Monday, July 21, 2014

She said "No. Stop."

Yesterday, I watched a man my age follow a woman my age, his friend, with a camera. The light was gold and she was beautiful. She had dark eyes against her gold hair. She stood with elegance.

She did not want her picture taken. She did not like pictures taken of her. She said, "No. Stop."

There was a moment of waver. A moment of insecurity in her "No. Stop." To say "No. Stop." takes courage, a strange courage, a courage it should not require.

 He kept coming. "Please, just look at it me; it will be great."

It will be great.

What people assume when a beautiful woman says no to her picture being taken is that she is insecure. She does not know that she is beautiful. If she can see a picture of herself, then maybe she will know that is is beautiful.

That is the story we tell. Is it true?

The one who takes a picture has power over the person whose picture they are taking. They have the tool, the capturing method, the weapon. They aim. They shoot.

When a beautiful woman [a woman, a man, a person] says "No. Stop." maybe she is saying that she refuses his power over her, his claim to her beauty, his desire to use it to make a beautiful picture.

I use "her" and "him" but the genders can go either way. But the power dynamic is more clear in "him" taking a picture of her", as in the setting of my story. I do not see women chasing men to take their picture in golden light of an evening in the woods.

It, the picture, will be great. What about her? Maybe she feels like he is removing her beauty or reducing her to it (are these not the same?).

Maybe she just doesn't want the camera in her face.

Maybe she wants to see if he will accept a No.

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