’ve looked very much like that before. All big head, broad shoulders, boobs and no butt. I was that ‘skinny’ during high school when I survived on Pepsi max, chewing gum and a white chocolate frog a day. Not every day but often enough for long enough. It reminded me of that girl and how much of her life she handed over to the idea of being skinny. How desperate she was to fit in. To fit anything.

Then I got angry.

Not just because they took my image without my consent. Infringing my rights as the producer of that content. Not just because they badly {super badly, look at the line in the background} morphed me into some cartoon version of me. And finally, I wasn’t angry because they have the nerve to sell it for $1.29 a download and I don’t even get a cut for all my super-duper promotional skills {gag}.

I got angry for every girl out there who believes that she needs big boobs and a disproportionately tiny waist so desperately that this app seems like a good idea. Edit the photos, it’s fun! Share them with friends but never, ever go out the door again. They might see you and they’ll KNOOOOW it’s all a lie. That you’re not skinny at all. Oh, the shame. Better yet consider dieting, abusing substances or over-exercising and maybe you’ll look like that. Stop eating at all, maybe then you’ll be good enough. Sarcasm font intended.

Oh, I hate that this app even exists and that there is some market for it.

Sure you could say that I’m reading too much into it. That my past of disordered eating and body hatred makes me sensitive to such things. That maybe I need to lighten up and get that it’s a joke. But I can’t do that. I’ve thought about it on and off today. I looked at those images and forgot myself for a moment wondering what it would be like to really look like that. Triggered into a way of thinking that I’ve worked so hard to leave behind me. I can’t just let it go and get the joke. To me it’s not funny nor is it fun. I am the sum of my experience and that is MY face staring back at me triggering those memories and thoughts.

You did that, Christopher Steinbacher of Steinbacher Designs, you and your stupid app. And mate you’re lucky as hell that I am stronger than I was back then. Consider for a moment that if you got to me in the way you did, what sort of impact you’re having out there. Is that what you want your legacy to be?

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