Recently in our UNTRAPPED facebook group a member posted up a ‘message to women’ that had popped up in her FB feed from one of those social influencer types, someone called Janne Robinson.
Janne’s message was this:
Women, please stop injecting shit into your lips.
Stop taking flesh from your ass and putting it in your face.
Stop getting silicone sewn to your chest.
I am sick of women looking the same.
I am sick of artificially inseminated manufactured blondes with tits that aren’t real, lips that aren’t real and their eyebrows looking like they constantly drink 10 espressos a day.
Let your body god damn be.
And to the women who hopefully haven’t altered themselves—who worry their breasts aren’t a handful, or they are too boyish, or that their lips are too thin, or that they have wrinkles forming from laughing—you were sewn from the hands of the heavens, by she that is the creator, by all that is and all that should ever be.
I am so sick of seeing women that look the same.
I am so sick of seeing manufactured, painted faces, with dyed hair—in tiny dresses.
You’ve been spoon fed the wrong kind of pretty since you opened your eyes, and I’m sorry.
I’m sorry you ever thought you were anything but the perfection you entered this world as.
I’m sorry you thought you’d be more worthy, more beautiful if you tucked and plucked and sucked and painted it all away.
I’m sorry we live in a world where you believe the most important thing you can be is pretty.
It should be a crime to alter anything about our flesh—our meat bags are tired of being poked, prodded and stretched.
Un-do! Undo! Un-fucking-do!
I wish to hover over you on the plastic surgeons desk.
Get out of there!
Get into your soul—your soul is screaming that the only thing you need is your heart that beats and your spirit that cries and your feet that thud to take over this earth.
Please, Jesus fuck, stop sewing your ass to your face.
And here’s the photo that accompanied her manifesto:
Janne is a thin, conventionally beautiful, young white woman whose insta feed and FB page is full of pictures of her and her (frequently naked) body. Although often make up free, she is a fan of the filtered photo, the golden tan, the blonde highlights. All of her images are sexualised and carefully curated to present an idealised image of femininity. There’s very little diversity even in age on her feed, let alone body or racial diversity. In her world, only thin, beautiful white women seem to exist.
And SHE’S telling women not to alter their bodies in order to please society???
Telling people not to do something whilst simultaneously doing the thing you’re telling people not to is gaslighting. A hallmark of emotionally abusive relationships, gaslighting is a manipulative form of communication designed to create doubt in the receiver’s sense of reality. Gaslighting is ubiquitous in modern diet culture, with the rise of allegedly ‘countercultural’ messages promoting body positivity whilst subtly (and let’s face it, usually not even subtly) still pushing the thin ideal. The result of this is a population malleable and vulnerable to even the most ludicrous of conflicting claims (case in point: stop dieting, and lose weight!). In the process of continual gaslighting, we become dumbed down, we stop listening to our own wisdom and outsource it to the abuser.
The art of calling out bullshit, of pushing back against gaslighting is absolutely critical to master. Without the ability to identify and reject gaslighting messages, we run the risk of getting sucked back into the abusive dynamic and gaslighting OURSELVES with phrases like “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change”.
The glorious women of facebook raised an almost universal disagreement with Janne (one memorably asked her to ‘fly away on her kale carpet’). It was one of those situations where, for a change, reading the comments felt incredibly uplifting and liberating. People voiced all sorts of intelligent and reasoned objections to her perspective, including:
As a thin white conventionally beautiful woman, you are speaking from a place of immense privilege, telling ALL other women how to live. It’s utterly easy to reject plastic surgery when you’re already the beauty ideal. That’s like Jennifer Anniston telling us to love our hair!
You’re altering your appearance all over the place in your SM – so why pick on plastic surgery and pretend that’s any different? Why this line in the sand? Why not go all the way back to caveman times and object to all forms of body alteration?
Why pick on the victims of an oppressive culture – if you’re going to get mad, get mad at the systems of oppression, not the individuals who are doing their best to navigate it!
We will only fix our epidemic of body insecurity when we dismantle the thin/beauty ideal, and THIS is what we have to focus on. NOT making women who already feel awful feel even more awful for not being ‘enlightened’ enough.
Sadly, even with this outpouring of justifiable female rage, Janne flatly refused to listen. Outrageously, she simply stated that –
“I just want to cut my ears off and have a mouth to speak.”
But this is the problem: people like this, with their gaslighting messages, have the microphone ALL THE BLOODY TIME. Janne, you speak ALL THE TIME. Just SHUTUP AND LISTEN FFS.
Abusers take control of relationships through constant, gaslighting communication. When we stop the communication, when we pull back and look critically at what they’re saying (and what they’re portraying), this is when we get our control back.
Look out for gaslighters in your feed, and – unfollow!