In a Facebook post accompanying her latest column, Helen Razer has called out anyone and everyone who heralds the act of taking nude photos as brave in and of itself. No, scratch that: she called everyone who thinks that “deluded fuckwits.”
The post, which has already drummed up some contentious discussion, contends that women like model Erin Heatherton shouldn’t be equated with other exemplars of bravery; Heatherton recently quit Victoria’s Secret over the demands they apparently made over her body.
“You want to know brave? Go to the fucking oncology ward. Spend thirty seconds reading about Syria. Watch a union organiser in action. That’s where you’ll see bravery.
It’s not fucking “brave” to demand that other people like and share a picture of you in your scanties. Please. For the sake of shit. Stop it.
Or I’ll keep writing about it and I will NEVER call your nudie picture brave.”
Of course, that stance is backed up in her actual column, where she says Heatherton’s previous complaints at standards in the modelling industry shouldn’t really come as a surprise; recently, Heatherton had also taken to Instagram to speak about her struggle:
The breakdown to breakthrough moment in my life has allowed me to become the truest version of myself. In my moment of “failure,” I stood in the face of adversity. I was struggling with my body image and the pressures to fulfill the demands of perfectionism upon me. I am not perfect. Through this struggle, however, I found the strength to love myself. I stood in my power. I thought of one of my favorite quotes, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a men’s character, give him power” – Abraham Lincoln. I look back on that moment now, and I embrace it. This feeling I once perceived as “failure” was, in truth, a powerful awakening for me to stand behind my purpose in life. I stepped away from hiding behind a fabricated version of myself. I no longer put actions behind my fears and insecurities. I made a choice to redirect my energy to be a catalyst for change. To create a channel for women to become the truest versions of themselves, along with me. (Stay tuned for more…) In the end, if you aren’t being true to yourself, then what the fuck is the point. #rebelwacause #empowerment #womensempowerment#empoweredbyyou
Razer’s take is that other workers – builders, chefs, retail assistants, you name it – know the risks of the job before entering, and the weight of Heatherton’s body-accepting burden is light compared to… well, the work-related burdens carried by many, many others.
Her take on the implications of that thought process is blunter than we could muster, so it’s best you have a gander yourself:
“IT IS FINE TO TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF.
It is fine to feel beautiful. What is not fine is you telling me that every time some twit does it, that she needs to be applauded as brave.”
It’s a contentious standpoint that (haphazardly labels Heatherton as a twit) focuses on more than just body-positivity, but the difference between objective and subjective bravery. Heavy stuff, and highly contested – but that’s the point of having an opinion, right?