It makes me cringe to read the title of my post, but I really want to talk about it. Some random person I don’t know posted a screenshot of my first series of vulva pies to a random place on the internet and that began a sharing frenzy. It got so bad near Thanksgiving and Christmas that I was getting daily messages from people who had seen my art out in the wild.
Pussy Pies, Vagina Pie, Minge Pies, Rate This Pie
The first time I saw them was on a popular Instagram page of self-proclaimed Yoni Queen, Rosie Rees. As soon as I let her know they were mine, she gave me credit and followed me and it was a great interaction. So there is a silver lining. She loves women and their bodies and she reposted them to celebrate vulva diversity. The only issue out of the gate was she gave them gender. There were a few comments about it, but it all stayed cordial.
After that posting, there were more posts, and some were not so great. My art out of context doesn’t feel like a safe place anymore. Much like a real vulva out in society, they become vulnerable and subjected to the male gaze, catcalls, and criticisms.
They remade the screenshot of my vulva pie art with red numbers scrawled across each one so people could rate which one they would eat or smash. They made lewd comments. People insulted the vulvas that didn’t match the aesthetics they preferred. It was all heartbreaking for me, but completely out of my control.
On one Facebook page, people re-shared the pies over 5,000 times with no context or credit. It sent me on a hunt for how far the image had spread.
All the places I found my vulva pie
(Sounds like an ode to some poor child’s Spring Break)
I’m still not sure if my approach to trying to find the pies out in the wild is good or bad. Maybe it’s neutral. I have made a lot of online connections by tracking them down. Mostly, people are kind and excited to know that this is an art project and that these pies are celebrating vulva diversity.
However, sometimes it’s really sort of overwhelming and a little nauseating to find some places that have shared my pie art and, even worse, to go see the comments. I think I read the comments for a little dose of self-flagellation- I can think of no other reason for doing it. People can be really terrible under the anonymity of a screen name.
Here, I made you a little screen capture of some instances I’ve found using Google image search:
Friends have sent messages telling me that someone they knew sent them this screen shot and companies have used the image to promote themselves. The two most bizarre were an underwear company and a plastic surgeon.
Copyright violation aside, my friend Dan said it best when they pointed out that flaky crust is not really a good match for selling panties. (I laugh every time I share that and it’s so true!)
Then it was just jaw dropping to have my art shared as an advertisement for labiaplasty. Of course, there are many reasons to have the procedure, but “tightening your pussy for his pleasure” and having a “neat appearance” because of social conditioning is exactly the stigmas and misinformation that I am trying to combat with this art series on vulva diversity.
I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed they used of my vulva art to draw attention to themselves
As an artist, I know how hard it is to get my art seen. With the awe-inspiring amount of social media, internet, and traditional media vying for our audience’s attention 24/7, it’s like the wild-wild west. Making the art isn’t enough, it has to be shared with the world.
It takes a lot of networking, marketing, and a bit of luck to break through with any success. Therefore, seeing another artist steal my vulva art to self promote feels like an extra jab, bringing me full circle to the title of this post and this image.
The image below, cropped from the original screen shot, was on a very large Instagram account and on Twitter. I believe she or her representative cropped the image for this post.
Another person messaged me on Instagram to say they saw my art without credit on this account and said they had told her I made it and I should, too, so they could credit me in the post. Copyright and community guidelines require only sharing your own intellectual property unless you have permission from the owner.
After my request, the Instagram story disappeared, and they ignored the Twitter comment. It makes me mad/ sad they used my art as a meme to garner attention and then didn’t share back.
The moral of this Merry Clitmas Minge Pie story
There really isn’t one. Today, when you are an artist or creator, you have to share the work to be seen and grow a community of support around your art. This also brings out predators, benign sensationalist, crafts people who only create via copying, and the people who just share for entertainment without consideration for the creator.
However, I knew the risks when I shared my images without watermarking or signing them. Really, I’m just writing this to bring awareness, put this article out into the search engine returns, and hopefully shed light on the importance of proper attribution in the art world. It really means the world to us.
If you have a favorite artist, creator, or author, please share them far and wide. Comment, review, click the heart and the thumb. Mostly, if they make something that compels you to share, make sure you share their name and account too!
Thank you for reading! You can see more of my art here.
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