Asshole and Hero of the Week
Although we love to view the world in absolutes, things are seldom black and white.
Heroes have skeletons in their closets and assholes secretly donate money to the ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan.
Okay, maybe not.
The point is that the world is a complex place, full of moral ambiguity, double standards and mixed feelings. So we have taken it upon ourselves to bring back the epic binary of good versus bad, right versus wrong and virtuous versus evil.
We humbly present to you Asshole and Hero of the Week.
Asshole: Brittany Suleiman
This may be the only time I engage in direct assault at someone who, being so alive and prominent on social media, is actually reachable. I went back and forth on this one because I figured, well, technically she’s not a criminal in the papers, and in fact, the thing I’m castigating her for is really not that noteworthy.
But perhaps it harkens to a larger, maybe much more common, situation than just the one I’m thrashing on. (That was really unnecessarily wordy.)
Since last week’s Asshole was all of you jabroni asses, this one is a specific someone for an even more specific reason.
First off, who the hell is Brittany Suleiman? Well, to any of her 107K followers, she’s an Instagram girl. She’s also on Twitter, but her presence there is a little lacking. According to her own Insta bio, she’s a “New York soul & ‘fitspo’ at NYU Italy.” Go down a little further on that bio and then it reads “girls can be sexy and smart.”
Hm. Hmmmm. HMMMMMMMM.
I know it may seem like a pretty innocuous statement. Hell, maybe it’s even a little trite and truistic. And in any other context I shouldn’t get heated about it, but you have to understand the reason why she added that.
Two weeks ago she posted this here photo:
She went on and on about how she had recently gained 3,000 or so followers in the middle of the night. Excitedly, she thought her brand was blowing up. Unfortunately, she was dismayed when she found out that an unnamed “man magazine” did a feature on the intricate details of her breasts. Understandably heated and probably feeling a little objectified, she took the magazine to task and said the gambit of things. Women are more than this and that, she is more than her breasts, yada yada yada.
I completely agree with her and I certainly think the site is skeezy. Of course it is. But what I’m mad about is a question of authenticity.
Brittany Suleiman (and I guess everyone else who’s similar), don’t for a fucking second think you can lie about what your Instagram really is.
She claims to be a poet, a singer, and a writer, but her “brand” expresses none of that. Every now and then there will be a 15-second video of her unexceptional singing, but she is not a singer. She posts a clichéd #truth quote on almost every photo that she did not write, so to her followers, she is not that either. She has 455 Instagram posts and 90 percent of them are pictures of her stomach.
These are not the problem. She has every right to do such things. But, to me, there is a great ignorance when you condemn an admittedly skeezy site for rallying behind the very content that you put out. It doesn’t make any sense.
A simple Google search of her and the top links will be like “HOT BABES ON INSTA” or “CHECK OUT HOT FITNESS BABES” or whatever. These sites, in a gross paradox, are more authentic than Brittany herself and here’s why: They’re confident in what they want and in what they say, and they make no claims to be something other than the persona they promote.
When we’re talking about Internet icons and social media stars, all of the followers only have what they’re given. But for Brittany to fucking sit there and act like everyone is supposed to know that she wrote a sonnet in freshman English when all she posts are pictures of her drinking tea in bathing suits is just a tad ridiculous.
Like, you gotta be fucking kidding me.
Furthermore, for her to throw in her bio “girls can be sexy and smart” is the most childish retaliation ever. That’s like if ESPN was doing a cover on a Heisman winner and the player got all offended and said, “I’m more than my football skills. I’m also good at this other thing!” It’s like… cool.
She’s like, “Wahh I’m a poet too.” Okay well then link us to a poetry site with your stuff. And I don’t mean Tumblr. You say you can sing? Okay, link me to something other than your SoundCloud (which she hasn’t) because that doesn’t mean dick. I farted for half an hour on SoundCloud once and got 5k shares.
Folks, understand this: I’m not saying she’s not any of these other things. I’m just saying that for her slacked-jawed-circle-jerk comment to hold any weight, her Instagram needs to show these things.
