This past Saturday I came across a Facebook post I thought deserved some recognition:
— Law Dogger (@LawDogger) October 19, 2013
After the initial shock and disgust, I spent some time thinking about the underlying reasons yielding such an inane post.
Several issues intertwine to produce this one post. First, her fiance tells her — expressly — that the act of excessive caloric intake and deliberate disregard for one’s health makes her “beautiful.” Next, the fact that she considers expressing her gluttony to the world as something to be proud of is beyond troubling. While these issues can serve as future ROK posts onto themselves, there remains one other issue I’d like to address. And that is the Facebook “like” system.
This was posted at 5 in the afternoon, and within less than a day it had accumulated 20 “likes” from her friends (up from the 18 at the time of screenshot). Of those 20, 17 are females and the remaining 3 are the presumably white knighting males we’ve all come to know and
ridicule love. So this girl not only has direct approval to mimic a piglet from her husband to be, but she logs in and sees that her behavior is condoned twenty times over. In other words our female friend here inhales a bucket of fried fast food and receives nothing but positive reinforcement.
Unfortunately this is not something that is unique in our present time. We’ve all seen it before. A fat girl posting a picture of herself in a slutty dress, and the “likes” pouring in like offers of coworker betas to take a female colleague to lunch. Or the 35 year old woman posting pictures of her still partying and a deluge of “you go girl” comments flooding her Facebook. It happens on a daily if not hourly basis here in America.
However, there is at least one way to tame this out-of-control beast.
I knew this girl many years ago. Before Facebook. She was insanely obsessed with not only her image but also her weight. She always aimed to be absolutely stellar in her looks. Fit, fashionable, feminine. So what happened? Well, many things. First, the deterioration of America in general. Second, she found a man to marry her, so as with most all girls in America, she gave up in life. And so on.
But there remains no doubt in my mind that the Instagram and Facebook culture, as demonstrated directly herein, played an active part of shaping that female hamster. And with such an integral part of shaping a girl’s mindset being this medium, how absolutely wonderful would it be if their attempts at validation were met with not only indifference, but direct rejection? It can happen, if only there was a “dislike” button.
Fat girl posts a picture? Dislike. Girl cooing at her date buying her roses on the third date? Dislike. Blah blah blah…blah blah “rape culture!” Blah blah! Dislike. Long political rant from anybody? Dislike. The 154th picture of a gastronomy-based dinner the Asian chick you barely know gushes about? Dislike. You get the point. If this girl logged in the next day and saw 20 “likes” and 30 “dislikes,” I guarantee you she would think twice before scarfing down a bucket of KFC during a single sitting. At the very minimum, she would not post about it.
In light of the just-concluded #fatshamingweek, if we just focus solely in the realm of fat girls a huge [pun intended] change could occur. Now she knows that yes we see those rolls you’re trying to hide, yes we don’t want to see that exposed thunder thigh, and yes we do find you disgusting. Maybe, just maybe that afternoon she will forego that donut with her coffee. Maybe that morning when she logs in and sees 13 “dislikes” instead of 15 “likes” she may just waddle over to the gym. The possibilities are endless.
The Sad Truth
Unfortunately this will never happen. I’m not the first one to come up with this idea. Facebook has already addressed this novel concept and rejected it, as they want to keep Facebook a positive place. While there are some hacks to implement a means of a dislike button, there will never be an official one through the website. And that makes me sad.