I get a lot of flack for my photographs and book cover. People think the photos are too sensual, too sexy, pornographic and all types of ridiculous things depending on their own standards. People assume I’m peddling sex or that I’m a stripper, or worse, that I’m one of those women who randomly tags people into her bathroom booty pictures on Facebook. They assume that I’m ignorant, uneducated, that I have low morals, that I’m an attention whore and that I don’t believe in, respect or love God. They seem to forget that God made the human body and that some of the most famous artwork in the world consists of the human body shown nude. I receive the most criticism from people who say they are Christians. I find it all very interesting. I’m a walking, living, breathing social experiment watching the world and how it reacts simply because it judges a book by its cover instead of reading the pages.
Recently an article was written about me by Yvette Caslin for Rolling Out Magazine with a very provocative title. The title is a definite attention getter and I love it. If a person only reads the title, they will make several assumptions about it and the content of the article. That title will either persuade them to read the article or it will dissuade them from reading the article. However, without actually reading the article, people will likely make the wrong assumption. Someone who read the article, and had seen my book prior but didn’t buy it, said to me that after reading the article they feel completely different about my book than they did before. What they had done prior was look that the book cover of my book, read the title of my book, and made a determination that it wasn’t worth their time, energy, effort or money to purchase. She probably assumed I was a younger, (single) woman who had written a tell-all book about all of the raunchy, nasty, dirty sex I had previously had with random men (ala Karrine Steffans). Now, after reading the article in Rolling Out Magazine, this person can’t wait to buy a copy of my book so she can enhance her relationship with her husband.
It’s not unusual for anyone to judge a book by its cover. We’ve all done it at some point towards someone else. A lot of it is our biases which develop because of our experiences, our social environment, our personal views, and our upbringing. Anyone who says they’ve never formed an opinion about someone without knowing them is dishonest. Even if for a split second, everyone has done it. Some people just do it more often and more to the extreme than others. If you dislike someone without ever having personal interaction with that person, and you can’t clearly verbalize a logical explanation for your dislike of that person (i.e. she looked at me funny/she thinks she’s cute), it’s likely you are judging a book by its cover. Although this occurs in society as a whole, it is constant behavior among women. So many woman have “disliked” me for unexplainable reasons. Those who have taken the time to actually get to know me, discover that I am nothing like they “thought” I was. Unfortunately, very few people take the opportunity to get to know someone prior to forming an opinion about them from afar. It would be nice if that weren’t the case.
There’s a woman I see often in passing. Until yesterday, I didn’t know her name or anything about her. All I knew about her was that she never spoke to me or smiled when she and I would pass each other, regardless of how pleasantly I said hello, attempted to make eye contact with her or how big my smile was. Eventually, I began to feel rejected, as anyone would, and I stopped making an effort to speak to her. I felt it was a waste of time and energy because she would never reply to me. She’s not the first woman to not speak to me. Believe it or not, it’s a regular occurrence in my life for women to behave this way towards me. [My personal defense mechanism is to ignore them everytime they are anywhere near me. That method may not be best for everyone, but it prevents me from becoming annoyed by something I have no control over.] After having more recent interaction with this particular woman, I discovered that she had some personal conflicts in her life that were taking a stressful toll on her. Having been in a similar situation in my life before, I now sympathize with her instead of thinking she’s just an angry and rude woman. Although her situation doesn’t excuse her behavior (and she may very well be both angry and rude), now knowing that she’s going through drama in her personal life allows me to no longer judge her harshly based on a brief encounter with her. She’s human and she’s allowed to have some bad days. I have my bad days, too. Being Super Woman is hard work and it’s stressful. It would be nice if this woman didn’t take her bad days out on anyone else, but I can’t control that. The only think I can control is whether or not I judge her without taking the time to get to know her. I’m not saying she and I will become friends, but the next time I speak and she doesn’t, I won’t feel rejected and I won’t think poorly of her as a result. She’s not just a book cover to me now.
Every book written isn’t the sum of its cover. There are pages inside of books for a reason. The pages are there to tell the story. Sometimes a book cover is just a pretty picture utilized to grab your attention and nothing more. Sometimes a book cover gives you a brief visual idea of what the book is about. And sometimes a book cover has nothing to do with the content on the pages. Take the time to read the book for yourself and form your own opinion based on what you read, not just what you see on the cover. You may find that if you take the time and effort to do so, it may change how you react to things in your life in general.