This Girl Made an Art Exhibit Out of Unwanted D Pics
Whether they make you want to laugh, cry, or both, there’s nothing quite like an unsolicited d pic.
Whitney Bell knows that all too well. So she turned her experience of online harassment into an incredible art exhibit called “A Lifetime of D Pics.”
The exhibit, at Rhabbitat Gallery at 1495 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, is made to look like a house, full of physical examples of online d pics. The show’s opening night was poppin’ with over 600 people in attendance, and Whitney says the party raised almost $4,000 for the Center for Reproductive Rights.
There’s also a closing party this Sunday, April 17, from 1 to 7 p.m. with DJs and discounted prices for the works. Click here for the deets and read on for some of Whitney’s thoughts on the scourge of d pics.
Do you remember the first d pic you ever received?
I do remember my first d pic. I was 17 and renting a beach house with my friends one summer and this friend of a friend came over and I had a total crush on him. We flirted all afternoon and when he left with his friends later he said he’d text me…and damn did he. I was still a virgin and not very experience with guys at all so when I got just a close up pick of his rather large and extremely red d I freaked out. I felt so violated and uncomfortable which I suppose was likely the point.
However my immense hatred for the d pic can be traced by to my hilarious best friend. For months I was getting d pics emailed to me from different private email address…multiple a day. I didn’t understand there they were coming from…I thought I’d like somehow signed up for some weird porn site or something. My boyfriend at the time even almost broke up with me over because he thought I was cheating. Literally this went on for almost 4 months. I felt like I was going insane…sooo many d. Eventually my friend caved and told me that she had set up an OK Cupid and anytime a dude asked her for a alluring pic she said “pic of pic” and gave them my email address. Her longstanding commitment and the brilliant hilarious nature of the prank made it impossible for me to even be mad. I guess this can all be traced back to her. So thanks Angelica for making my gallery dreams come true.
What generally goes through your head when you get an unsolicited d pic?
Getting an unsolicited d is a combo pack of emotion; amused, repulsed and full of pity.
Do you agree that even a consensual d pic is really not as hot as guys seem to think it is? Like if you’re sending alluring photos someone and they just send you a pic of a disembodied d, it’s still kind of weird, right?
Don’t get me wrong I love a good d, I just don’t want to be forced to look at it. Either way though, even when it’s consensual guys need to be aware of the fact that just a disembodied d is never going to be attractive. The same thing applies to girls, we just seem to be already aware of this fact. I know loads of ladies who sent alluring pics (myself included), but never are they just close up, spread lipped, V shots. No one wants that either. There is something disconcerting about genitalia without any other context. Just gimme some abs or a nice side shot of your butt and d…but please please stop with the extreme ball sack closeups.
Getting a d pic can feel like getting flashed in the street. The same guys who send d pics would consider flashers to be pervs, but themselves as just flirting when they send a d pic. Why do you think there’s such a disconnect between flashing and d pics in guys’ heads?
There shouldn’t be a disconnect. Sending an unsolicited d pic is harassment and comes from the exact same psychological place as a subway flasher. Forcing a woman to see their d gets these guys off in a small way. I talked to hundreds of dudes over the last few months trying to gain some insight into why they do it. Many simply like the thrill of forcing a woman to see their d, it’s an exertion of power just like hollering at a woman on the street. They know you she’s not going to turn around and say “I really wanna go on a date with that guy who yelled ‘hey hottie, let me lick it’ from this pick up.” Like all harassment it’s about power not about doing it. They do it because they can, because they know there aren’t repercussions and because in some small way it validates their position as the dominant. I am trying to show them, that there are repercussions, that this isn’t a victimless crime, that they should strive to be better.
Many guys seemed to really not know why they did it though. Seems as if they had never really thought it through fully until I asked. Just following the patriarchal status quo of harassment as the norm.
What can people expect to see at your art show?
The show is more than just d pics; really the d are just used as a way to show how completely pervasive harassment is in a woman’s life. I’ve completely emptied out my home and set it up at the gallery. Literally all I have left is a pillowless bed and a dresser. The viewer gets welcomed into a walking tour of my home, but there is a steady river of ds running throughout the house. Just like in life, you cannot avoid harassment, it follows a woman wherever she goes.
My artists created pieces based on this idea, on the concept of the female experience and what it feels like to reclaim some of that power. The art ranges from amazing hooking up positive tattoo sketches by @melodieperrault to darker pieces like @martinamartians who used saccharine baby pinks and blues while exploring themes of domestic violence. That’s the great thing about a group show is that you get a lot of perspectives on the same experience.
What’s the worst d pic horror story you’ve heard from someone you met through this project?
The worst story has got to be from my friend’s little sister. She’s 15 and she got one from her 24 year old cousin’s friend, she hasn’t even kissed a boy yet. A grown ass man is exposing himself to teen girls and because he’s hiding behind a phone and feels shielded and safe. It’s repulsive.
What do you think can be done about the scourge of the unwanted d pic?
Progress, progress is the only thing that will change this situation. It’s not just d pics that we need to eradicate, it’s the notion that harassment of a woman is to be expected. We need to show the world that we will not sit idly by while we get hollered at, harassed and flashed. We must reclaim what the patriarchy has taken from us. Fight back and show that we won’t take this kind of treatment anymore. I’m trying to open up a dialogue and get people thinking about the greater ripple effects of this kind of harassment. Hopefully in doing so we can make a small step forward.