To the Girl Who Took My Photo Secretly

vintage cheerleader

This week I had the charming experience of some rude girl in a brown corduroy miniskirt and the flimsiest looking ankle boots I’ve ever seen try to take my photo “secretly”. It would have worked if she had been clever enough to turn the sound off on her phone. Instead I heard her, turned around and glared, then wasted 10 minutes following her while taking photos of my hand with the sound on full (without turning around to face me to discuss her behavior she missed seeing I wasn’t photographing her) while she fake-laughed to her boyfriend until they ducked into a shop.

Normally I wouldn’t even react to this (sadly I reached my rude stranger quota in January) but this time it got me thinking how deeply NOT OKAY that behavior is. Especially from a woman! I’m sure she gets her share of street harassment and crap when she is out in public, so it’s appalling to me that she’d contribute actively to it! To make another woman feel unsafe in public. Disgusting and inexcusable.

If you see someone wearing something *different* than you would (rest assured I will never be wearing any brown cord’ miniskirts with sad cheap boots) remember they are ACTUAL PEOPLE TOO. They deserve respect, they deserve to go about their business without harassment or unwanted photographs. I could have caused a much bigger scene than just fake photographing this girl in response, not everyone is going to be so relaxed about that kind of rudeness. So don’t risk it, don’t be a jerk.

I have had children and young people ask me for photos numerous times and unless I am carrying like 20 bags and late for something I usually say yes! My favorite were the two tourist ladies in full burqas who stopped me to pose for a photo with them, I so wish I’d gotten one with my phone too. They were very kind! I want to be a good Ambassador of The Weird People out there, and be polite and willing to answer respectful questions about my appearance (I get that it’s fascinating to people unfamiliar with it). But I will no longer be polite to people who snap surreptitiously or are rude to me.

We *all* deserve to feel safe outside of our homes. Even the weirdos. Your clothing/appearance is not an invitation for harassment ever. 🙂

-Taeden

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About gloomth

Gloomth is a love letter to the misfits of the misfits. Our blog covers strange lifestyle inspiration, diy ideas, our clothing label photoshoots, and more. Written by Gloomth designer Taeden Hall.
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13 Responses to To the Girl Who Took My Photo Secretly

  1. Great article. Thank you for sharing your story as it makes the rest of us know we are not alone. xoxo

  2. Michaela Osiecki says:

    I don’t know exactly what the situation is in Canada regarding that thing, but unfortunately it’s perfectly legal to take photos of anyone and anything in public here in the US, so yeah, that includes weirdly dressed folks like us. And legally, you can’t do or say anything about it if someone DOES snap a photo of you while you’re out and about. Which really sucks.

    • gloomth says:

      I did look it up after it happened and it’s legal here too to document people, but “strongly encouraged” that people ask for others’ permission before doing so. It’s so odd to me that it’s not illegal! It’s a total invasion of privacy.

  3. Patrick says:

    Taeden,

    You are absolutely stunning, and have a fantastic attitude. Its a shame people don’t know how to act in public. Keep up that positive attitude. You are beautiful.

    Patrick.

    • gloomth says:

      Aw thanks Patrick! 🙂 I have no intentions of hiding because of this stuff, 90% of the time I just get curious or positive comments from people on the street anyway.

  4. Lincoln says:

    I get this all the time, several times a day and it greatly upsets me, sometimes I even put my hands in front of my face and say “Please don’t” or just “Don’t” and some people have waited until I took my hands away and kept doing it, followed me until I was off gaurd and also literally laughed in my face and continued to take photos. It greatly upsets me, but unfortunately here in New Zealand it’s not illegal.
    9 times out of 10 if someone asks politely and nicely for a photo of or with me I will say “yes awesome” unless I know they are mocking me.
    Some photos people have taken of me without my permission I have found online with cruel and rude captions that have made me cry and feel utterly depressed and have anxiety attacks. It is a form of bullying and can greatly effect peoples self esteem and hurts people beyond measure.
    I hope it gets stamped out, because I am not going to change who I am as a person because other people are cruel.

    • gloomth says:

      I am so sorry this is happening to you, people are really insensitive and selfish. It’s not illegal here either unfortunately. I agree it’s definitely a form of bullying and all these websites/blogs that post photos of strangers who deviate from norms of whatever kind are really awful.

      So glad you aren’t altering your behavior because of this! You are super brave! Keep doing your awesome self and hopefully society will figure out how nasty it is to document strangers mockingly.

  5. Sharrie says:

    I had an elderly woman take photos of me while singing in a karaoke comp. I didn’t know until adter I sang and my friends told me. Would have loved to know where those photos were going, hope you found out that answer to yours!

    • gloomth says:

      I doubt the girl got a very good photo of me, her phone only went off once before I turned around (I was about 5 feet in front). I have no idea what she planned to do with the photo. Maybe I am wrong assuming she is being malicious, maybe she is some kind of stranger-pervert! 😛

  6. wolfydesu says:

    I’ve had this happen a few times, one in particular when I was in a shoe shop and I had cat ears and a tail, and some guy was very obviously taking photos/videos of me. It’s so creepy and rude!
    Last time I checked, in Australia it was apparently illegal to take photos/videos of someone without their permission?

  7. Pingback: On The Victorian Couple Kicked Out of Butchart Gardens | Gloomth & the Cult of Melancholy

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