Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Very UN-Lady-Like HNT

Bloggers. We're a odd bunch. I don't think a single one of us will ever deny that fact. Some are writers, trying to get published, some want a place to document the growth of their kids, some want a place to document their own personal growth, and still more just need a place to vent. We've each got our own reasons for posting the things we do, but in the end, it all comes down to one simple idea...we're using this medium as a tool to express ourselves.

Of course, there is a certain degree of scrutiny that comes along with opening ourselves up to the world. Inevitably, someone isn't going to like something you say or do. With so many people connected to one another through this high-tech highway, disagreements are a given. I find, though, that the freedom to exchange differing opinions in this format leads to an open dialog, and that, in my opinion, can never be a bad thing. How else can we learn from one another unless we open up our mouths and say what we think and feel?

There's a limit, though, to how far one needs to go to get their point across. Nastiness, just for the sake of it, is something I've never understood. Of course, I'm a bitch, as proven here on multiple occasions, but I don't believe I've ever stooped to the blatant name-calling of a fellow blogger, and I've certainly never looked at someone's blog and publicly declared the content as "insipid" or "uninspired."

This is why I was so disturbed the other day to read a post by a blogger (whom I will not name, because I believe it will lend her a credibility that is completely undeserved) who criticized certain other bloggers' choices of what to post for HNT. The main point to her post was that there seems to be a lack of "humanity" and "creativity" in our photos, and compared them those that one would take to post on sleazy adult web sites, looking for sex partners.

It's not the content that she took exception to, but the context. In other words, it's not the T & A that annoys her, but rather the way in which the photos are taken. To her,
standing in front of a mirror, taking a possibly shaky photograph of yourself (we can't all have amazing camera skills...Heaven knows I don't) is decidedly less valid than those that may tell a story.

So, I went through the blogs of a few of my fellow HNT'ers just to try to see things from her perspective. I also went back and looked at several of my own photos. All I could see, however, was a group of lovely, interesting people who had the balls to share a piece of themselves, whether the picture spoke to me or not.

What I also find interesting is that the comparisons of our photos to those "lurid" ones posted on sleazy adult sites comes from a woman who, on her own blog, has pictures of her removing her g-string, simulated masturbation and, wait for it folks, photographs of her naked genitalia (which, by the way, look like they were taken by some dime store, Glamour Shots hack posing as a professional photographer). Hel
lo pot, I'm kettle. Moreover, this person has a child, who, with just the wrong click of a mouse, could see these photos of his mother. Call my pictures insipid and uninspired all you want. I'll take that over irresponsible any day.

I, as I'm sure is the case with my fellow HNT'ers, participate because I enjoy it...because it turns me on to be brave enough to share something so highly personal with my readers. The accolades and the compliments are great, but make no mistake, I do this for myself first and foremost. I take is as a personal insult for this woman to judge me, to judge YOU. Who is she to decide what is or is not inspiring to others? I also find it insulting to the time and energy that Os, whom I consider a friend, has put in to this project. It quite simply comes down to one thing. Follow the advice that I know ALL of our mothers have told us: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

If there's a silver lining to all of this, it's that I've been inspired to be more creative with my HNT least for today. So, dear blogger that prompted this post, how's this for inspiration, creativity and humanity?:

I call this photo "GO FUCK YOURSELF."

(But if that doesn't work for you, I hear Tucker Max may still be available. Ok, yeah, that may have been a little bit nasty.)

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