The internet is very random and rugged place, best described the same way Obi-Wan Kenobi described the Mos Eisley Spaceport: “You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” In other words, it’s my kind of place. Free speech, a wealth of information and, best of all, a whole plethora of different ideas.
But there is one place on the internet where differing ideas, free speech and pretty much anything resembling humor is strictly forbidden. Where the world sees nonsense and a parade of ridiculous behaviors, the social justice obsessed call it home.
Tumblr. There is no other website like it, and thank God for that.
It is its own little world when compared to the rest of the internet, or even real life. It has to be. A large portion of the views that circulate there are completely devoid of any realism. Be it “multiple systems,” which is the thought that several entities live together in your head like some weird episode of The Real World, or the very popular belief that you are actually an animal born in a human body, or “Otherkin.”
Overall, the hugbox that is Tumblr likes to dismiss the norm at all costs. The goal is to attain uniqueness by any means necessary, and as you’ll find out, at all costs. Sometimes those means put those users who succumb to the Tumblr mentality in very real danger.
Recently, I was informed that if you type the word “thin” into the Tumblr search bar, you would be rewarded with a screen asking if you need help. I wasn’t disappointed, and was taken to this splash page.
The same can be said if you type in “skinny.” Upon hitting enter, the site asks the user if they are okay, or struggling with an eating disorder. It provides a support number to call, and a website where you can find help.
It also directs you to a Tumblr page with messages of body positivity, including this one.
While eating disorders are a serious ordeal faced by many young women, it’s the idea of being “body positive” in the face of being severely overweight, or having seriously unhealthy eating habits that Tumblr pushes on its users.
In fact, I went back to the Tumblr search by and typed in “fat” and “obese” and didn’t get the same splash page asking if I needed help. I was actually greeted with suggestions for other search terms such as “plus size,” “curvy,” and “body positivity.” Typing in obese gave me similar options, including a suggested search for “feedee” which seems to be blogs dedicated to people who are fattened by “feeders.” Also, one of the top hits in the search lead to a fat man’s fat porn blog. This was with the adult filter turned on.
So what’s the message here? Fat good, skinny bad? Why suggest I need help when I type in words associated with fitness, but suggest I look at fetish blogs where people are fattening up others like some fairy tale witch? Acceptance?
Despite massive amounts of evidence that being morbidly obese is highly dangerous to your health, Tumblr and its users prefer to convince themselves that being fat is not only okay, it’s medically good for you, and even make the case that it’s sexy. Any talk to the contrary is “fat shaming” or “fatphobic.” They even take medical diagnoses from their doctor as bigoted if it doesn’t fit their excuse for being overweight.
This is Olympic-level mental gymnastics.
Imagine a doctor who diagnosed his patient with cancer. That patient goes out, unhappy with her diagnosis, and a stranger tells her that this doctor is bigoted and that she should self-diagnose and forgo sound medical advice. She can pretend all day that she doesn’t have cancer, all the while it will be spreading and making her sicker and sicker until finally something gives out.
That’s essentially what this fat positivity crowd on Tumblr is doing. They are putting real people in very real danger by promoting unhealthy lifestyles in the name of being proud of the body you’re in, especially if that body is highly overweight. They’re trading the hurt of feeling shame for being fat, for the lethality of encouraging it further.
I get it. People should be okay with the fact that they don’t have the body celebrated by Cosmo or the Sun’s Page 3. But let’s not pretend that a bad diet and an overweight body are somehow just as attractive and healthy as a good diet and exercise. This isn’t shallowness on fat acceptance critics – much as they would like to pretend it is – it’s just realism. Placing value on an overabundance of something life threatening is what drug addicts do.
The celebration of self-imposed ignorance doesn’t just stop at obesity.
Tumblr is rampant with racism. While this wouldn’t normally bother me since I see racism on the internet all the time, the denizens of Tumblr believe wholeheartedly that they haven’t a racist, or bigoted, bone in their body. To the Tumblrite, “pure as the driven snow” is selling them short.
The concept of “white privilege” (a subject for which there are specific Tumblr pages dedicated to) leads many of its users to consistently view anything a white person does with a high level of contempt, and when I say anything, I mean anything. This goes beyond things such as easily attaining a job, but even everything down to finding your name on a coke bottle is “white privilege.” It’s a hamfisted, try-hard attempt to make villainous deeds out of mundane occurrences. You can see the same concept in the popular microaggression theory, or racist things people do on accident that aren’t really racist.
Furthermore, this mentality has driven them to support concepts not seen since before the civil rights era. You’ll often hear social justice Tumblrites discuss “cultural appropriation” in regard to anything a white person does that Tumblr feels belongs to a certain race or culture. For instance, if a white person has dreadlocks (a hairstyle that has spanned many races and cultures) then he or she is “appropriating black culture.” Does your music have a Spanish influence? You just “appropriated Latin culture.”
The rabbit hole goes deeper than just hairstyles. The depth of their racist belief in appropriation went so far as accusing a company that paints henna tattoo crowns on cancer patients as racist. The reason being is that the company was founded by a white woman, and some of the patients were themselves white.
As disgusting as it is to accuse a business of profiting off racism for simply using henna, accusing the cancer patients themselves of racism for forgoing a wig or handkerchief in favor of henna is downright unconscionable. None of that decency enters into the mind of the social justice Tumblrite, though. Again, they’re more pure than a virgin maiden cuddling with a unicorn. The unicorn and maiden, of course, being of unspecified gender.
