You Can Sexualize My Body, But Please Don’t Fetishize It
Please, sexualize my body but please don’t fetishize it.
Warning: talking about sex + disability.
Since I’ve been seeing news media coverage about the things people are saying about Billie Eilish’s body because she was seen wearing a tank top — something she never does in fear of people commenting on her body — I realized something. 1. Why the FUCK do we feel so compelled to comment on someone’s body. 2. Embarrassingly, I kinda wish that was me. While Billie can get rude, unwarranted, and hurtful comments from just wearing a tank top, although they are unwanted, I sometimes wish that could happen to me. I’m not even close to saying I understand what she’s going through or that these comments aren’t hurtful or OKAY — but I have to TRY to make people see myself in a sexual way.
I am right there with my sisters that want society to stop sexualizing our bodies. In the same breathe, I advocate to make people see disability in a sexual way because it’s often so desexualized. So what am I fighting for? Desexualizing women’s bodies or sexualizing disabled bodies? Both. I don’t have to pick one thing. No one way is the right way. I can be supportive and speak about how I wish women in our society weren’t sexualized for companies to profit off of. About how nipples are nipples, yet we sexualize and have different rules for women’s nipples. I can also talk about how I invite people to see disability as sexy and enjoy looking at my body because it’s hot in all of it’s curvy disabled glory. I don’t mind being sexualized, because it gives me a sense of normalcy, even if the comments are misogynistic and cringy. It gives me hope that disability can be seen as sexy.
Don’t get that confused with fetishizing disability. This is also known as devotee culture or disability fetishes. Typically these are based on a unequal power dynamic that the devotee gets off on. Like the fact that they can easily dominate me because I’m physically weak. THANK YOU, NEXT. That shit is just creepy as hell.
Long story short, I want to continue to sexualize disabled bodies so that the world knows we are sexy & have sex — in a non-fetishized way. I also want to desexualize women’s bodies so we can reduce all the unwarranted and rude comments from men that we get on your bodies. Although my two thoughts about desexualizing and sexualizing bodies may seem to contradict each other — that’s okay. There no one path you need to choose, because eventually everything ties together in one loop. If you comment on my body in a non-ableist and fetishized way — bring it. All of it. I want my body to be admired and seen as much as the next person. That doesn’t mean personalities don’t matter bc I see comments about that coming. But, this is about bodies. Beautiful, magic, sexy, bodies. Feel free to feast your eyes on my sexy disabled body 💜🦄💕