Kate Upton Goes to College

Nothing against Kate Upton, she is beautiful and actually quite intelligent. But she does not belong in my college. In my dorm. In my lounge.

Earlier today I passed by the communal lounge to find the one and only Sports Illustrated model gracing the bland and outdated wall of Caroline Hall.

kate upton in our loungeI smiled at the few boys sitting in the lounge and continued on my way.

And then I cried.

How could such blatant sexual objectification exist within the confines of academia? How could the 100 boys that live in this dorm disrespect the 15 girls residing here by issuing this nonverbal statement of gender inequality?

This was more than a picture. This was a mentality. An attitude that expressed what women are meant to be. Nothing. Nothing but an image and a body.

And it was in a communal space meant to allow males, females, and all genders in between to feel comfortable.

How am I ever going to sit in that lounge again? How will I ever look any of those boys in the eyes again knowing that they are looking back at me as nothing more than an object?

I casually brought up the topic of the poster.

They asked if I would like a picture of Ryan Gosling on the wall. I said no. No question. That is awkward and uncomfortable. No. No thank you. I like Ryan Gosling, I think he is handsome, but I also think a whole heck of a lot more about him than can ever be expressed in a shirtless image of him with a coy smile.

I just lost some friends today.

But I gained a mission.

I’m no longer going to be a silent feminist. I am going to actively raise my voice to let others know that gender equality is both a goal worth fighting for and a future that is drawing near. I may not hold protests, but I will share my opinions and discuss the discrepancies between genders and what can be done to combat such differences.

Kate Upton, the next time you’d like to attend college, please bring a sweater.

15 thoughts on “Kate Upton Goes to College

  1. Love this!! It can be so hard to stand up to stuff like this in college when you feel like you’re the only one dissenting. Good for you! If you lost friends over Kate Upton, it seems like there are better friends out there for a smart person like you anyway! Also, so glad to know I’m not the only one who goes to sleep at a decent time in college 🙂 I’m following you forevah, your blog makes me smile bright and be proud of my responsible ways! Thanks for sharing.

    • Haha thank you so much! I’m still a bit mad about the whole Kate Upton thing, but I feel glad that I at least acknowledged the fact that it happened. That acknowledgement and the sleep that I got that night helped me heal a bit 🙂

  2. I may have read it wrong but it sounded like you may have generalised a bit, assuming all 100 guys want it there and that every single guy thinks and acts the same. I’m not saying that makes it right, just that it’s not fair to label all the guys there with the same thing if only a few are responsible. All I’m saying is not every guy will look at you as only an object, so you’ll be writing off some genuine nice guys by labelling them as the same as all the rest. By all means take that stand, I applaud you for it … just don’t assume every guy is the same, there are good ones out there as well.

    • I’m sorry, I truly didn’t mean to generalize, but when you get that upset about something it seems as though everyone is conspiring to bring you down. There are a lot of nice guys on this floor, but upon seeing something like that it just felt overwhelming. I wasn’t trying to label anyone, but merely tried to express how heartbreaking it is when the 25 guys that I did talk to all saw no problem with the poster (though some may have been following the group mentality which is still bad). Thank you so much for your comment and I’m glad I could clear that up.

  3. Katy, at the risk of re-igniting your righteous indignation, I’m going to weigh in with another guy’s perspective. I’ll start by saying that as the father of two daughters I too am sensitive to anything that cheapens or objectifies women. That said, I don’t think this image crosses that line.

    Kate Upton is a professional model by choice and worked very hard to get where she is. To me that photo shows not only her beauty, but a sense of her intelligence and power. Photos of top female athletes in Outside or Running Times magazines convey the same effect. They are not Playboy-style “take-me-I’m yours” poses.

    In contrast, consider the quote from Victoria’s Secret model booker, Sophia Neophitou: “We would never use [Kate]. She’s like a soccer player’s wife, with the too-blonde hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy.” Now there’s objectification for you.

    • Thank you very much for your comment and I appreciate your input because I feel that I should have given some more context to this story. While not mentioned in this post (because it doesn’t directly apply to the topic) they have done many other things to cross the line. They have written derogatory and inappropriate comments on our bulletin boards (regarding Ms. Upton and various girls in the dorm), they have made our girl RA feel uncomfortable, and they did not respect that our lounge is a welcome space to be shared by all.

      Also, I truly have nothing against Kate Upton; I’m aware that she is very intelligent and I really enjoy following what she is up too. This post was not so much about the poster, as it was the boys in my building and the hurtful attitudes that they’ve expressed. And it does make me feel uncomfortable, not because she is showing how fit she is, but because that is an ideal that the media tells women they should live up to, and it is completely unrealistic.

      • They have written derogatory and inappropriate comments on our bulletin boards (regarding Ms. Upton and various girls in the dorm), they have made our girl RA feel uncomfortable)…
        In that case I’m with you – that’s unacceptable behavior. I hope a way can be found to resolve things – perhaps a quiet word with your RAs? I never did that kind of thing in college, but I also really had no idea back then how remarks we guys make (that are routine and mean nothing among us) can hurt girls so deeply. Best of luck, and by all means stand up for yourself!

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