Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Outlander, Breasts And Being A Judgmental Asshole

There's a group on Facebook I'm in, mostly because I can be offensive and my offensiveness is appealing to some. Everyone in the group has something in common, they are all avid fans of Outlander, the books and television show by Diana Gabaldon, and used to be part of another group called 'Outlander Series', which has a following of like thirty-four thousand people. I'm not a member of this OS group, but I've heard a lot about it and feel I probably wouldn't fit in. From what I gather, there are a couple of control freaks at the helm of the ship, exercising and abusing their admin 'power' to censor, delete and ban whatever and whomever they please. The issue is, they aren't actually moderating everyone, just the people they don't seem to like.

As someone who has been on the receiving end of ridiculous moderation before, I know it's a losing battle. In the end, you have to shrug and let the narrow-minded admins wield their swords of hypocrisy and ignorance, and laugh if you get cut. This blog isn't actually about Facebook fan page wars, but it seemed like a good jumping off point. Now all I have to do is tie this in with ugly boobs. This seems like a feat all in itself, but there is actually a direct correlation between Outlander, Facebook fan pages and overzealous moderators. Here it is: 

Apparently one of the threads posted on the Outlander Series page was a statement about Cait's breasts. For those of you who don't know, Caitriona Balfe is the actress who plays Claire Randall, the most important character in the entire series, if you aren't counting Jamie, the handsome Scottish-man with a shock of auburn  curls you want nothing more than to run your fingers through. Anyhow, there has been much discussion over the steaminess of the show, but a lot of terrible comments about Claire's body. Not Jamie's, no. The male lead is, of course, perfect. Unfortunately, there are a lot of women (why do we love tearing our sex to shreds) bashing Cait - her breast size and unevenness, her body type, lack of curves, imperfect teeth, face, eye colour. You name it, someone is saying something negative about it.

Now, the OS page has a new rule about being mean. Basically, you aren't allowed to instigate fights, bicker, bait or say jerky things. The problem is, when a friend of mine commented about how the bashing of Cait's breasts was body shaming and letting the post stand was hypocritical she got a virtual slap on the wrist, and her comment was deleted. Gasp, right? How could she be so, so, so ... wait a second, she wasn't being argumentative at all and was really only stating the obvious. As it goes, apparently it's okay to lambaste a celebrity. After all, it's only an opinion.

So, when you make nasty comments to your peers it's considered bullying, but if you do it to celebrities it's just having an opinion? Bit confusing, no? The thing is, tearing apart someone's physical appearance is the weakest form of insult. It lacks creativity and, in this case in particular, reeks of jealousy. Whenever I see these sorts of lowbrow critiques, I shake my head and curse the internet for what it has become - a breeding ground for negativity and impossible beauty standards, a place that perpetuates the unrealistic expectations women are already trying to live up to.

Now, let's look at Cait:


Um. Yeah. So, if this woman is ugly, mousy, or unattractive, then I am down right hideous. Let's drop the absurdity for a moment and face the fact, this woman is gorgeous. A classic beauty. Perfect cheekbones. Wry smile. Shapely lips. Blue eyes as deep as the ocean. Still, it doesn't seem to matter how attractive a woman is in this world, there will always be someone who has something mean to say. There seems to be this aggravating desire to put females down, to keep them under thumb, and ensure they know their place. Instead of celebrating one another, we (being women) appear to be going out of our way to bash and wound each other. Yes, men certainly receive criticisms, but they never seem to be so hurtful, personal, or abundant.

To nitpick the evenness of breasts is so mind-numbing and ridiculous. The last time I checked, most of our boobs aren't the same size. In fact, a lot of women are a whole cup different (I actually know a girl with an A and a C!). The sad part is, even if Cait's breasts had the symmetry to make a geometry aficionado swoon, then there would just be something else to complain about. Nipple size. Weight. Colour of areola. Heft. Amount of downy hair. Angle of under boob curve. Because if it isn't one thing, it's another.

If you ask me, we put far too much stock in appearance, especially when the course of all our roads is one that leads downhill. Eventually, we age, get wrinkly, spotted, have every part of us sag and dimple. This is why I am so baffled by those who are making these superficial observations, do they honestly feel they are so attractive, so put together and presentable, so striking and flawless that they can rip apart someone else? Do they really feel they have the right to criticize? All these put-downs and judgments aren't just opinions, either. They are malicious and hateful, bullying on a global scale, and condoned by those who laugh and agree.

These behaviours are so often excused when directed at celebrities. As if the rich and famous have ceased being people with feelings, who hurt and battle body issues of their own. We've all heard it before, to treat others the way we wish to be treated and if we don't have anything nice to say, then we shouldn't say anything at all. And yet, the callous comments keep on coming. Whether it is the mask of anonymity the world wide web provides, or the illusion of sneaking by unnoticed, I can't honestly say why people feel it their place to judge others, famous or not. All I know for sure is, these sorts of criticisms are petty and boring, unimaginative and lacking in substance - not to mention unfounded. In the end, they reveal more about the person spewing them than the target they are intended for.

Even more confounding are the people moaning about the series and actors they supposedly love. I mean, why complain about something you like? All the so-called 'fans' of this Outlander series who are griping and whining about authenticity, deviations from the plot and how the actors are different from the books. If you don't like it, don't watch. It's unrealistic for a movie or television show to be identical to the book. Trust me, I'm an avid Game Of Thrones fan and actually enjoy it when plots and characters differ from the original. It keeps things interesting.

No one asked my opinion, but I feel the need to share it freely. It's time we dropped the body shaming (big, small, curvy, skinny, old, young, black and white) and stopped the moaning. Whether it is done unintentionally or not, it's getting tedious and I am so over it. None of us are perfect, so it isn't our place to point out anyone else's imperfections. If you don't want your breasts judged by the world, then don't judge other people's. If you aren't enjoying the show, stop tuning in each week. Always keep in mind, these characters aren't real, they are all made up. You can't marry them. They don't love you. And while I can appreciate escapism and being enamoured with a book or particular beau, fiction should never be substituted for real life, if it is you're heading into unstable mental realms.

