#LaVie: I Was Slut Shamed At Disneyland Paris

9

boobs

At a certain point in life—you’re married, middle-aged, a mom of two—you start to believe you’re beyond the tentacular grasp of certain kinds of judgment. You think, I’m an adult, I have a family, I answer to “mama” more than “Maggie,” there’s no way I could be slut shamed. Especially not on the glorious day you’re celebrating your daughter’s birth at the Happiest Place on Earth. But you’d be wrong. Oh HO, are you wrong!

All was well as we embarked on our second day at the HPoE. We’d already done Peter Pan, Teacups, Dumbo, Buzz Lightyear, Nautilus and Space Mountain and it wasn’t even 10am. We finally headed toward Phantom Manor, which my kids had been begging for/dreading for the past two days. Ultimately, the four-year-old went with his dad while the seven-year-old birthday girl decided she was too scared and stayed with me. But after a bit of coaxing, she agreed to try it.

As we passed through the wrought-iron gates, I cheerfully said, “Bonjour” to the greeter, a woman dressed in a faux Victorian costume. She answered, “Bonjour,” then gestured to my top, indicating I should cover up, “You should watch out for that.” I was wearing a flowy kimono over one of my black bodysuits. At first I thought, Oh, maybe there’s something that will trip me up in the haunted house and she wants to make sure I don’t get injured.

Seconds later, it hit me. She wasn’t worried about me being injured. She wanted to make sure I didn’t injure someone’s sensibilities with my TITTIES.

(Aside: Why am I always blindsided by verbal put-downs? Like they always take a few moments to register and then my shock-and-awe button’s detonated and it’s all steam out of my ears and “fuck you” out of my mouth. As opposed to a genteel, Jesus-ish response that both chastens and teaches the offender.)

As photographic evidence makes clear, my barely B’s aren’t the kind of breastage that can poke anyone’s eyes out, literally or figuratively. For that matter, my Disneyland attire hardly qualifies as daring. But what does a slutty mom know? In the priss’s (very minimal) defense—because there’s no excuse for slut shaming, ever—my nipples may have been standing at attention as they are wont to do. Blame the Paris weather.

Once I realized she was handing me a Modesty Police ticket, I gave her the stink-eye and answered, “WHY? What should I be ‘watching out for?'”

Victor Victoria sputtered back, “Your breasts.”

“And?” More stink-eye. Steel in my voice.

“There are children.”

Think of the children! I threw open my kimono so my appalling tatas were in full view. “Yes, children have seen breasts before. These shouldn’t be a problem for them.”

Her disapproving mouth gaped open and I swept up the stairs with my daughter beside me going, “What was she saying, mama?”

This is what upsets me the most about this confrontation. We were happily celebrating my 7-year-old’s birthday when this random busybody decided to stick her large nose in my small boobs. Apart from flouting the basic tenets of feminism and sisterhood, this woman who is paid by Disneyland to be nice to guests decided that slut shaming a mother in the presence of her young daughter was something she had the right to do.

I spent the next half hour fuming and the rest of the day crossing my arms over my chest, making sure my kimono was closed, then being annoyed at myself and opening it back up. That’s the insidious thing about someone shaming you—it usually works, even on a grown-ass woman who’s worked real hard for her personal power. It also bums me out that my daughter had to see me in yet another uncomfortable situation, one simmering with judgment and anger. She doesn’t deserve that and certainly not on her birthday. She also didn’t do the haunted house because after this exchange, she understandably felt confused and frightened and decided it was all too scary.

Meanwhile, beaches in Southern France are currently fining Muslim women and making them strip off their clothes in the name of security. Can’t have it both ways, France. Or maybe shaming women of color in front of their bewildered children is simply the French way? Yes, I’m being deliberately—instead of unintentionally—provocative right now.

To sum up: Policing a woman’s clothing or body is wrong no matter what.

To the Disneyland Modesty policewoman: Fuck You.

To the Mayor of Cannes and the policemen on the beach: Fuck You.

Sorry, Jesus.

Share.

About Author

Maggie Kim

Maggie Kim is a writer, musician and the founder of LES LOLOS.

9 Comments

  1. From the picture, I have to ask, was she of Maghrebin origin? Not that it should matter but the irony of people fighting their ‘moral’ battles through women’s clothing on all sides is getting to me. Let us wear what we want.

  2. You say “As photographic evidence makes clear”, but your picture was taken at the entrance of the parks, and the employee’s one at the entrance of Phantom Manor (and it looks like she’s looking at nothing in particular). Disney may be quite traditional about certain things, but what your telling here is just a lie. Hope you got all the attention you were looking for

    • Maggie Kim

      Normally, I don’t feed the trolls. But I did want to address this comment as this is someone who wrote from a Disney email address.

      1) I said, “As photographic evidence makes clear….” my boobs are too small to be obtrusive. I think the photo very clearly indicates how small-breasted I am.

      2) Nowhere do I state that this photo was taken at the exact moment this exchange happened. It is obviously two different photos: One of me and one of the slut-shaming Disney employee with the arrow and “boobs” drawn in as funny commentary. I’m going to have to assume this is the first time you’ve been on the internet if you have never seen pictures that are used for illustrative and humorous purposes—not for the exact restaging of a crime scene. To that, I just have to say, Welcome to the Internet! This place be cray! You may want to cover your eyes.

      3) Yes, I FABRICATED this entire story so that I could get “attention.” I am tickled by this. The fact that someone—you—believe I have the time, intention and gift for storytelling to come up with a story like this (getting slut shamed in front of my daughter at Disneyland on her birthday) means that my fiction skillz are mad good!

      But if they’re so good, why waste my time writing stuff like this for free? Wouldn’t I be better served working on the next 50 Shades? I mean let’s put these amazing “lying” talents to profitable use! If not writing the next (actually well-written) erotic bestseller, maybe I could turn to a life of cons—you know, sending people emails that say I’m the Prince of Nigeria and they are due millions of dollars?

      Oh, but I know why I’m not doing that. Because I’m busy raising my son and daughter to be FEMINISTS WHO DON’T SLUT SHAME OTHER WOMEN. EVER.

      Good god, Maria, way to take the absolute wrong stance when it comes to supporting other women. I’m glad we’re not frenemies. Also, work on your reading comprehension, punctuation, grammar and spelling before trying to put a writer down on her own blog.

      Enjoy that Victorian costume! It must be bloody hot in this weather.

      • I never said I didn’t agree with what you were saying, as I said, this company can be very traditional. I don’t think you were showing ‘too much’ and I believe no one should judge the way other people dress. My point was that these pictures are evidence of nothing at all, because they were taken in 2 different places. I apologise for calling you liar, now that you have explained what you meant by ‘as photographic evidence makes clear’, I realise that you did not mean to say that that’s the way she looked when she saw you, which is what I understood from the red line you drew on the pictures. The thing is that you are telling a story and are using some pictures as evidence. You could have worn a much lower neck and simply put a picture of another day in Disney (still, I think you have the right to dress as you like and that no one should stare at you and definitely not judge you). But in my opinion, the fact that you added these pictures makes your story look less reliable, which is why I got the impression that you were making everything up just to get some attention.

  3. I didn’t mean she had a normal reaction. It wasn’t funny and I hope your child had a great day anyway. If I were you in the same situation I know I would be sick so I just wanted to say that all french are not like her

  4. Pingback: Cold Showers Are Horrible And Awesome

Leave A Reply