Friday, August 04, 2006

Weighing on my Mind.

are you losing weight

This comment was left on my blog, and I was surprised at how much it hurt. Every once in a while someone will leave a comment that rubs me the wrong way- I'll either ignore it, or attempt to reply politely to it.

You'd think, especially with my other website, I'd have a thicker skin.

A friend pointed out that this may have been meant as a compliment: "Hey, you look great! Have you been losing weight?" But, it doesn't seem like that.

I'm aware that by posting these pictures I'm opening myself up to critique, and that I should probably expect it.

That said...what makes a person think that that kind of comment is appropriate? Just because I post this kind of content does not mean that's it's acceptable to bluntly inquire about things that are, frankly, none of your damn business.

I can't help but notice the irony about my weight being commented on in a blog about feminism. It's enough inspiration for several blog entries.

So, anonymous commenter curious about my weight, is there any way you can give a reason for posting that, besides the fact that you're nosy?

Photography by Bob Coulter, June 2006.


Sarah Louise Parry said...

I know what you mean, it's awfully hard to brush these things off, but I admire the confidence that you must have to keep a site up like this, but sadly high on the requirements list is a thick skin because there is always the odd opinionated dickhead that just logs on to hurt/upset people.

7:24 AM  
Lin said...

Ah, pay no bloody attention to 'em.

Last month I had 2 comments on 2 of my (art-nude) images which were on Photosig. One of the guys critiquing the photo thought I was dead. And another thought I was old and wrinkly.
Took me a while to recover from that and re-laminate my thick (and wrinkly) skin.

1:37 PM  
demandra said...

I don't buy the "oh, there's less of you, so you look great!" excuse. I realize that it's just part of our culture-thin is best-but we have been force fed neurosis about our weight since birth. Commenting on it is never a compliment. It's passive aggressive and meant to muster insecurity.

But then again, that's just my opinion.

Sorry you had to deal with a tool. Sadly, they're not uncommon.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous said...


It was just a question
Relax don't read into everything.


4:50 PM  
ARConn said...

Now, in an explanation of the comment that sparked this post, anonymous has passive-aggressivly attacked U'r gender with a one word stereotypical comment meant to allude to the inborn irrationality of the entire female sex.

I think someone has self-esteem issues, and Candy, I don't think it's U.

(great blog by the way.)

6:58 PM  
Anonymous said...

My other half and I discussed this topic last night. Her response was that the comment could be nothing more than noting any other change in your appearance.

You do post a history of images of yourself. Would you be as offended if someone asked if you had changed your hair (cut or color) from one image to the next?

What if the post had followed up the "have you lost weight" question with a comment expressing concern about not wanting you to chase some sort of current thin is in mentality? Would that be someone supporting you then?

Yes, we as a society put too much attention onto weight, making thin the desired trait. Ironically, most of us are overweight, and many of us are unhealthily over weight in the obese range. So, what does that mean for us as a society?

The rational behind the comment is meaningless, and the reading that some have taken shows more about themselves than the person who made the comment. The person who made the comment noted the obvious, I had noticed a small weight or tone change as well. You have choosen to be a model, you are part of an industry that is all about the physical. You are a beautiful and intelligent woman, which means you are going to have constant internal conflicts with this industry.

Keep doing what you want, keep writing what you feel, but don't become so defensive to the rest of the world. There are plenty of bad people and ideas out there, getting worked up over a "throw away" comment hardly seems worth it for you mental health.

11:17 AM  
mnmjr. said...

This probably won't sound right, but why do you even care what some anonymous person thinks of you? In a way, writing an entire blog entry about their comment gives their words an amount of legitimacy they never would have had if you'd simply ignored it. It's absolutely your right to deal with any issue you choose in your blog, but I can't help thinking the person that sent you the message in the first place is thinking "ha! got her!" right now.

My experience has taught me that ignoring the cranks is the fastest way to make them disappear.

But that's me. You should alwyas do what's best for you.

3:49 PM  
Candy said...

1st anon: If women bother you so much, I reccommend not reading this blog.

2nd anon and mnmjr: I doubt I would have reacted to this comment the way I did if it hadn't hit a nerve- this reflects more upon me and my insecurities than what an anonymous person thinks of me.

I don't think, however, that I should, just because I'm currently a nude model, I should just accept comments that I feel are rude or inappropriate. I should realize that I'm putting myself out there for critique- but that, as someone who's also a feminist blogger, I'm almost obligated to respond to things that offend my sensibilities, especially something so loaded as weight.

5:30 PM  
mnmjr. said...

As I said, you should always do what works best for you. It's YOUR blog after all.

9:09 PM  
demandra said...

I am endlessly baffled by the number of accepted false assumptions that are attached to weight-related issues. This is the one topic where even those who are normally enlightened and quite bright just don't get it.

"Loaded issue" (ha!) is so spot-on. Instead of addressing that, anonymous attacks a gender and mnmjr. does the standard attack when someone (usually a woman) points out the inherent sexism--"your response says a lot about you" aka *passive-aggressive insult.*

Could it be possible that your response and the insecurity that lies beneath it actually speaks to larger cultural paradigms around women's identity, inappropriate boundaries people have in dealing with that identity and how we don't question certain norms in society?