For a show I don't watch and books I've never read, the Outlander Series has seriously got me riled up.

Tell me you don't want to run your fingers through those curly locks?

114 comments:

KatieDidn't said...

Well, I guess I can forgive you for not reading the books, nor watching the show, because that was brilliant! You were exactly right!

Anita Ratliff said...

Right on the mark! You, my friend, rock!

V. Newton said...

Thank you! Finally, a bright star shining through!

jkline0520 said...

I actually joined the Outlander Series Facebook Group 2 days ago. I have never been in such a group, and will not be staying there much longer. I think I will share this blog over there and then bow out. The first day I was there, I came upon the post that this blogger is talking about. I can't remember the exact "title" of the thread but it was basically, "what I hated about the wedding episode". It was a little odd to me, so I decided to read the thread. So it came to the point where people started body shaming Cait. I was disgusted with what I was reading. I was going to report the poster to the admins of the group. So I go up to look to see who the admins were, and low and behold, the woman who created the post, was one of the admins. Wow. Imagine the shock. This group is supposedly the largest fan group on FB, that's their claim anyway, and one of the admins is encouraging members to bash this super model's body. I also heard that when people stuck up for Cait on this thread the admin deleted their comments and even banned some of the members from the group for it. She said they were going off topic and her post said that going off topic wasn't allowed on her thread. So yes, I will be leaving this group. I have only been there for a couple days and have seen some really messed up stuff. It's embarrassing as a fan of the series.

Sherri said...

AWESOME post!!! I think people who criticize others are just a wee be jealous IMHO

MurphsMomma said...

It's never ok to body shame- celebrity or not. I always find it amusing that the people who feel free to do this have rose colored mirrors. Women on women crime only hurts...women.

Anonymous said...

That post was disgusting. I'm so glad you brought this up. Thank you for a great blog. Now go read the books. ;)

Theresa - Outlander Kitchen said...

Come on over to OutlanderKitchen.com! 22,000 positive fans who love the books, show and food! No time for body shaming when there's bannocks to be made. :)

Michelle said...

Bravo! I am a member of that group and love a lot of things about it, but the body shaming has been horrific! I can't believe people think it's ok to say sauce things about someone. It's like they forget she's a real person with feelings! Personally I think it has to be a little bit of jealousy, cause seriously she is gorgeous! The nitpicking over the differences gets on by nerves too. I'm not talking about noticing the differences, but complaining and whining about it! Get over it! It's a beautiful show so just enjoy it for what it is or change the channel! BTW, what outlander group do you belong to now?

Deborah Austin said...

Absolutely brilliant assessment. In this day of equality and women's rights some haven't read the memo.

MMQue said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing. I wonder at the definition these people are using of a fan. I believe a fan should have opinions, but to seriously be tearing down an actress because of her physical attributes goes beyond an opinion. Isn't it more about how the person portrays the character, all the quirks, tone, facial expressions, emotion, etc?

You missed the outrage by some "fans" when Sam Heughan was cast as Jamie. People were arguing with the author, Diana Gabaldon, about his size, height, colour of hair, accent and more. She rebuffed them adeptly and kindly recommended they watch the show before judging.

Stacey Nixon said...

Hear, hear!! Well said, precisely why i left that group. There are a couple more who are more intent on focusing on the things that they perceive as "wrong" with the series and the body shaming is the last straw....Thank you for bringing this to light!

PaulaJ Emerson said...

I'm not familiar with that group, but I loved Cait for that. She is actually beautiful, but not perfect. And she is brave enough to put it all out there.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments. There should be some legitimate conversations, but if anyone on most of the sites, you get slammed. I am not talking about the stuff you're the abuse you're talking about.

One of the bizarre issues that I have with most of the groups is that aside from being polite, not hateful, etc., they delineate topics that may not be discussed. It's odd, I think and it makes you concerned if you say the wrong, you'll be thrown out since that is one of the rules. I've never seen this in any other groups.

Anonymous said...

Thank you..your points and comments were excellent.
Here's a question for everyone... especially those who constantly complain about everything ...and all of you bashers and bullies. Yes I said bullies!
For 12 years I managed a large fandom for a famous actor..I know what I'm talking about. Did you know that it is common for actors and actresses go on these sites under assumed names just to see what's being said about them? Tell me something..since some of you have *posted* these things with no remorse ..how about a 'face to face' IN PERSON with the actor or actress ?
Now what was it that you were posting about her breasts?

Pat said...

Well put everyone! Cait doesn't deserve that kind of bashing. No one does! I don't care who you are no one deserves that. They just sound like a bunch of jealous women with nothing better to do but bully and bash.

yankeegal said...

Thank you! I am not part of that group - but saw similar comments on other pages. Cait is a former Victoria's Secret model... can ANY of those "judgmental assholes" say the same?
What pisses me off is if she had huge FAKE breasts, everyone would have something to say about that, too! Some people can only build themselves up by tearing others down. It's ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

You are so right about the FB Outlander ladies (or jealous bitches as I think of them). I joined because I loved the books and was excited about the show but these bashing bitches suck. Seriously they need to get a life and remember if you've nothing nice to say....f---- off already. I think Claire is well cast and she's playing the role perfectly. Now Jaimie is a ladies wet dream maker and is perfectly cast as well!

Anonymous said...

Perfectly said! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO!!!! Cait is perfect for the role. Im telling ya she has some major 'ball'idge to stand there for GOD and country to see. I barely do that in the privacy of my own bedroom. So Kudos to her and frankly, if I looked like her, I would walk around naked all the time. Here's to Cait!!!! Cheers!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you enough that I love that you've brought this to light. Body shaming should never be tolerated and moderators who sit back and let bullying like this happen, let alone PROMOTE IT are violating Facebook rules and should be reported for perpetuating this culture. Bravo!

Kathy H said...

Thanks for an intelligent discussion of the subject.

