While checking my twitter mentions, I stumbled upon a link to a reddit thread about a selfie that I recently instagrammed. It was a collage of two pictures, one with my eyes closed alongside another with my eyes half-open to showcase my ridiculously extravagant falsies.
And because I’m a meme-loving fuck, my caption “when you’re falling asleep then you remember the patriarchy never sleeps” referenced the “sleeping squidward” meme. As per uzh, this post of mine caused all the anti-feminist trash on reddit to take time out of their busy schedules of vaping and consuming pornography to put my feminist ass in its place.
My caption inspired a barrage of comments accusing me of lying because “no one looks like that when they sleep” which isn’t wrong, but they’re missing the point: I’m joking. My intention wasn’t to swindle the world into believing that I sleep on sparkles with impeccable makeup and perfectly positioned hair, or that I take selfies in my sleep. I think that reddit users _Lady_Deadpool_ and jaymanip realized that, but wanted to disparage me so badly that they couldn’t resist but make that reach. Or, they could be incredibly dim-witted. Or both.
There is a certain demographic of people who love accusing women of lying about their beauty. We’ve all seen outraged comments to the tune of “The caption said ‘lazy day’ but she has clearly done her makeup! No one really spends a ‘lazy day’ in makeup. LIAR!” or in this case, “The caption said she was asleep but she’s CLEARLY TAKING A SELFIE! I will not be bamboozled into believing she is really that beautiful when she sleeps” as if everything women do online is an attempt to trick men into thinking we’re flawlessly beautiful 24/7.
I can tell that guys like this are really stressed out about the possibility of women lying to them about their looks, so allow me put your nerves at ease: we don’t apply makeup while maniacally laughing as we think about the helpless men we are going to lure in with our cosmetic beauty. We don’t give a shit about what you think of our appearance. You guys don’t even come into the equation.
Of course, I don’t know the genders of these commenters and it’s not just men who buy into the “women lie to men with their beauty” myth. Girls try to get in on the slut-shaming festivities by letting everyone know that they are one of the good girls who are realistic about their beauty. This is internalized misogyny in action, people.
Then, of course, there are some comments accusing me of attempting to justify the crime of taking selfies.
This may come as a shock, but I don’t need an excuse for taking selfies other than the fact that I’m feeling my look and I want to document it. How dare I appreciate my own beauty, right? If women only exist to be objectified by others, then how dare we pose for ourselves and dictate how we are seen?
Scroll down a little bit, and you’ll see some confusion about how I can fit conventional beauty standards and still be a feminist.
See, you can’t win as a feminist. If you happen to fit patriarchal beauty standards, your credibility is questioned. If you don’t fit patriarchal beauty standards, you’re just another ugly feminist who should try harder to look good.
There’s something about a woman embracing her appearance while also demanding respect that makes misogynists very uncomfortable. They like to put women in boxes: feminists go in one box, far far away from the pretty girls who like makeup and taking selfies. These people are incapable of seeing a woman as a complex human being who exists for herself, and that’s why I and many other women are accused of being attention whores for posting our opinions, selfies, or really anything at all online. But, at the end of the day, a few salty reddit users aren’t going to make me change my selfie-taking ways. In fact, while they were spewing their bullshit in that thread, I was taking another selfie.
And that, my friends, is what I actually look like when I’m about to go to sleep. No makeup, extensions, or shame in sight.