Just a thought. I'll shaddup now.

5:35 AM  
Mike said...

Nick > I think you should remember that another cause for weight-loss is simply that weight fluctuates naturally sometimes.

I personally haven't seen any difference in your weight, Candy. I admire you for having the strength to be so open to your readers, both physically (through your images) and emotionally (through your words.) I find myself visiting your site regularly and eagerly both for your photographs (I find you incredibly attractive) and the entry that you write to go with them (You always give me something to think about.)

10:51 AM  
Anonymous said...


You responded to my post and the following line says a great deal.

"I don't think, however, that I should, just because I'm currently a nude model, I should just accept comments that I feel are rude or inappropriate."

Note your use of the word feel. That is the crux of this, you "feel" that those comments are not acceptable or rude. The comment could have been just an observation, such as noting the changing hair styles you have had. It could have been an expression of concern as "Nick" says it was. You made a judgement that it was a personal attack, you might use this as a chance to look inward and see how you view the world, not how the world views you. Lastly, in your chosen industry (modeling) issues of weight, height, hair, makeup, breast size, shaved vs full hair genitalia are legitimate areas for discourse. As a model, you are part of the creation of art, it would be no different than a painter talking about which color they select.


12:16 PM  
Candy said...

demandra- for the love of god, never shut up. ever.

nick- while I appreciate that you're a fan- this is an adult website with nudity.

R- I have no problem with a comment on my weight when it's put into context. I enjoy debate, and I want there to be an opportunity to intelligently discuss what I've written about, or my pictures(although pure flattery is perfectly acceptable).

However, this quote was not put into any context that would have prompted intelligent discussion. Just because you feel one way about it doesn't mean that how I feel about it is any less relevant.

I'm not content to accept "the industry's that way, deal with it, you put yourself up for critique" when it comes to some things. Why are you?

2:07 PM  
Mike said...

Nick, I was just suggesting an alternative, it wasn't meant as an attack. I'm sorry you took it that way.

2:56 PM  
Gary M Photo said...

This post has been removed by the author.

3:36 PM  
Gary M Photo said...

Well, based on Bob's photo, it does look like you've gotten taller. ;)

Miss you, love the blog, can't wait to shoot you again. Yay Candy!

3:38 PM  
Candy said...

thanks for the kind words.

Comments by minors will be deleted.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous said...


You said..

"I'm not content to accept "the industry's that way, deal with it, you put yourself up for critique" when it comes to some things. Why are you?

I see your angle, but I think it is an apples to oranges argument. I would buy it if you were saying, that a woman should not be treated differently in an office work place (for pay, promotion, etc...) just because of her physical traits. I agree with that.

The difference is that as a model, your physical shape defines your ability to do certain work. It is what the client wants. Models are talent, like actors, and they are susceptible to the whims of those who hire them. Your physical traits are your job skills in the modeling industry.

If you don't meet a certain criteria, you will not be considered for certain assignments. For example, sorry to say it, but you are not going to get any plus-size modeling gigs anytime soon.

Your argument against the way the industry is, makes the mistake of viewing it as an industry where physical traits don't impact job performance. However, phsyical traits are often the performance.

Given your point of view, I would be curious how you would like to see the industry change?


10:43 AM  
Candy said...

R- this isn't so much about the industry as it is about how people feel models can be treated, just because they're out there and doing something that involves how they look.

You're more than welcome to comment on my physical appearance- but not in a rude manner. This goes for everyone: the photographer I'm working with to the person commenting on my blog.

The industry(which I'm not really a part of, to tell the truth- nude modeling is a whole different area) has many, many things that I hate- but I don't think this is about it.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hey Candy

You say that people can comment on your looks but not in a rude way

What does that mean? I think you would be the only one who would know if someones comment about you is rude.

If I said you look great I'm sure that would go over very well but what if I said your hair is an odd color, or that angle is not very flattering, it makes your legs look bigger. Which one is rude?

In the "modelong" industry wether we like it or not it's about looks. People look pictures. The reason they do is beacuse they like them find them attractive. People will comment on the picutre including technical to subject matter.

If one can't say did you lose weight commenting on something they see in an image then why view the images or take the photographs.

Models are constantly told they are too short too skinny too fat, wrong color hair, etc. That's, like it or not part of the job.

It's not being critical it's just what the photogrpher is looking for.

I guess after viewing your blog for a while I can't believe that a queston like did you lose weight can have so many entries.

Kind of pathetic.

But I still love to see you naked

5:01 PM  
Candy said...

anon: this blog is not about the "modelong" industry- which, by the way, I'm not a part of, technically speaking. I'm not a commerical or runway model.

This is an art and political blog. "I'm not crazy about this picture- the angle is unflattering" is acceptable, in my eyes. "ur thighs r big" is not.

Are you a photographer considering hiring me for a job? The person who made the "are you losing weight" comment wasn't. Regardless, I don't find rudeness acceptable.