Many of the "original" Outlander fans on Facebook (those who have read the books multiple times, and truly looked forward to the series)have feared that as the popularity of the series grew the trolls and nasties would come out to play. Sadly, it's been true. It was one thing for folks to argue whether Sam Heughan was tall enough, or complained because Caitriona Balfe doesn't have whisky-colored eyes. We knew they'd be won over. But the petty BS and just plain ugliness (in behavior, not appearance ;) )that has spiked with the newer "fans" is just unacceptable. And the fact that the admins in the Outlander Series group not only allow it, but encourage it is appalling.
The nasty comments are a ploy to get attention, and a way to make themselves feel important -- after all, people are responding to their posts, right? I would wager that many of the women who are joining in the body-bashing would have a fit if someone said such things about their daughters.

Oh, and do yourself a favor: read the books. You seem a verra bright lass -- you'll be hooked in no time! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I did not see that post, or I would have been banned. These judgemental people are unhappy with their life, so it makes them feel better to knock someone else down, then they get so excited when they meet these actors in person. They have no filters. That's what happens when you have no integrity. It's like high school revisited. "That girl" does not belong with "that guy"... GROW UP, I, myself, enjoy the groups I am in where we post serious questions that encourage differences of opinions. I have yet to see any shaming or bashing, and hope I never do.

Tee said...

Thank you for all the comments. I think there is a very unsettling side to "fandom" and bullying and body shaming is a part of that. It isn't okay and I am happy to know there are so many who agree with what I have written. If you love something, celebrate it. There is no need to be cruel and rip people apart. It's almost as though people forget Cait is an actual person, as all celebrities are, and think it okay to bash her with the misguided impression she will never know. But that makes it seem worse, no? To talk behind someone's back. And then there are those who just don't care. The real issue is, these comments hurt all of us. Shaming someone for how they look or who they are is unacceptable, celebrity or no.

And for the record, I have purchased the first book. HUZZAH!

Dawn Marberry said...

Personally I thought it was refreshing to see real breasts for a change. Most American actresses have had breast augmentation which places unrealistic expectations on our unaltered gals.

Larissa said...

I've heard about that group you are referring to and have purposely stayed away to avoid the negative bitching.
I think you struck the nail on the head in your article: these woman are nasty about Cait because they are jealous.They are jealous it's her up there with Sam not them, because in some part of their delusional brain they think that these characters are real and they them self are the real Claire.
Cait has captured the essence and spirit of fictional Claire magnificently and is doing an outstanding job bringing Claire to life on the screen - she is just AWESOME.

Sandi McLaren said...

Take your cue from Herself (Diana Gabaldon) and don't waste your time on cattiness and smarmy behaviours. Comment with your opinion and don't feed the trolls. Read the books, enjoy the show. Find a group that is lead by people who care about intelligent discourse. There are many, both on Facebook and elsewhere, including Outlander Kitchen (Hi, Theresa!) and of course, the 'original' fan group, The Ladies of Lallybroch. Trust me when I say that true Outlander fans will listen to all opinions that are supported by a reasoned argument, a la Ned Gowan :)

Susan said...

Thank you for saying what needed to be said.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying what so many of us were thinking.

How bland the world would be if we were all someone's description of "perfect."

Today a friend showed me her "new" chest - just through her shirt, not in a weird way. It's new, not because she wanted perfect boobs, but because her real ones tried to kill her and had to go. We weren't celebrating a perfect figure, we were celebrating being alive.

So all those women criticizing Cait for this and that need to realize that in a brief whim of fate, they could lose what ever perfection they think makes them superior. She's beautiful,and unlike Claire, she's a real person. Her perfection lies in the same thing that all of ours does - the fact that we're all unique works of wonder.And we need to celebrate that, not tear it down.

Hope Bennett said...

Thank you for putting so many thoughts and opinions eloquently. I had commented on this particular thread regarding the body shaming only to have it removed as it was off topic. I was in this group until yesterday and have been banned as I questioned the rules. I am actually glad to be gone from such a hateful place and have found many other Outlander groups that are better and more positive.

Sara P said...

Awesome! Well said! Glad you did!
Cait is wonderful as Claire and a beautiful woman.Those criticism are more about the person making them than anything else. Love the books, love the actors and enjoying the series!

Den1612 said...

well said! Cat is devine in anyone's language - none of us are symmetrically perfect! and you're right - it's bullying in its lowest form - by cowards who can use a keyboard - faceless!!! so thank you for your insight and your rant - you said it all!!!

Anonymous said...

Yup. You said exactly what I've been thinking. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. There are literally thousands of Outlander themed groups on facebook. Some geared for fans of the books, some for the show, some for fans in a certain geographic area. Find one that works for you.

Diana Dart said...

Virtual high fives and enthusiastic head nods for calling this out. And in such an eloquent way!

(And yes--HUZZAH for book one! Enjoy)

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog post! Applause! I left that group long ago. And Cait and her whole body is beautiful. If there were any imperfections! I hadn't noticed! Again, thank you for writing.

Olita Fay said...

Kudos!!! Some women can be entirely too vicious and unforgiving. Sam and Cait are doing an excellent job bringing the books to life. Thanks for saying what I've been thinking for weeks!

Sundee said...

I can't agree more! I put it down to downright jealousy. Just about all of us have a thing for Jamie and so it only stands to reason that no matter how much you tell yourself that they are fictional and they are actors, there is that small part of you that wants to be Cait (and run your hands through that lovely hair!). However, the fact that so many women feel the need to put down Cait for her body is just so shallow, lame and downright mean. I hear it all the time about other actors, models especially, and anyone else who has that extra thing they want, whether it be fame, money or that partner. They need to grow up! Well said. I also applaud you for speaking up. I have no desire to join that OS group. I feel ashamed and annoyed that these people share my passion for this series.

elizabeth said...

well said! Cait (and Cait's body) is beautiful, feminine and natural. she is absolutely courageous! so refreshing to see such naturalness portrayed on tv.

really- anyone criticizing her body, needs to do some serious work to accept themselves.

Eunice Malave said...

Kudos! People need to stop complaining about everything! I am Thankful that the book was finally made unto a series! Yeah!!! Diana Gabaldon has given her Blessing on The changes. Finally most of us would die to have a body like Caitrona! Thanks for such a well written blog, you sum up what ails in some fans. I plan to keep watching and enjoying the difference in the TV series!

