Dear John Mayer,
Thank you so much for writing me the song “Your Body is a Wonderland.” Even though we’ve never met, I appreciate your sincere appreciation of my body.
As a woman, I know that the purpose of my body is to be appreciated by men like you. I am understandably and expectedly relieved to discover that I am satisfactorily fulfilling my role as valuable male property. Some may say I am even going above and beyond — above average, above “She’ll do,” above “I’ll take it.” I’m hot.
One feeling I can’t seem to shake though, is that instead of having to discover you discovering me, I’d rather prefer to just discover myself. For me. Without you.
You’re attracted to my pale smooth skin (like porcelain). My pair of candy lips and bubblegum tongue have a nice healthy pink tone to them, and while I’m flattered that you noticed, before we get into the part where you claim them as yours, I’d like to flaunt them as mine for just a little while longer. I’m twenty now, so let’s call it, oh, at least seventy more years?
Don’t get me wrong, I do want love, and we can make it, but I’m just suggesting that I could probably make it without you. I am a happy self-confident woman.
I’m trying to figure out, John, why you get frustrated when I look so good it hurts sometimes. Is it because you’re jealous that other men, other women, other people, may appreciate me? I think it’s pretty old-fashioned of you to console your wounded pride and possessiveness by reassuring yourself that I belong to you.
The thing is, I’m not yours, all yours, all yours. I’m kind of just… mine. I do plan on finding someone to support me, someone for me to support, and start a family with (in the pretty distant future) but even then I’m still going to be mine.
How I’m appreciated by others is up to me… If I want to show my figure, to feel confident and feminine, to feel beautiful, I want to be able to do it without having to request permission. I love my skin — the part beneath my ribcage that leads to my hipbones; and my lips — how the bottom one is a little rounder than the top; and my shoulders — the way my bones show through as I move, accenting my collarbones and my muscle tone.
If I took a picture of myself, a beautifully lit, soft, tasteful picture of my naked body, and showcased it in a gallery online or in New York, would you still want me to be yours, John? Or is it just the idea that my intimate nudity is a commodity for you to acquire that sexually attracts you? Here’s the thing… I’m not into that. I’m sorry, sugarplum. I know the song is important to you, and I like the tune a lot, it’s very soothing, that just can’t negate the fact that you’re not forward-thinking enough for me, sweetheart.
Most men aren’t. Most women aren’t. If I were to share that picture I mentioned before, the one where my naked, pale skin is smooth and my lips are pink, the one that makes me feel confident and beautiful, I’d probably be called a slut. It could be a scandal, as it was portrayed just last week in HBO’s “The Newsroom,” when nude photos of Sloan Sabbith were leaked to the press (UM excuse me, why is that a scandal? Olivia Munn is a total fox and should be proud to show her hypothetical nudity).
If I were sexually assaulted, some would sympathize with my attacker and say that I was asking for it because of the picture I shared. Few would consider the image, my human body, a piece of art… But your song, John, now that is art. Your song about my body is beautiful art. It’s the art that makes my body a socially acceptable thing to appreciate in whatever form you want (whatever form you, a misogynistic and sexist man, want).
As much as I enjoy listening to “Your Body is a Wonderland,” I have to politely, yet wholeheartedly request, that you stop laying claim to female bodies.
I’m young, and attractive, and happy, and confident.
My body is a wonderland. My wonderland.
With passionate, shameless, self-love,
Marissa Castrigno, Contributor