In the 24 hours since I posted it, my picture Skin-shot has gotten more views than any other of my pictures that have been up for MONTHS. It is my Most Viewed picture. And yet, no one counts it as a favorite. I'm not complaining about that, by the way, I just think it's interesting.
Who are all these people looking at my nude body? Is it many people looking just once and then quickly away? Perhaps they're disappointed there's no glimpse of nipple or shading at the junction of my thighs. Perhaps they're shaken, disturbed, determined Never to Return and let that scene Sully Their Sight Again. Maybe it's just a few people looking over and over and over. Maybe it's just one or two frantic flesh fans with the rest of the views made up of polite peeps who quickly look and look away.
I'll never know. It feels strange. I hate my body. I think it's not worth looking at. AND I hate pictures of myself. And so generally pictures of my body are at the All-Time Top of Trista's Most Hated list. But in the last few months I've been making an effort to come to peace with my looks, peace with my body. In working on the massive Print All Our Pictures Up and Put Them in Photo-Albums Project I realised that pictures that five years ago made me cry for my ugliness now don't seem so bad. In fact now I can almost admit that in certain lights and certain poses I looked almost slightly kinda cute. And yet I feel like I look the same. I feel the same level of cuteness that I did then, except now I think I was cuter then than I am now. Pictures of me now make me cry just like pictures of me then made me cry then; but now I think pictures of me then are fine. Even the really bad ones. Obviously something has changed through time. Now I'm hoping to affect that change through will and exposure. So, more pictures of myself shared with other people. That's why the skin shot.
But it still seems so strange that people would want to look at any part of my body. Any part at all. I have mind-movies where I say to someone: hey, wanna see my breast? And they reply: Oh my GOD! Put it away! THE HORROR THE HORROR, MY EYES!. And then they run away, gibbering and aesthetically scarred for life. So you can see why I'm a bit taken aback by the views this picture has gotten. And I'm talking SHOCKED that more than 50 people have looked at it. And I want to just dismiss it as being the inevitable result of partial nudity. The fact that ANY nude body will get attention, even mine. Or it could be the result of the interest many people display in the grotesque. But you know? I'm going to consciously work against that. It may be prurience that motivates most of those clicks, but there doesn't seem to be mockery behind it. I haven't yet gotten a "hey fatty, you think you're hot stuff, huh? Well, you're not. Hey, Moby Dick called: he wants his blubber back!" comment yet so there's gotta be something of beauty there. And you know what else? I don't think I will get a comment like that. Because only I would be motivated with enough hatred for myself to leave a comment that mean. No one could possibly be meaner to or more critical of myself than I am.