Twice recently, someone at my modelling job has said something inappropriate within earshot of me…but not to me, so I didn’t quite feel comfortable calling them out on it. Two different gigs, two different people, both middle-aged white guys with that blunt, loud former high school jock kinda vibe. Unsure whether they were deliberately seeing how much they could get away with in front of me, or had spent so much time perceiving me as silent, agreeable art fodder that they’d genuinely forgotten that I’m a person and can hear them when they speak.
Old White Guy #1 the other day was being heckled for where he chose to sit, or something, and his response was “I like boobs.” I guess his vantage point gave him a good view of my chest. Way to make me feel sexualized and make my job awkward, Old White Guy. Way to not say anything about his gross language, People Old White Guy was talking to.
And then today during a break in a short-pose class, someone was admiring Old White Guy #2’s drawings of me and he made some joke about “thanks for the mammaries” (it’d be a safe guess that he literally meant that he was thanking me for having my tits out so he could draw them, but maybe not; maybe there was some other context that I missed). And then he did a whole “OOPS DID I SAY THAT? HA HA J/K” schtick after that, in case people missed his Oscar Wilde-like rapier wit the first time around. Oh, the hilarity. And once again the people he was talking to looked awkward but didn’t say anything, which pisses me off.
At the next break Guy #2 was looking at some other people’s drawings of a pose I did where I was standing bent over with my arms braced on a stool and he was like “Wait, where was I for that pose? I don’t remember that pose!” and someone had to point out that he’d drawn the pose, too, it just looked different from his side of the room. Dude didn’t say it outright but I know what was happening there is that he found the full-on view of my ass titillating in a way that his side view was not – so titillating that he didn’t even realize it was the same pose..Well, I’d deliberately aimed myself that way on purpose because I didn’t feel comfortable pointing my ass at the guy who made me feel perved-on and sexualized. This is why you can’t have nice things, Old White Guy #2. Fuck you.
It’s a continuing mystery to me how a guy can claim to love looking at certain female attributes with one breath and then, with the next breath, say things that will make women feel horribly self-conscious and uncomfortable to a point of never wanting to even show a hint of cleavage around that guy again. I honestly don’t know whether guys like that actually enjoy making women uncomfortable more than they enjoy seeing boobs, or if they’re just that colossally fucking stupid.
Look. If you enjoy looking at bodies – if you like people being nude or scantily clothed around you so you can look at their bodies – don’t fuck it up by being obnoxiously pervy or slut-shaming or otherwise putting the person in the spotlight for their body or choices. Just be cool, for fuck’s sake. This is such basic logic that I can’t even believe I have to say it.