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If you’re anything like me (female, breathing, visible to the naked eye), you’ve likely been harassed on the street by a disgusting, vile man at least once in your life. Maybe you’ve been cat-called, or rubbed against, or whistled/sneered/leered at. It’s gross and defiling. When I was younger and didn’t know any better, I think I secretly enjoyed the attention because I thought, “Oh, he thinks I’m pretty!” As I matured, I realized street harassments and catcalls have nothing to do with me, per se, but everything to do with the fact that I have a vagina and far too many men believe that anatomical facts gives them license to objectify and threaten.
Hollaback!, a women’s right movement dedicated to the belief that “everyone has the right to feel safe and confident when they walk down the street,” recently launched an iPhone app that allows women to instantly report street harassment (time, location, type of persecution) -- with a photo, if possible.
That got me thinking: We need a phone app for the harassment that goes on inside our own heads. Men scream, “Ooh, baby, I’d like to tap that!” out the window of their car as they cowardly drive by, and it makes us feel like crap about ourselves. But what about the insults our warped mind calls out: “You’re a fat pig!” “Stop eating that ice cream right now or it’ll settle in your hips!” “I can’t believe you thought you’d look good in this dress!” Male objectification hurts just as bad as self-flagellation.
On a lighter note, here are a few other body image phone apps I’d like to see:
The iFry Deny App: Boozing it up is all fun in games…until someone suggests heading to the local diner at 2 a.m. for greasy drunk food. This app helps a sister out by IDing pizza parlors, French fry huts and burrito palaces that stay open past midnight, along with nearby bars and clubs. Avoid those hotspots and you’re less likely to take down a late night fat bomb. Go home and have a few Baked Tostitos with a tall glass of water instead.
The Good Scale App: Women who weigh themselves always know where the “good” scale is –- the scale that always shows a number that’s maybe one or two pounds below reality. It might be in the back of your gym locker room or at your friend’s house. Instantly let other women know where the “good” scale in their neighborhood is with the Good Scale App!
The “I’m Really A Size 6!” App: Vanity sizing is a less-than-confident girl’s best friend. The next time you find yourself in a cute little boutique and try on your normal size, only to find that you’ve somehow dropped from a 10 to an 8 overnight without trying, log on and spread the word.