Hope Bennett said...

Thank you for sharing. I think people tend to forget that actors/actresses are real people.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like bossy, interfering, arrogant, censoring, micromanaging mods, stay away from the Diana Gabaldon folder in CompuServe's Books & Writes forum. Those guys have had several years to practice and they make the Facebook mods look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Susan Van Hoven said...

So much that has been said is wonderful. How many of us would strip for the whole world to see. These actors have shown immense courage in doing just that. Cait is a beautiful, normal woman. There are so many women in entertainment that are walking around with wobbly or slowly hardening breast implants. My daughter used to be so worried that her breasts were slightly different. What an encouragement to young women that this is perfectly normal, this is the picture of a beautiful natural body. And Sam, I know that he has beefed up for the show, but thank God he has not gone the musclebound route. He looks wonderful, muscular, and natural as any hardworking highlander would look. I also do not like the tone of that group and won't be participating anymore. It is one thing to say that people have a right to their opinions and then claim that right when you are being obnoxious. It is still against the law and bad manners to yell fire in a crowded theater no matter how much you feel like doing it. Thank you for letting me rant.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about groups and admins in general. I did like the fact that this group informs people that there are rules and provides the list of rules when they are accepted into the group, so I felt it was a bit different from other groups where administrators clearly use their "authority" to chastise anyone for any reason, even disagreeing with their opinions. I was kicked out of a group once because it was supposed to be about microfarming and the administrator suddenly started posting anti-religious comments. When I asked when and why the theme of the page had changed, instead of receiving a reply I was told it was not my page and I was booted. I joined another group on animal activism and the administrators started commenting about gun control. Again I apsked what this had to do with saving wild horses and I was blocked from the page. This post addresses an extremely irritating problem with Facebook administration and in a perfect world they would all post rules, or guidelines, and stick to the topic. As for Claire's body--I could not agree more and I am shocked that anyone would find it appropriate to criticize her body and/or compare her beauty to the body of Jaime. I thought the wedding episode was beautiful because it showed his innocence and her confusion, not because of the sex or nudity or size of anyone's buns or breasts. Thank you for speaking out about this issue.

Linda T said...

This is a wonderful post. I am sick to death of women bashing other women and feeling like they can say ANYTHING they want about celebrities as if they weren't actual human beings. I wonder how these "mean girls" would feel if their naked bodies were on TV for millions to see and criticize. It's completely frustrating that this goes on when women should be lifting each other up- not tearing each other down. Don't we get enough of that from other sources?

Anonymous said...

Very, very well said! Some of these Outlander "fan" groups are full of nasty, shallow bullies. I've only managed to find one that's full of lovely people, and in all the months I've been there I've not seen any nasty comments. I won't be looking to join any others.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Well written and right on the money. I was a member of "that" group, and I left a few months before the series premiered - the personal attacks, complaining, and hostility were just disgusting.

susan said...

Thank you for this intelligent post! Caitriona is gorgeous and I would love to have her body and face and skin and breasts, teeth, and hair and talent! And for the haters, their comments say more about themselves...jealous, insecure, unhappy people.'

Anonymous said...

http://www.007b.com/breast_gallery.php Normal Breasts. Cait's are beautiful, non-surgically enhanced breasts.

Debra Ross said...

Perfectly said. Thank you for your insight! I am an admin for a very small Outlander group and we love it because NONE of the members would even think to spew vitriol like you've mentioned. Our discussions are intelligent, funny and RESPECTFUL and we hope to keep it that way.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your comments. I feel like I need to make a comment of my own about the comments on OS about Cait. Most, but not all, of the "body-shaming" you talk about (and since you admit you aren't a member, I feel like I need to point this out), are complaints that Cait's body is not the same as Claire's body. That is a BIG distinction, IMO. I admit I did not see the boob-shaming post by the awful new admin Denise, and in the past people have posted mean things on photos of Cait walking in the Vickie's fashion show, how she needs to eat a sandwich, etc. But almost all of the other comments are about how Cait's appearance does not in any way match the description of Claire from the books. Except maybe her hair color. People are pissed about that. Body shaming is never ok. Being disappointed that an actress was cast who doesn't look like the character is allowed.

Mystic Dreamer said...

I am a member of this group you speak of...but as soon as I post this I am gonna go leave the group. I am in so many groups that I haven't seen the post you speak of, but I am not that type of person and will not have my name associated with it. Thank you so much for your blog it was brilliant and I hope you decide to read the books they are fantastic. And so is the series. Thanks again!

V. Newton said...

Well said, Hope!

Anonymous said...

I am a member of that OS group and it is GREAT! I am being anonymous here (like lots of you) because I had frends banned there but they did deserve it. They are funny as hell but pushed the admins buttons on purpose for fun, So whatever. I saw that article and only a few people said cait's boobs looked funny in her dress. The mod deleted them like she warned them she would. You have been used to attack this group and you never even saw what your bitching about. SMH. And really, you say you love being offensive but then call down offensve people? lol

Melanie Soto said...

I was part of that group. I was removed for daring to voice my disagreement of the female moderators handling of that thread, which SHE initiated. She actually started a thread to express what you HATED about the show and forbid anyone to post anything positive within the thread. She went further to say she saw nothing wrong with the comments made about the actress and her fellow moderator (who is also the group owner)supported her in that very bad judgement. I thought it was a fan group. That isn't my idea of a fan group.

Melanie Soto said...

Anonymous, that is not true. There were comments made about Cait standing their nude, sans dress, and I saw with my own eyes, the admin say she found nothing wrong with comments about Cait's breast size, shape, perkiness(or lack of). People went so far as to say she should have used a body double, had weird nips and should have had implants and those comments were allowed to stand

Tee said...

Dearest Anonymous @ September 25, 2014 at 9:07 AM

I find it curious you assume I didn't 'see' the body-shaming on the OS page. You do know what they say about assuming, right? Except, I won't be the one who looks like an ass. Internet ignorance is unacceptable. If you write something, that something is cached, meaning it never really goes away. On top of that, I may not be a part of OS, but I have seen screen captures, transcripts and direct quotes of the horrible comments people made. The issue is bigger than the OS Facebook group, but you seemed to have missed that point. I wanted to touch base about the group because of it's appalling moderation.