They consider participation of whites in different cultures to be a terrible sin. The only cure for this ill is, of course, segregation. However, they recognize no similarities between the segregation of the pre-civil rights era, and their ideas today. In fact, they believe that by isolating cultures (specifically from whites) they are doing the world a favor.
This racism is a constant pattern on Tumblr. Even Disney movies are subject to the racist label, strictly for having white characters, despite there being many examples to the contrary. But this tilting at racist windmills by the social justice community is just painting their own racism as noble. The Tumblrites that fall into this 9th social justice circle of ideological hell truly believe that their hatred of white people is not at all racist despite the glaring lie.
Tumblr users have convinced themselves that any hatred toward whites has nothing to do with racism, as in order to be racist you first have to have systematic control of society. We’ll ignore that a black man is currently President, that we had a black Attorney General at the DOJ or that the most powerful woman in media the world has ever seen is black. None of this factors into their reality bubble.
This Tumblr user provides an excellent example with a series of little pictures explaining her reasoning. Here’s the first one:
The above is a prevailing belief fostered on the site. Articles promoting that kind of racism, such as this one from HuffPo, are circulated with gusto within the Tumblr community. At the end of the day, the rule of thumb is that you can say terrible things about a certain race, as long as that race is white.
The sexism is no better. While Tumblr is open to many types of genders, as opposed to the standard male/female binary, the one gender that social justice Tumblr cannot stomach is the average male.
Accusations run rampant against the male sex, from accusations of promoting and supporting “rape culture” to purposefully hating women as a societal norm. Men are accused of viewing women as property, and holding women back due to a mythical patriarchy. You can type in any of these above buzzwords and find a plethora of entries painting men as something beyond redemption.
That was from a popular user named “Misandry Molly” who has reblogged and said similar things throughout her posting history. What’s more, many consider this acceptable behavior.
Tumblr may not be directly responsible for promoting violence against males, but when statistics show that 70% of domestic abuse cases where a single partner is violent show women as the abuser, Tumblr is definitely guilty in pardoning, and even sometimes promoting further harm.
Furthermore, the social justice warriors of the site do their level best to convince people that rape is synonymous with men by attaching all sorts of fun phrases to demonize the entire sex. “The male gaze,” “misogyny,” and “slut shaming” are words they hitch to any criticism of women, no matter how valid. Even the very natural sex drive that has kept the human race going forth and multiplying since time immemorial is now considered nothing but a vehicle for sexual assault.
God forbid you throw shade at the sexuality of women, however. That’s just sexist.
These are just a few shining examples of how Tumblr has a corrupting influence on its users, and there are plenty more to choose from. The popularity and adamant defense of self-diagnosis for neurological disorders, or the actual glorification of depression being a couple.
Depression, the most dangerous of all these conditions, is something that the Tumblr community plays with in not too dissimilar a fashion from a pyro playing with fire. Like the fat acceptance movement above, Tumblrites don’t just put their condition on display, they treat the subject of depression with reverence.
Typing in “trigger warning” took me to yet, another splash page asking if I needed help, and suggesting various places to look to. Once past it, I was greeted with images and messages of self hate. Users were taking pictures of the bloody aftermath of cutting, some of them in black and white like some kind of artistic expression.
The Tumblr community is more intent to show and share these images to garner pity and attention than anything else. Misery loves company, and here it found all the miserable company it could ask for. Attention seems worth more than health and common sense here, and that is the prevailing pattern within the Tumblr community.
While the ideals that rule Tumblr may be laughable to many, the influence it has on young adults is unmistakable. The site is highly trafficked by people ages 13-25. Especially during the early years of adulthood, this kind of ideological toxicity could infect anyone developing an identity of their own with ideas that are actually hazardous.
Tumblr doesn’t just promote hate and un-health to its users, it romanticizes it. It attempts to convince those who would listen that rejecting any norms in favor of its version of reality is fighting the good fight, and that any counter argument is the product of ignorance or hate itself. It’s a literal danger to those who fall for its brand of stupidity.
And rest assured, many do. It’s not a backwoods social network – many of the links I posted above have “reblogs” (the Facebook equivalent of shares) and Likes numbering in the thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands. It’s a website trafficked enough that Yahoo saw fit to buy it, and the White House to create its own account on it.
While the internet can be a vast wasteland of less than admirable actions and ideas, Tumblr is the one that has selling power enough to convince too many that societal devolution is progression. The bubble they’ve created around themselves will not be popped by any amount of reality, and they will do their best to bring more people into this fantasy land.
To its credit, Tumblr isn’t all social justice nonsense and unhealthy behavior. There are some very interesting things to be seen on there. I have an account myself. Regardless of this, the mentalities I listed above are very loud and very numerous. So much so that those who run the site felt it necessary to include splash pages that offer ways to find help. While these attempts to help could be considered a positive, I’m not sure I’ve run into any other websites that feel the need to provide helplines for typing in innocent search words.
My advice: If you’re suffering from depression, obesity or bigotry, get off Tumblr. It won’t fix any problems. It’s only scratching the rash and making it worse. Get away from the community and seek actual help. Parents, if you have a young teen who uses the site, then monitor their interactions closely. The ideas inevitably thrown at them could be damaging.
I’ll let JelloApocalypse sum it up for me.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Brandon Morse has been writing about politics and culture across many websites for the last six years, with a heavy emphasis on anti-authoritarianism. Aside from writing articles, he is also known for voice acting and authoring scripts. He is an avid gamer, dog person, and has a bad habit of making vague references to things no one has heard about or seen. Follow him at @TheBrandonMorse on Twitter.
Click through the gallery below to read more from Morse in his previous EveryJoe columns:
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