There’s a world of fucking difference between the “man magazine” blatantly ignoring her other content versus there not being any other content to talk about. I’m not saying it’s cool for skeezes to be skeezy, but, like, how could you honestly be caught off guard? Did you expect them call you up and be like, “Hey we want to do a feature on your 400 breast pictures. Is that okay? Or would you prefer to show us a haiku that you slapped together?”
Also, her saying, “girls can be sexy and smart” is even more offensive. Nobody in this current scenario has said otherwise. For her to highlight this phrase ends up implementing the very dichotomy that she seemingly wants to avoid.
Brittany Suleiman, be a bit more little self-aware of the image you put out. I agree that the site was skeezy and yes, I agree that you are more than just a pair of breasts. But don’t fucking stand on a soap box and spout off a self-indulgent circle-jerk rant when that skeez site is more authentic than you are.
“I’m a poet, a writer, a singer, a pastry chef, a professional bowler, a skydiver, a mathematician.” Okay fine, that’s great. JUST SHOW US THESE THINGS.
“My breasts have nothing to do with my intelligence.” This is true. Nobody said otherwise. Nobody even implied otherwise.
“Just because I am a woman, and just because I have breasts, and just because I post photos of myself on the Internet does not mean I have nothing else to offer, and that I am simply an object for people to sexualize.”
Nobody said that either. You can be sexy and have a million talents. But this skeez site isn’t going to care about those other talents. So you should show us them yourself. Ignore the skeez site. Show us what you got. Show your 106K followers your poetry and your writing so your looks aren’t the first thing they associate you with.
The problem is that a cursory content scan of your profile would suggest you’re more willing to promote your looks than the other million talents that you supposedly have. Whatever, though. Do what you want. Just know that the Internet exaggerates what you put out.
I’m not defending the skeez site. They’re skeezy. But I’m not jumping on your side either. You guys are both fuckers.
Before I end this exceptionally long rant, just know that it hurt me more than it hurt you all. I’m a feminist. I’m an LGBTUVWXY&Z. Hell, even sometimes when it’s humid out and I’m wearing jeans, I feel the Bern. It just seems that I can only be a feminist if I always side with the Womyn in a She vs. He scenario. But I like to think humans are a little more 3D than that.
My condemnation of Brittany isn’t a condemnation on the entire freaking sex. It’s just her. She annoys me.
Go hit her up if you please. Supposedly she has a wealth of talent. Maybe you can hire her to try and sing at your bar mitzvah. Then after she can recite a fucking limerick or something.
Hero: Michelle Moon
According to this Huffington Post article, Michelle Moon is allowing her daughter, Juliana Moon, to decide between “Heaven or Hospital.”
Juliana is 5 years old and is a terminally ill patient with a very severe case of spinal muscular atrophy. She can’t eat or stand or even breath on her own. Her immune system is so shot that if she caught a cold now, she wouldn’t survive it. She’s been in and out of the hospital a number of times.
It’s hell on Earth for the Moon family, particularly for Juliana who’s entirely fed up with the excruciating pain of each new hospital visit. Being a Christian family, Michelle gave her daughter the end-of-life choice between going to heaven or staying at the hospital. Juliana, claiming she hated “NT” (naso-tracheal suction) said she’d rather go to heaven then go through another operation (one which doctors say she may not survive anyway).
In a truly heartbreaking exchange, the mother had to explain that if Juliana chose to go to heaven, then she’d have to go by herself until the mother could rejoin her. Juliana, referring to heaven, replied with a confident, “But I won’t be alone.”
I don’t know where you guys stand on God or whatever, but I’m sure death is still the better option for this young girl. I have no jokes for this, really. It’s pretty intense. Check out her story at: http://juliannayuri.com/ .
You know, I bet if Brittany Suleiman had this disease, she’d get mad about this article. You know, because she’s more than her BiPAP machine.
Featured photo courtesy of: CNN