My friend was banned from OS for stating an opinion. She didn't swear, she didn't call names, and she isn't a boat rocker. That's why I used the OS Facebook group. As it goes, my blog was posted there and REMOVED, even after receiving a plethora of likes and spurring a very important discussion about body-shaming. The removal proves a point all in itself.

Using Cait and the horrible comments made about her is only an example of what society condones, the shaming of celebrities, and the dark underbelly of fandom, that can in fact cause a lot of harm.

In regards to my 'offensiveness', purely tongue-in-cheek. Anyone who reads my blog or gets to know me in person would understand that.

Anonymous said...

I was a member of OS for a very long time. The larger it became, the worse it became. I think the problem is that only 2 people moderate a group with almost 35,000 members.

I was kicked out, because I questioned the way some posts were being removed out of a thread started by one of the moderators. Imagine my surprise to find out this very thread is the one where all the body shaming went on! I am glad I missed all of that.

I don't think the real issue is Cait and how she doesn't 'look like book Claire', but that any kind of body shaming was allowed to remain in the thread! .

I know several members messaged BOTH moderators about removing the body shaming posts in the thread and they were told that those posts were 'opinions' and that they would stay.

How simple it would have been, to remove the entire thread. No drama, no infighting and no continuation of the body shaming. Instead, the moderator chose to dig in her heels and the other moderator chose to 'allow' it to remain, silently supporting the body shaming as well.

From what I have been reading, it seems that a lot of picking and choosing goes on now, over what gets removed. It also seems that a lot of old reliable members have either left or been kicked out for questioning the ever shifting 'rules'.

It's sad, because at one time OS was not only the largest group on FB, but one of the most fun.

Meghan said...

The true disgrace here is moderators who were approached about bullying in the form of body shaming taking place and chose to allow it to continue. Facebook does not tolerate bullying or harassment, these moderators are using Facebook as their platform and perpetuating bullying. There is no excuse that will save face and justify the actions of those moderators and they should be rightfully reported and action taken.

Fabienne said...

May I be devils advocate for a tiny second? Now I haven't seen the post in question but I know of the OS group... I'm a member there actually.
I believe the case was that the admin posted "Everthing I hated about the Wedding" post was so that _that_ could be a post for people to comment with their dislikes about the episode, and not use other posts/threads for it... and that she wanted the OP to stay on topic... *i think*

ok devils advocate over :) *phew*

Actually, I dislike OS in general cause if you post one opinion that's different from the grand total you're basically getting slammed in the comments.. just for having an opinion. I've seen it happen multiple times... ugh. Some of those ppl disgust me.

I'm glad to say I now belong to a smaller group, which I also admin now. :)

Melanie Soto said...

Fabienne I think it's admirable that you did play Devil's Advocate since you don't care for the group. That shows impartiality to me.
The problem with that thread wasn't that it was for people to post what they didn't like, it's that it was initiated as a post for what you hated with any positive posts being forbidden. No other member could control their thread that way and many felt it was a crappy, inflammatory move on an admins part(there are plenty of I hate such and such posts) and it then turned into "let's make fun of Caitriona's body" If anyone defended Cait or disagreed with the premise of the post they were banned. The admins steadfastly refused to remove the comments belittling her body, in spite of being approached politely and asked to do so. They weren't even asked to remove the thread, only the body shaming comments.

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog post that has been spread and reposted many places in the past couple of days and has generated much discussion. Brava for calling out the body-shamers.

Somer Stone said...

Partly copied off my comment to a an awesome thread that talked about your article (thought you might want to read it too ��):

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Shamefully (ok, maybe not anymore!), I am one of the "banned" peeps. I posted a "positive" comment on that thread, defending and loving our beloved show and actors, and not surprisingly, it was deleted. Okay. So I took her advice and commented on a "different" thread about how awful it was to have such negativity on that group encouraged by the "admin" herself. A ton of people agreed with me. Next thing I know, I'm completely whisked away (cyberspace-style haha!) and COMPLETELY blocked off their group! Say what?!?! I was shocked! So happy to hear that I'm not the only one who thought it was pure insanity over there!

**Glad to see Hope Bennett (I think we were kicked off at the same time!) and Melanie Soto again. Y'all are awesome and I LOVED your comments / posts for months. It's really crazy to me to see that an admin banned good people and kept the bad people on. At least we're not the only ones who feel this way. Hope I can find you guys in another (hopefully, "positive") group. I feel a THOUSAND times vindicated!!

~ Somer

Anonymous said...

You are spot on with your article. I left that group a couple of months ago after experiencing such an incredible level of bitchiness that I found myself shocked. There are SUCH better Outlander groups on facebook. Finally, thank you for saying that we should support our own sex; we certainly should, but actually, we should lift up EVERYONE around us.

Kim H said...

Thank you for the breath of fresh air! You are spot on,I *hate that some shame others to make themselves feel better. They are nasty and shallow people that I can do without.
And please, the last line of Kathy H's post. :)

kitsmom1991 said...

I am in several Outlander groups and have no idea what you are writing about. How can you join a group and in two days be an absolute expert? I have been reading the Outlander series for nearly twenty years, probably when you were just a baby. I love the books, the show and the groups. Your article is a piece of dribble from someone who insists they are well informed when in actuality, they not as mature as my dog. Grow up. People are entitled to their opinions (just as you are) and if they are happy in a group that you just don't get, then leave. Find another group to write about that fits your brain power, the place you are in your life's path and grow heck up. You won't be the smartest and fastest for too many years. The others are on your heels. Run...and fast.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure you get the point, kitsmom1991. This was about body shaming and how it was allowed to be left up on a page, even though the moderators were repeatedly asked by members of the that group to remove the body shaming portions of the thread. It was also about how absolute power corrupts, absolutely, even in something as innocuous as a Facebook fan group page. This isn't an 'article', it is the author's blog. Much like the rules in your Facebook page, this is her blog and she gets to post what she wants. You get the choice to not click on and read her entries, my guess is that will be your decision. Win/Win situation for both of you. Cheers!

