I love this picture. For so many reasons, I love this picture. First of all, context. I found it on the site girlcameramirror, which is exactly what it sounds like: girls taking pictures of themselves in various states of undress. Mostly the girls are young, skinny, and making that face girls make that I think is supposed to look like a kissy face but instead comes off more like “this is what I will look like when I get my lips done.” Also they show their boobs, which I like a lot.
It would be disingenuous of me to say I like those picture ironically. I do not; I like them because they are pictures of naked girls. But I also recognize that there is something kind of sad and troubling about girls posting pictures of themselves without their clothes on for no discernible reason other than the fact that girls have a biological compulsion to make boys salivate, and boys have a biological compulsion to do so, and then masturbate.
Girls want to be seen as pretty. Boys want to see pretty girls. (Plus, in my experience, girls want to see pretty girls too.)
Needless to say, somebody would have to feel pretty good about her body to post such a picture. The girls who tend to feel this way tend to have slamming bodies. So this picture is an anomaly on the site, a photo of two girls, obviously overweight, obviously good friends, with their shirts off, and apparently feeling very happy about themselves. That’s the context. And it made me feel good.
Second, there are the details. And the details are just as awesome as the context. The matching bathing polka dot bathing suit tops. That in itself is curious enough to warrant a thumbs up from me. Why are they wearing matching tops? Did they buy them together? Did one of them have both? Did they put them on specifically for the photo or are they on their way to some event where they are expected to wear matching polka dot bathing suits? (Bras?)
The goofy expression on the one girl’s face. To me, it is a face that says, “This is for fun.” What I read from her expression is simple: “Look how stupid I’m being with my friend,” the kind of face everybody makes for the camera now and again when she is having fun and wanting to record the memory. The face seems to harbor no resentment, no irony, no dismissiveness, nothing to suggest that she is making any kind of larger statement with this photo than she is being silly. I am a big fan of silliness. Plus she’s got a tongue stud.
Her friend’s expression is almost serene. Resting her head on her friend’s shoulder, she is absorbed in the image she’s creating. Her face holds no come hither look, no kissy face, no “I’m hot and I know it,” or even “I wish I was hot.” It’s just “girl with goofy friend.” She looks pretty. She looks happy.
Then there’s the post-photo decision to send the picture in to girlcameramirror. Why? What is the purpose? Why set yourself up like that? I don’t think it’s a political statement on their part. If I felt like it was, I think I would like the picture less. I choose to interpret it as, “we like this picture, we like the site, let’s send our picture to the site.” I think it’s as simple as that. I hope it is. I want these girls to be well-adjusted, happy BFFs with huge tits and matching polka dot bathing suits. Yes, they’re fat, and that’s part of the appeal of the picture. The image would be meaningless to me if they weren’t. I don’t even want to say I think they’re proud of being fat. I don’t think they are. I have no reason to think they’re proud; I think (at least in this moment) they are indifferent, which is better than pride. They are caught in a moment of unselfconscious happiness on a site which is all about the exact opposite of that, and that is awesome.