I'm not sure if you're saying that it's pathetic that I chose to write about the comment instead of ignoring it, or if the fact that this entry itself has so many comments.

If it's the former, remember, you don't have to read this blog. You can just look at the pictures. Or not even go here at all, if you like.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous said...


I think the last anon poster has a decent point in their post. There is no definition of "rude", it is a subjective concept based on your personal view, which may vary at times.

You also commented that you are not in the modeling industry "technically". I am under the impression, and correct me if I am wrong, you have been paid to be a model. Even TFP is technically a barter transaction (that should be reported on taxes), so a payment. As such, you are a professional model. You may not be as successful as Tyra Banks, Dita von Tease, etc... but you are a part of the industry, technically. ;)

Topics that might be taboo in certain industries are front and center in others. Life is not black and white lines, but a lot of gray. Context, matters. Intention matters. Interpretation matters. It seems you have decided that all that matters on this comment was your interpretation. No concern about context, in that you are in an industry and talk about being in an industry where weight is a relevant issue. No concern about how it was intended. You had an emotional reaction to it, you decided it meant something and that it was rude. You may be right, but you are just as likely to be wrong.


10:40 AM  
Candy said...


Rude is somewhat subjective- but asking someone a personal question about their weight with absolutely no context and no prompting is rude. I'm not sure there's any other way to look at it.

I'm in an industry, but it's not the same one as Tyra Banks or Dita. That's what I've been trying to point out.

This was a rude comment- that's not up for debate. It wasn't intended as such- I've deleted the person who left it's explanation for other reasons- but I don't think that I should accept rudeness or prying.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous said...


Got it. It is your blog you may censor it as you see fit.

You may not see your modeling as being part of the same industry, but it is.

You have also made it clear that intent means nothing in your view. It is all about how you percieve something. So, any comment has to go through the filter of your personal experience, it can't stand on its own.

Lets take that and apply it to your site. The parents of the 15 year old who made the comment might have the perception that your site is pornographic and that its existance is harmful to society. Should their perception govern access to your site? Should your intent matter? Do your rules apply for others, or only you?

You have made it clear that there is not a lot of room for debate on this issue or others. Life is not as black and white as you seem to think it is. Your perceptions are not always reality.

Then again, when I was 21, life was fairly black and white too.


10:27 AM  
Candy said...


I never censor this blog unless I feel it's absolutely necessary. What we're doing? That's called debate. I haven't deleted your comments because I enjoy engaging in debate and sparking conversation about something. Don't take it personally.

I have deleted comments on three occasions:
1. A commenter left his home phone number and address on here.
2. Spam.
3. A poster announced that he was 15 years old.

The latter was because, although I think most if not all these pictures are appropriate for a 15 year old, I cannot encourage minors to view this site without putting myself at risk.

I'm going to have to ask that you not insult me in my blog, although I won't delete your comments. Unless you intended the last part of your imply to spark intellectual debate.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous said...


I have a great deal of respect for your opinions, even if I don't always agree with them. And my comment about being 21 was as much of a comment about my own knowledge at that age, as yours. It was not meant to insult you. If anything it was meant to provoke thought that much of what we believe to be absolute facts are really just shades of gray and that often the younger we are the more pronounced that is. I knew everything at 16, I knew less at 21 and many years later realized how little I knew.

As for your right to remove postings, I have never questioned that. I understand that you have removed the postings of a 15 year old, of course he can still view and read your site, ane even post so long as he does not self identify. It was only interesting that his posts got to the root of the topic of this thread. His intent in making the original comment. You asked what could make a person say that, he answered as he was the one who said it.

To return to the age issue, it might also not be fair to expect a 15 year old to have the strength of language or the understanding of what is polite and what is rude. With age, comes experience, and no doubt this is a learning experience for him. The lesson, what you say, no matter how mildly intended, can push someones buttons and end up having you termed rude and nosey. He should learn not to express a personal preference, learn to live in fear from offending others. It is a valuable lesson. Speech control on either side of the political spectrum is equally as bad.


1:32 PM  
Candy said...

R- Some people will never have the language or the understanding of what is polite and what is rude, regardless of age.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hey, you look hot, sexy, erotic and taller !!
BUT try not to read into this comment to much...let the anger go...

5:54 PM  
Candy said...


I am trying so hard not to make a joke or even comment about what internet provider you're using to browse this site.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:50 AM  
BAC said...

Context is everything ... as is perception becomes reality. Candy, I can understand why the comment rubbed you the wrong way. It also seems apparent that anon doesn't know or possibly understand the history behind your response.

What makes me crazy about all this is the expectation that someone can make a comment to another person and just expect that other person to shrug it off -- even when the comment offends them.

We have all used defense mechanisms in the past to deal with this issue -- sometimes it's a comedic response: "Really? I thought I had gained weight -- I only weighed 7 lbs 6 oz at birth!" ... or women of substance who will say: "I only weigh 110 lbs, the rest of this is thick skin from dealing with people like you!"

The tragedy is that anyone ever has to "deal with" issues around weight.


5:17 PM  

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