Tee said...

@kitsmom1991 - You are far too kind and I thank you for the compliment, but rest assured I wasn't born twenty years ago. I am so very flattered you think I am in my twenties. Other than that, I am seriously questioning whether you actually read the post I wrote. If you did, you'd know I don't belong to OS and never have. There has been some amazing feedback from many members of that group and others, and many of the responses have been validating the accuracy of the moderation issue and the terribleness of body-shaming.

Your comment isn't really clear. Are you upset because I am questioning the moderation on this group or that I am bringing to light body-shaming?

I am not the smartest, nor the fastest, but I have opinions, and they clearly resonate with a lot of people. Maybe not you, but you win some, you lose some. <3

Margaret said...

Okay. So, IF your kid goes to the principal and informs them that they witnessed bullying, that made them uncomfortable and they ask that principal to please, PLEASE do something to make it stop and that principal...who is IN CHARGE, tells them that they haven't seen any bullying, in fact, they made a room just for those who have an "opinion" to voice there "feelings" and if your kid doesn't like it..well...they should just find some other school to go to. You'd be cool with that, right? You'd bake cookies and celebrate? Because your kid is stupid and how does he/she know what bullying looks like, your kid is full of fucking dribble and is less mature than my dog, what the fuck do they know! Right!! Totally justified! Keep on keepin' on, because you're a piece of fucking work kitsmom1991.

KatieDidn't said...

Lmfao Margaret! Excellent analogy!

KatieDidn't said...

You're a special kind of stupid, aren't you?

linny t said...

Funny, KatieDidn't, i feel exactly the opposite. How can you judge either the book, the series, OR the page (OS) if you don't read it, don't spend time there, don't watch it, or whatever -- just base an entire rant on what someone else "told you" ... there really ARE more sides to a story than one! Peace!

Tee said...

@Linny T - Did you also not read the post?

There was no judgement being passed or made on the series or the book. And the opinions I have on the series are based upon comments I've seen people make about Cait and her body, and the moderation issues I've seen first hand, and are detailed in the comments above yours.

Melanie Soto said...

Linny T...do you know what a screen shot is? This isn't hear say, not only did many people witness what was said, there are multiple screen shots circling, as well as rude pms sent by the admins that back up the things stated.

Laura McComas said...

I do watch Outlander, and have read ALL the books (currently reading Written in my own hearts blood)and I have to say that the Show is following the books really closely, a whole lot better than I anticipated. And I watched the wedding episode and the wedding night episode...and quite frankly, I didn't even pay attention to exactly what her body looked like. I saw the over all picture and how the scenes were done. I thought it was fantastic. My body is far from good...I am very overweight, and my breasts are huge, but even as big as they are, they are not exact. No woman's boobs are, unless you have a silicone implant that had been filled with the exact same amount making them perfect on both sides. People just need to get over themselves...

Anonymous said...

Cait is gorgeous! I think people may have expectations based on the books, as in fact, I myself do. The whiskey coloured eyes and ample arse Jamie's so fondly mentions throughout the books may be lacking, but Cait does a great job of bringing Claire to life and she is a knockout to boot. Those are minor things a viewing audience needs to just get over. As far as plot changes, they bother me to some degree, but I certainly am enjoying the show regardless. Some manyy times over book series readers seem harsh on the show, I think, because we are such ardent fans of the writing and the story perfection as written. As one of those crazy book fans, I want to love this show as much as I love the books. And in all honesty, while I am enjoying it, my opinion is still out on if I can say I do love it as much as the books.... For now!

ashley said...

Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!! I think Cait is absolutely sexy as hell! And I like her boobs. The average woman doesn't have a perfect, perky, porn star set of breasts to bobble around for show, and I think Cait's make Claire seem even more normal.

Anonymous said...

Melanie Soto. Are you stupid or just pretending to be? Screen shots can be manipulated easily and parts deleted in a conversation to make someone look bad. Screen shots are only good if you see the entire conversation and all previous one leading up to it. Maybe the mod was sick of bullshit from the person and figured WTF piss off already. They are only human too. I was a mod for 7 years and know that people do NOT want to be censored, but they WANT censorship. You cant please nobody but the rules makers. If someone was rude, maybe they were just answering a rude comment or a gang up of rudeness? Ever think of that? Crybabies got booted and are now slamming the mod who booted them. People like you make me sick.

Cheryl Robinson said...

@kitsmom1991 by your comments, I see that you are in the right group! Wow! Nasty much? The article was about women body shaming other women. You have to agree that it happens and that it is unacceptable. I am probably one of the older Outlander fans and I was near the cutting edge of the women's movement. If women are ever going to achieve any type of equality or acceptance, they have to stop attacking each other for ridiculous and unimportant things. If any of this happened, and many posters before you seem to think they did, it is childish and sad. THAT was the point of the article. Personally, as someone who has read all the books many times and watched all the episodes as often as possible, I don't recall thinking that Claire was anything but lovely, and was about to be a VERRA lucky woman!

Sara said...

I belong to the OS group but I'm not sure how much longer I will stay due this whole kerfuffle. I am absolutely horrified that body shaming Cait was allowed. I can understand creating a thread where ALL comments about the show are welcome, negative and positive and if one gives another a hard time, that comment would be deleted at that point. THAT I get. At one time, it was a really fun group. I saw some of the new mod's rude comments when she was still just a member so I knew it was only a matter of time before she used her power to her personal advantage. I've seen a lot of good people kicked out. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing ! This is what a real beauty with real breats look like.

Melanie Soto said...

Well, Anonymous, I am far from stupid, nor am I a rude jerk like you seem to be. You don't know what happened and I guess for that, we can excuse your tone.
I know what I witnessed taking place, I know the things that were said about Caits body and left on the thread with the approval of both admins because I saw them as they were posted. I also saw pms that were sent. I am sorry that you are so unusually defensive of the group that it drives you to be utterly nasty and that you can not entertain the possibility that the truth is being spoken. Perhaps you should see someone about that.

