My Affection for Objectivity


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My body is a bloated corpse by the electric twilight of the department store dressing room. The lighting never flatters me. My body is much too complicated (At least, I’d like to think so). My tits are much too pendulous. Those hips so abstractly placed in the mellow contours of the frame suddenly expand just a little too wide, their subtle suggestions transformed into gluttonous outcries. In those small rooms, with hardly any space to sit or walk about, you are faced with yourself in a pair of jeans that are much too small, in a glittery tank top that’s much too tight, and shoes that blister your feet. The makeup is swallowing up the healthy gleam of your once dew-like skin. Those eyes look tired. That hair dull. No hint of sex in the death of a dressing room situation.

Naturally, when I look at my body underneath the covers, or when I’m drying off after a shower, and I’m just running around, wet and shaking because the air is much too tipped and my skin much too sensitive, I see something else. I see like no other will see, a  roaming loam, that deeply hidden firmament exposed like a dick in the wind, and our barren landscapes dancing from room to room.

I let my fingers do the walking. Sensual in practice, but purposefully lacks the eroticism therein. Its a simple, observant stroll, traipsing the island surrounding my heart. I close my eyes, and sometimes I imagine feeling my own small feet pitter-pattering on my skin.

I objectify myself quite often. In fact, it haunts my mind sometimes; and it radiates from my pores, this means of tainting myself, numbing the intellect, and exercising it with zest simultaneously. Pornography is the poor man’s mental YMCA. Here is where we exercise our brains, sparking imaginations forever hidden in pre-pubescent memories. We return to our childhoods, in a sense, in order to corrupt it with knowledge that we now know about our bodies. Fantasies float hauntingly from one part of the mind to the next, satisfying its hunger to impact upon the body something so harmless and amazing and miraculous of human beings: The orgasm. Ha! So, for me, objectification is not so bad when put into context.

Woman = Object. This have been the outlook of many contemporary and feminist film theorists. The traditions passed from moviemaker to moviemaker are assembled in a series of familiar formulas that captivate the viewer. Most often times, the female character is one that portrays our male hero or protagonist in a most compelling light. She fulfills her purpose by being there; his purpose is fulfilled by actively stopping evil and rescuing her, and all of which she represents (beauty, sex, love, youth, innocence, etc). Such formulas are still played out through Hollywood to this day. We take a good look at ourselves and believe what we see to be okay, nothing more or less. It fucks with feminism in such a seductive way: Making whores into heroes without really filling in the gap. Some call it liberation; some call it mindless. It’s a bit of both for me, with no true consistency. The balance is continuously tipped, in an effort to redefine the modern, independent woman under very specific demands. Hot damn, the glass ceiling truly does exist!

I believe objectification is the middle ground, the meeting space near the highway where we all secretly share our perversity.

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Let me explain:

My friend told me about an entry he enjoyed that was written by a Brooklyn-based writer. His trips to Japan made him the center of attention because he is a big black man amongst small pale-skinned people. However, the writer looks outside of himself, commenting on experiences other than race. He talks about a time on the subway. His girlfriend’s head is resting on his shoulder. Their fingers are intertwined. He sees a young, pretty Asian girl leaning against the door. He watches her, noting her beauty, and fantasizing about her little lips and tight skin. Then there’s the woman sitting across from him, watching him with disappointment as he defiles this girl in his mind while his girlfriend sleeps. And suddenly, he’s caught. The act is so simple. Your gaze is fixed and it instantly becomes criminal. Even in art, the mere exercise of the eyes is censored by certain works deemed inappropriate. It’s not okay to stare; it provokes a betrayal.

I’ve always looked at girls, admiring the same qualities many guys fantasize about. I notice other things too, like shoulders and arms. I notice clothing and the colors they choose to wear. I notice their mouths, their cheeks, and their hair. How they stand. How they talk. If I’m bored, my eyes wander to someone else. If I’m intrigued, I look on, though the pupils dart around as to distract silent judgments. I let those breath-taking moments fill my lungs. I love to stare; it’s such a creepy thing to do. But, I would hate to be exposed. To look back challenges the once peaceful voyeur. Objectification becomes active and that secret is broken like a premature birth.

There’s one woman who has impressed me thus far, as she walks out of an animated sex ad and into the same train as I. I wanted to lick her skin. It was so delicious-looking, like melted chocolate. Her face was carved for obscene thoughts. Her eyes settled in a sleepy daze, glistening bedroom peepers during early work mornings. Her lips were red and glowing, and her body so perfectly dressed entirely in denim. Her hair was crimped gold. And her mouth, parting the lips so slightly to reveal the glistening white of her teeth. Why wasn’t anyone else staring at her? She was as ripe as a painting. Mmm. Now, in that playground in my mind lays no sandbox of morals. Nor are there water fountains dripping ethics into the mouths of my manifestations. In my mind, I trade in my sense of direction for a moment of perversity. I lose myself in her, for seconds, and there awaiting me is lust. But you would never tell. I never give it away. And that’s why I’m good at objectifying people.

Therein lies a responsibility of some nature to contain fantasies under a respective context. C’mon, what type of person would I be if I went up to this Jessica Rabbit on the 4 train and started fondling her tits? Or whispering dirty words in her ear? What about her feelings? I dont invade a person’s space; I merely observe and build my own self-indulgent tendencies. It’s important to look; it’s important to flex our hidden sensuality, pure in its own privacy. But, it’s also important to remember the rides we take, from acknowledging our object to admiring our object, and then finally to degrading it. These are the ingredients that create the gaze, all seasoned equally into our outlook of others and ourselves.

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