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PHOTO BY MAXWEL MIGNATTI

26 April 2023

You Do Not Know Her 

MAXWEL MIGNATTI

You do not know her; 

Who she loves, what she cries for, her dreams, her fears… You do not know her, 

Yet you know her body like the back of your hand. But unlike your hand, 

her body offends you. 

Her body’s innocent existence repulses you, angers you, embarrasses you. 

Why? 

Fuelled by your offence, 

you openly shame, scrutinise and sexualise.

You sanctimoniously veer your perverted gaze,

yet you peep at her body every chance you get? 

Hypocritically, behind the comfort of closed doors,

you happily indulge in her body. 

A body posing in magazines you hide under your bed;

A body twisting in tabs reserved for your eyes only.

In privately cultivating your perversions, 

You feed the grotesque monster that is your offence. 

In a society that values area over volume, 

You do not care WHO she is.

As long as you can use her offensive body 

against her in public, and 

For yourself in private. 

But is it her body that offends you, or 

is it the subconscious shame you have toward your own perverted desires that offend you? 

In its scrutinising crusade of every body, 

The white, male gaze has reduced human value to 

The bodies they occupy and not the souls that they are.

By sexualising certain bodies, 

branding them offensive

shameful, undesirable, undeserving, disgusting… inhuman?,

WE perversely perpetuate - and even justify - 

the subjugation and marginalisation of certain bodies.

Even our own body. 

While my photo depicts the white cis-female body,

the most privileged of the offensive bodies, 

countless communities of bodies 

have been and are 

defiled by the patriarchal panopticon.

In scrutinising the gaze that scrutinises me,

I scream what the fuck. 

And, in scrutinising the gaze that scrutinises me,

I ask why. 

And, in scrutinising the gaze that scrutinises me,

I look for ways to free myself from its binding eyes.

I wish I knew, 

I wish someone had the answers. 

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