Anonymous said...

Well Melanie Soto, maybe you seek help if you need to bash a group who banned you and you cant get over it. How pathetic of a life you must have. I am not unusually defensive of that group because I have never heard of it. I don't know anything about the book either but I know facebook groups having had one and I know banned members can be liars, bitter bitches who will do or say anything for revenge. You and all the others who say they were banned look like the real assholes. I can see why you were booted.

Melanie Soto said...

So you've never heard of it but consider yourself an expert on what occurred? You are rude, you write poorly, and resorting to name calling and profanity speaks volumes about what kind of person you are. The fact you failed to address the primary content of the blog proves your purpose here is to create drama.

Denise Sevier Fries said...

Hello Anonymous Tee. (What a lovely name!) I cannot possibly address all manipulated half-truths and childish nonsense you and your followers spew here, so please, come read my response to this drivel at Parca's Chosen, a blog that can boast an author with a real name and honest content. The post is called 'OUTLANDER: A Rebuttal To A Wee Coward and Her Sheep. Cheers! :)

http://parcaschosen.blogspot.ca/2014/09/outlander-rebuttal-to-wee-coward-and.html

Anonymous said...

Oh look. Here you are whoring out your boring drivel on someone else's blog. Typical.

Ms. Pippin said...

What can I say, oh right, it's what I did say... this blog was well written. Yes, I said that. Mrs. Fries chose to leave my small, event planning group because of my statement. For the record, _this_ blog was not posted in the 50-member group, nor was there any mention of this entire issue in that group. Mrs. Fries and I did not have any sort of discussion in the small group regarding any of this. I will day this about April (whom I know), and myself: we are dedicated fans of Diana's and have spent a lot of our own personal resources to raise money for charity. This I know. Mrs. Fries and I, through personal messaging, have disagreed (in my opinion) on how I can critique an article without agreeing on content. It's pretty easy actually, one only has to look at structure and grammar, and perhaps taken years of science courses like I have and actually conduct scientific writing. I don't have to agree or disagree. Furthermore, I am in the OS group and have had my opinion beaten down as if I were a rug needing a good spring cleaning. No one came to my rescue there and I eventually turned off any notifications on threads in which I'd commented. No big deal. I peek in there to see what is going on now and again but refrain from adding to a hot topic. Yet I get called out in Mrs. Fries' article because she is uncomfortable in a little group that is blissfully unaware of the maelstrom occurring concerning their administrator. Folks, I'm a doer and so is April. If you want to know how to put on successful fundraising events for Diana's or Cait's charities, we would be more than pleased to chat with you. Lastly, I don't know Alex (even though we live in the same city) nor do I have anything against him. PS: I'm not Canadian.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Mrs. Fries would like to explain why, if they got rid of troublemakers, that Outlander Series is still chock full of constant bickering. Also, why those snide, bickering members are not being banned for doing the very things that previously removed members were told they were banned for.
Pardon me, Alex and Denise, but your hypocrisy is showing.

Anonymous said...

This post surely shines a light in the darkness. The mods on OSFG are dictators who elevate the rabble rousers and eject anyone who stands up to them. They care more about abusing the illusion of power.

The problem is, people like these mods are so delusional and mentally unbalanced that they wholeheartedly believe in the way the run things

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but pointing out that someone has deformed boobs is not an act of jealousy it's disgust!!

Anonymous said...

You are right on with this. I'm so amazed by the 'fans' who seem to go out of their way to stir up negativity about this wonderful show. If it was poorly done, then maybe I could understand the criticism. Although I agree. There is no place for petty, pointless statements about Cait's body.
The actors, all of them, are marvelous and I for one am thankful that they share their great talent with us. That goes for the writers, directors and other artist who make Outlander come to life.
I would challenge you to give the show a try. And then maybe the books. I don't think you would be disappointed.

Heaven on the lake said...

I agree!

Anonymous said...

I agree with your commentary completely I would add one caveat. I agree Cait is in fact a beautiful woman who in no way deserves anyone's critique about her body. She is in fact an ex Victoria Secret Model. However, I am also a believer that when asked on certain FB pages is she fits the "description" of what you envisioned Claire to be, then in that context I do not believe it is inappropriate to observe that her breast are much smaller than the ones described by Diana. That is not a commentary on their beauty but an observation of a different body than the one described. Additionally she does in fact possess blue eyes and our heroine in the book has gold as we all know. In that context she is not physically how I envisioned Claire. Her eyes are beautiful blue, but they are not in fact gold. Her height again several inches taller than description. Again she is lovely and beautiful and doing a wonderful job bringing Claire to life. I do not believe that in the context which I described that would be considered body slamming.

Mary Evans said...

I am such a big fan of both the books and the show..Just happy to see
it come to the screen. and to be honest I never had a preconceived notion of Claire from the books...and our Claire is very beautiful and has done a wonderful job with the part..the point being made is they are characters in a show..and so correctly stated, you cannot marry either of them..nor will they love YOU no matter how you choose to fantasize..and the critique of our beloved Jamie and Claire (Sam and Catriona) makes no sense to me whatsoever..Folks, they are real life people..not perfect at every moment...get over yourselves..or don't watch the show...

Jeanie said...

thank you. Couldn't have said it better. In the beginning, I commented and disagreed and said similar stuff (probably not as well) as you have. I finally gave up and try to avoid those conversations. That one group really complains about everything, while I am just thrilled to have Jamie and Claire brought to life. Love all of the actors. Expecting them to be exactly what you visualize in your head is impossible, even DG has said as much. And something that really rubs me wrong are those who want to drop Starz during Droughtlander. Our subscriptions are what allows them to continue bringing us great series. Some people just want their cake and want to eat it, too.

Donna Stevens said...

I say that if anyone wants to complain about someone's body porportions than I say let them get naked on camera and let the comments fly. I love Cait as Claire. She is an incredible beautiful and talented actress. I envy her getting to work so "closely" with the other wonderful actors. I love all the books and I love the series just as much.

ssherrill115 said...

You, my friend, are brilliant - and right on the money. Thank you for saying what others of us only think. **high five**

ps - you should really read the books they are very good.

