I was going to write about boobs today.
Kara has posted two “bra shots” (clearly I am obsessed with The Bra Shot Women on Instagram) in the past day, don’t rush to look at them, I have taken both of them down. In both cases, barely anyone liked the images. In both cases, Kara lost followers.
What am I doing wrong?
Probably wearing a bra and standing in front of a camera. That feels wrong.
It isn’t wrong, really but, it certainly invites a particular stigma, especially when the subjects breasts are as above average in size as mine happen to be. This is not a humble brag, no, no, no, no, no humble brag, I am predictably insecure about my chest. I took the images down, in the case of the first image because I was embarrassed and, in the case of the second image, because I planned to. I don’t want my breasts, encased in a bra or otherwise, online, on my phone, in your head, out of my shirt (unless I love you but you shouldn’t wait for that).
I was going to talk about boobs today.
Something else happened. Two things happened.
The first thing that happened was, I existed as Kara for half a day today, including the posting of the bra shot, and a man named Brian politely messaged her on Instagram with a “hello”. After she browsed his surprisingly impressive gallery of “I’m a musician la la la” videos and images, she thought: he’s actually cute and talented, ok “hi”. Actually, she didn’t say hi, she said “you have a really nice voice”.
The conversation continued as it would have on a dating app. The questions felt preliminary to something. The distance between us was all of a sudden unfair. Two strangers. Same city (how?). Delightfully normal, oddly.
I spoke to him in Kara’s body, Kara’s hair, while Kara tried to apply to jobs for me after she had meticulously organized my house ( she is, conveniently, obsessive about tidiness, perhaps an offshoot of her obsession with aesthetics but who really knows the works of creative hocus pocus cerebral trans-migration).
“There’s something eye-catching about you.” says Brian.
Rachel is confused. Shut up, Rachel, let Kara laugh. No. No. But even Kara knows she isn’t real. The same way that Siri knows she is a computer, Kara knows she is a weird amalgam of traits poached from my Juvenile Wish List Of The Beautiful Beautiful.
Brian is cute, he’s really cute, he’s a turn on from a distance, he’s just a shiny speck in the sandbank of Men I Will Never Know but as Kara laughs, Rachel suddenly wishes she was Kara.
“There’s something eye-catching about you.”
Really, Brian? Could it be my breasts? The ones in the bra shot which is being taken down in thirty minutes, good thing you responded the second you saw it or your comment would have no real logical tether to reason. Or maybe it isn’t the breasts. Maybe it’s the wig. Maybe there is something slightly “eye-catching” about Kara that involves her construction, the way a Chicago skyscraper would catch your eye when placed beside a Tahitian ziggurat, maybe she’s just a little too shiny.
When Kara lost fifteen followers, I thought: Yeah, I would also unfollow this person, which is really the whole point of me perfecting my portrayal of her, because she represents a demographic I can’t relate to but I really want to know well enough to influence. Maybe it’s a good sign for humanity that people unfollowed Kara today but, then, why is Rachel turned on by the man who is taken enough by her to ask her for a drink. He might ask twenty-five women to a drink a day over Instagram. All those women might be Karas. That’s laughable to Kara. What about it makes me, Rachel, so needy all of a sudden?
Brian asked Kara to a drink and she told him she’s married.
“I should have figured,” he says.
I felt terrible. No, Brian, No, Brian, HI BRIAN, I am not real but I have a creator and she’s real and she looks like me but she usually wears a shirt, would that be ok, if she showed up, instead of me, she has funny hair and, like I said, a shirt on at all times but…
That was the first thing that happened. Brian was the first thing that happened. After the boobs. The boobs were deleted. Nothing exciting about it except for the decline in followers but who cares.
The second thing that happened is less substantial but not really.
Kara is actually a character from a web series I’m creating called “The Theatre”. We shoot our first episode on the weekend and, to start preparing, I opened my Kara notebook which hasn’t been opened since the day I conceived of this web series, roughly two-three weeks ago. In large letters, six pages into my brainstorming notes is written “WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE WHEN I AM PRETTY?”
There’s no answer.
I don’t remember writing that.
I do remember taking these notes on my way to the dentist and, sitting in the dentist’s chair, conceiving of the kind of woman who might host the show we’re creating. I remember thinking “I bet if I contour my face, I’ll look fine on camera”.
WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE WHEN I AM PRETTY?
It doesn’t usually occur to me that sometimes I’m pretty and sometimes I’m not. I don’t care, I swear to you, I hardly care on a regular basis, I’m usually too wrapped up in what I’m working on or, if I’m not working on anything, too wrapped up in my lethargy to care about pretty.
What the fuck is Pretty?
Who invented that word?
Sorry to exclude the men reading this for just a second but, have you ever tried on Women’s Apparel and wondered: What the fuck is “women’s” apparel?
WHO DID THIS?
Who mechanized our receptors to unintelligibly take in, not the world, not the world at large, because the world at large is MUCH more subjective than how Women are taken in, but, to take in Women and judge us by a code, some kind of cultural code that is obvious now that it exists. But, how did it exist?
I have no factual evidence of this but go with me: We are, Women are, the most objectified living entities on the planet. I have heard people complain about this. I have obviously never understood until now. Two shots of my bra, a stranger calling the fake version of me eye-catching, a restless nap where I fantasize about said stranger and a good hyperventilation upon looking into the mirror later and I finally know. I know. Our bodies are not sunsets or graffiti-covered alley-ways or images of war or classical literature, the curriculum for How To React To A Woman One Woman At A Time On Instinct isn’t an academic lesson, it isn’t a formulaic mystery, it’s just that, it’s an instinct.
I almost, almost feel bad for men. But then, I feel worse for women, and so suddenly, sorry not sorry, I really don’t care about the men. First I think, “oh, those poor men have no idea how brainwashed they are” and then I realize “no, we have no idea how much their brainwashing influences us”.
A lot of you reading this may be well beyond me in maturity and confidence, you may be laughing at my naivete but I promise I used to know what I learned today. Now I feel it.
Who gives a shit about our boobs?
If you’re wearing a bra, yeah, you’re wearing a bra.
If you’re wearing a wig, great, you’re wearing a wig.
I wear both those things daily now but when the obvious reaction is received, the feeling isn’t anything but a scary moment of globalized existentialism. There are too many people considering the day just another set of moments to show the object of themselves.
I say to Brian, “your voice is really great”
Brian says to me, “Thank you, so you have snapchat?”
If you don’t go on Instagram, I can translate for you:
“Hey, you’re a thing.”
“Thank you, do you have more things I can be a thing on.”
LET’S ALL BE THINGS AND THINK ABOUT IT WHEN WE’RE OLDER AND WONDER HOW LIFE WENT BY WITHOUT US BEING PEOPLE—no I’m kidding, let’s not.
I don’t want to delete Instagram now. I want to conquer it.
The bra shot didn’t work. I’m putting my clothes back on. Kara will be funny. She will be smart. She will be more than just a woman with an outfit on. It might fail. I might lose all my followers. In which case, I will owe it to my web series to regain followers by posting more sexy photos and I know I know I know that’s just the contradiction I have to live by as a writer: I hate these superficial avenues for connection BUT I want to write to connect people to the avenues they don’t yet see. There should be a way to do that without acting like a concrete wall who just happens to have boobs and hair. There should be a way. I’m putting my shirt back on. I’m figuring it out.