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‘Boobs’ Tumblr tests stereotypes

Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 15:11

A new Tumblr called Boobs of UCF is exactly what it sounds like — a blog-type forum encouraging Knights to bare all. Preceding websites that are unofficially affiliated with other universities, such as Boobs at Bard and Titties at Tulane, feature similar content and send the message that all breasts are beautiful and direct students to be respectful.

The temporary thrill of seeing oneself semi-nude on the Internet is most likely short-lived, however, and the risks certainly outweigh any potential benefits or gratification. If students feel the need to post pictures of themselves, there is nothing stopping them. However, a cautionary exercise in foresight may help avoid unwanted consequences in the future. What if the photo gets posted on other sites with your name attached to it? If by some chance another viewer recognizes you by a tattoo or birthmark or the background of a photograph, how do you plan to explain that to your friends or potential employers who type your name into Google? These are serious questions to consider prior to posting nude pictures that may seem like common sense to some, but might not occur to others.

The supposed philosophy behind these websites is all well and good, but the real questions that haven’t been asked are whether it’s really being fulfilled and, if so, does it matter?

The description of Boobs of UCF seemingly challenges viewers to rethink their conventions about body image, a respectable endeavor, one that is desperately needed for college students living in the peak of marketing technology where Photoshop and makeup brands, not brains and a healthy diet, reign supreme.

Today, polished and perfect representations of femininity and sexuality are breeding self-conscious, insecure young women. Girls never receive answers to the damaging questions they ask themselves when they walk into Victoria’s Secret or flip through an issue of Cosmopolitan. No, not all women are flawlessly tan and shaped like miniature hourglasses, being the appropriate response to these nagging anxieties. But where are women receiving this kind of positive reinforcement? Unless they were lucky enough to have an assertive and confident mother and/or strong female role models in their lives growing up, probably nowhere, because our mothers and grandmothers endured similar judgment and stereotyping. So, does a website like Boobs of UCF help female students recognize their worth and embrace their physical individuality? Possibly for some, for others it may simply serve as erotic material. Regardless, like everything else on the web today, it is a double-edged sword.

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