Once in a while -- okay, a lot of the time -- the anonymity the Internet provides can make it a really cruel and nasty place. Cyber bullying, hate blogs, nameless commenters. But every once in a while, not having to show your face and name can make it a really comforting place. Allow me to explain.
A new website, My Body Gallery, allows women to upload photos of, well, their bodies anonymously (some choose to show their faces), along with their height, weight, body shape, and dress size. The purpose is to show females that people who are the same size as them actually look good. (The science behind it is that 95 percent of women overestimate the size of their hips and waist.)
Pretty cool, huh? And if it weren't for the ability to be a faceless, nameless entity floating in cyberspace, this never would be!
Think about it. Girls struggling with body issues would never have the courage to ask other girls what their waist measurements are, or what dress sizes they wear. It would be far too embarrassing. Plus, let's be honest, a little weird. It makes me happy that there's a place they can go where they won't be judged, and they won't be made fun of.
And, actually, My Body Gallery isn't the only "safe" place online. The site -- one of my favorites -- PostSecret allows users to submit "confessions" by way of a postcard. Some of them are hilarious. Some of them are heartbreaking and intense. None of them are made fun of. Oh, and there's also a little site you may have heard of called CafeMom that isn't too shabby either.
In an age where it seems like everyone is getting meaner and more brash because they don't have to say anything to anyone's face, I like that spaces like this exist. Because, after all, the Internet wasn't created to be a hostile place. We just made it that way.
What do you think of people who are mean online?
Image via jemingway/Flickr