Anonymous said...

So well said. My husband and I both enjoy the series and have both enjoyed the books. I am so appreciative that they're making a series bsed on these wonderful books. I, too was a member of that group and had the audacity to suggest someone needed to marshall their own resources and make their own series if they had so many problems with Ron Moore and others. My post was deleted because it was "snarky." I'm so very tired of the negativity and bullying. I really enjoyed your post.

agirlwithspirit said...

Very well said, the tearing down of celebrities and women in general is appalling.

Susan Van Hoven said...

I totally agree. As far as I'm concerned, women who want to criticize another woman's appearance should post a picture of themselves to show their own perfection and how qualified they are to make such criticisms.

Susan Van Hoven said...

I totally agree. As far as I'm concerned, women who want to criticize another woman's appearance should post a picture of themselves to show their own perfection and how qualified they are to make such criticisms.

Trip to Scotland said...

All great points. I left the OS facebook page because the moderators were so petty. But the boob thing. Geez. One of the wonderful things about British (vs. American) actors is that they are not enhanced. Tobias Menzies has crooked teeth. Caitroina Balfe sports her own thirty-something breasts (and yes, very lovely they are), not silicone boulders. And Sam (well, need I say more?) I like actors who go on talent - and are lovely to look at, but still organic enough to be considered human rather than Cyborg.

dvcrztb said...

I was a member of both groups and when they cut one of the moderators of the the second group, I left the huge group. I prefer the smaller more intimate group that does not rip people apart and loves their Sam and Caitrona and the Outlander Series and all that can be connected to it. I read the books as they came out, so quite a long time before the TV adaptation. I love both and the casting for the show is perfect. There is such chemistry between the two leads and even the supporting characters are perfectly cast.

Suzanne Cole-Rice said...

I can't believe anyone would think Caitroina has an ugly features! She is absolutely gorgeous! And she has such grace and style. In my opinion, anyone who bashes people in such a shallow way is just jealous & insecure. I just ignore them. Life is too short! And I agree with Trip to Scotland, we Americans have grown up with too much Hollywood plastic. I like real people! And the whole cast and crew are such a group of real, down to earth, caring people. We as fans should honor them by being the same.

Anonymous said...

Yaaay!! Come over to the dark side....bwaaahaaahaaa!! LOL Enjoy the ride!!!! xx

Trudy said...

Thank you so much for this post!!! I only discovered Outlander last year but love this series, both books and show, so much. As for Cait/Claire, she is a role model for me; Cait is a strong woman whom I admire tremendously and take criticism of her as an insult to her. Cait was a top model for many fashion houses and you don't get there if you are delinquent in any physical way! So to the bashers of her physical beauty: Shut up and look to yourselves first; you should be so fortunate! As for this so-called fan group, I haven't heard anything good about it; they should be ashamed of themselves.

Tracie Boyd said...

So well written. I agree with everything you have shared. I am a huge book and series fan. All I can say about Cait is that she is beautiful as herself and beautiful as Claire. Her beauty is pretty natural too and while I love men, I can say she has a beautiful body .......breasts and all. She looks like a real woman......She looks great glammed up and great crying with a red nose and no make up......I love how comfortable with her body that she is and that you can tell she has not had "work" done...... Thanks for sharing your opinion, I share it with you.

Anonymous said...

Outlander Uncensored, and Outlandered are great Outlander fan groups on FB. You can be yourself as long as you aren't purposely causing trouble. Very respectful of their members and the Cast Outlander they were born because of the group that you refer to.

Anonymous said...

Good heavens, if I could look like Caitriona Balfe, I would be jumping for joy. I agree, people spend way too much time being negative, especially toward things that are clearly beautiful and it makes no sense. I love Outlander, but some of the "fans" leave me scratching my head. I hope maybe they are having a bad day or something less malevolent than being a mean girl. I also left that large OS fan page as well, it wasn't for me for many reasons. I have happily found an Outlander fan home elsewhere a little less negative/controlling.

Anonymous said...

I have never watched the show. Saw Caitriona and thought, wow, what a beautiful woman and ended up on this thread. It is so sad that women in particular feel a need to criticize others. Alas, the internet where we don't have to be truly accountable for our words...

SoSheSays said...

It's well said : the woman is indeed beautiful and people body-shaming her should take a look in the mirror, see how their own bodies match their high standards. However... I do have to say that some of the naked scenes did not present her in the best of lights but not because she is not beautiful or has a less than beautiful body but because the director was not filming them in the most idealistic way possible. The nakedness is too blunt and exposed making it subject to these comments because it is just too obvious and mercilessly filmed!
Apart from that... It is women mostly who watch this show. They want to be Claire so they feel good bashing her. Women are women. And yes I am a woman too.

Marjorie said...

Well now I know why Balfe was so covered up in season 2. I had no idea about these critical & shaming post of her. A deleted scene of season 2 shows Balfe wearing a nude bra under her shift. I couldn't figure out why. I love watching her however she is, covered or no but I miss the fresh raw approach of season 1. It sometimes felt like you were experiencing what the characters were and so much of that came from Balfe's performance. F### em Balfe. Don't let the sons of bitches get you down.

Paula K. said...

I just found OUtlander this year and have binged watched both seasons. LOVE the show. I haven't read all the comments on this post, but just wanted to say that I was impressed that for once there was a woman on TV that depicts a normal woman's body. Most women don't have perfect bodies. Yes, Cait's breasts are not perfect, but in this case, the hottie still adores her....both on screen and off. So she should be praised for being real and not being afraid to just be herself. I wish there was more of this in the world.

Anonymous said...

Claire's sagging breasts actually fit in the time frame because nobody back then wore brassiere's to keep them from doing so. And I don't feel like I am bashing her, but I do feel she is and 8 to Jamie's 12 onscreen - and so are mismatched. The costumers and makeup didn't help either - pulling her hair back makes her look older, and the costume they put her in in Season 3 to return to Jamie's time was just awful.

On the other hand, in Season 2 they showed Jamie as continually clean shaven which made me miss his less groomed but more manly highlander appearance. Sigh.