Fat Hatin' in Photoshop Disasters

by Shaker Neintales, a Progressive Texan whose bright coloring doesn't denote toxicity so much as an inability to paint neatly.

So just before the weekend I encountered on Twitter a link to ye olde Photoshop Disasters site, a place I honestly hadn't been regularly, but whenever I have been sent there by a link it generally showed me the latest in Making-Real-Women-Look-Like-Bobbleheaded-Aliens Technology. And the captions for what I had seen were snarky about the job quality and along the lines of "Why do this anyhow?! Realistic women are way more awesome!"

Alas, I may have missed a lot of previous juvenile captioning, judging by some of the comments I saw the other day—and it was the captioning that had actually made my friend on Twitter link angrily asking "What the Poop?"

Because, you see, apparently for some who post* on Photoshop Disasters, while it may continue to be a disaster in workmanship, it's only a disaster against women if the woman being 'shopped is being made to look thinner and is, in fact, herself a known thin woman.

I'm not going to give them a link; it's easy enough to find the post in question, if you are so inclined. I'm going to just post and describe the image and provide the caption that is so completely witty and edgy that my poor deathfat infected brain just didn't get anything funny about it, and in fact found viler than a vile thing made of absolute vileness to help cut down on their page views and any advertising revenue they may get from them.

The image is that of an advert for plus-sized fashions. Unlike most popular changes to nature, the model's head is not made larger—instead, either they shrunk it down, or used a model from a different shoot to go with the larger body, or they actually warped and fish-eyed the body to make it larger. I honestly am not sure which, or if it isn't even a case of all of the above, and the odd angle at which she's posed, as she stands looking at us with her shoulders a bit twisted to the back, compounds the confusion. And the biting caption given to this image at Photshop Disasters doesn't shed light from a perspective of a person who knows what techniques were used or how to do it, but instead reads (vileness ahead):
When this image first presented itself in my inbox, I said to myself, well, I'm not going to touch that with a barge pole. Not the lady in the picture - I'm sure she's a lovely lady with a wonderful personality. I'm talking about the political issue of the chubbies sizeable big-boned unboneable people of size. They can be very sensitive. It's important - perhaps expedient is the correct word - to just avoid the whole thing. On the other hand, I've now received this from about five hundred people and it's actually gotten to the point where it's impairing my ability to navigate my mail. So here it is, and if you are a person of heft, please try to understand that, like a moth to a flame, I just tend to follow the path of least resistance.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
So, here is Cosmo7 of PD happily being 'cutting edge' and helping me fill out my fat hatred bingo. Because of course there was NO way xe could have written a caption for a photo that's meant to be a plus size model without a famous name and NOT turned it into a fat joke! That's unpossible and would lead to the world falling off its axis and throwing everyone into space!

Let's see, I bet xe was originally intending something like:
This is a really badly done image, the woman's head is made to look far too small, and something about the angle and proportions of her body also seem unnatural, as if there was more 'Shopping done to make her body and breasts look larger than it really is.
Perhaps xe also would have added something about "Why again are women supposed to look like strange creatures from another planet or vintage Loony Tune?"

Oh my, how insensitive such a caption would have been, I would have found it incredibly offensive and politically incorrect—no, okay, I cannot keep up that level of sarcasm. That would have been a way, in fact, to have posted the complaint about this Photoshop job without hurting the feelings of anyone except possibly the industry executives and editors that make images like the one given happen.

So I'm rather suspecting that Cosmo7 never had any 'second thoughts' about touching it; I'd put forward a theory that xe was going to run with it the moment it first appeared in xir inbox, and that this poster at PD was absolutely THRILLED that xir chance to step up, break out the strawwomen, and be a comedian running on stale jokes against marginalized women had come, and so the stale tropes (not even jokes) were dusted off.

However, my actual anger didn't fully pop from that contemptible caption job, but instead whence, in the comments (which were for the most part by people in agreement with me about the absolute lack of anything resembling humor in it), I came across this gem in response to a "Gee I'm just a humorless fat woman but that wasn't funny" predecessor that went:
...if you're trying to combat the "fat people are touchy and humorless" stereotype you're... uh... failing at it.
Really? I mean, REALLY?

"Marginalized group F is humorless and touchy! This is a sad fact/stereotype and they should be ashamed of this. As proof of how F is humorless and touchy, watch members of this group react in anger and bitterness, maybe with sarcasm, to this 'joke' that was designed in a laboratory to be incredibly hateful and offensive!"

Response to stimulus that was MEANT to be painful isn't proof of how a marginalized group or person needs to change and lighten up; the only thing it is ever proof of is how comfortably privileged and secure the person or persons creating the stimuli situations are—and that things meant to be hurtful are hurtful.

And my wonderful personality is tired of not-so-wonderful personalities excusing their hate and prejudices under the blanket of victim blaming, for which "You are being a stereotype" is one ugly piece of patchwork.


Post-Script: Oh, I made the mistake of looking further into the comments after I wrote the rest of the post. Apparently we didn't GET the hipster-fat-joke's REAL point which was that we shouldn't be sensitive and also should be, I suppose, psychic in order to know that there is OBVIOUSLY a different meaning entirely, which is that: If we're really cool people we'd know there was nothing personal and the poster was making fun of people who make fun of fat folks. These helpful psychic people however are willing to correct us in our not understanding the parody/satire/paradox/irony.



*I know absolutely nothing of how Photoshop Disasters is run, whether it's a one-person show or has multiple contributors. And I really couldn't be arsed to waste more page views or time at that site.

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