Choose #LoveInspirationBeauty over #Porn

Posted April 15, 2015 by Carlisa in Discussion, Let's Talk / 10 Comments

Discussion (1)The other night I was just laying in my bed, scrolling through the #currentlyreading posts on Instagram (cause I’m a nerd and that’s what I do). So there I was, liking up the posts of books I’ve read, screenshotting the books that I might want to read, and commenting when I just couldn’t contain my excitement/frustration. Honestly, this probably isn’t a good thing for me to do before I go to sleep because the gears in my brain start turning and before I know it, it’s 2 AM and I have to wake up for class in six hours. Anyways, back to my point: there I was liking, clicking, commenting, just generally getting more excited than a normal person should be about pictures of books, when my elation started to dwindle…there was a hashtag that I kept seeing over and over and over again: #bookporn. And that bothered me. Sure, I had seen this before. Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are all filled with pages and hashtags and boards called Book Porn, Food Porn, and Wedding Porn, just to name a few.

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And I just thought to myself, “Why?” Why is this a thing? Why are things that we see as beautiful, inspirational, and wonderful referred to as “porn?” 

Porn to me is an ugly word. It’s a word that has never had good connotations. It derives from the Greek denoting female slavery for prostitution. Now, it means obscene writings, pictures, videos that have little to no artistic value. There is nothing beautiful, good, inspirational about the word. So why, why, why is it associated with these beautiful things?

What gets to me about this whole thing is that the names of these accounts and these hashtags are considered insignificant. They are just used as a way to express a large amount of some type of visual imagery. But as an English major, I know how important word choice is. And I know how that choice of word makes a difference in our minds, whether you think so or not. With this word, porn becomes normalized. It becomes associated with something of beauty, something that inspires and ignites creativity. And that is not okay.

Let’s change how we think about our words. Instead of #BookPorn, #WeddingPorn, or #FoodPorn, let’s use #BookLove, #WeddingBeauty, or #FoodInspiration. . . because these words are not synonymous.

What’s your opinion on this? Let me know in the comments below.


  • VanessaIsen!

    I actually find myself guilty of using the term #foodporn before. And when I first head it, it really kind communicated exactly what all this crazy, unrealistic food posts are about. I like to cook, but I don’t need to make these extravagent recipes EVERY SINGLE DAY…which is what Pinterest would have me believe.

    So when I used that term, it was more of a negative connotation. But I agree. The word is ugly and we shouldn’t pair it with normal, everyday things.

  • I just stumbled on your blog after you commented on my IG photo of We Were Liars that you didn’t like the book either. And now I found this discussion post of yours and I am so happy I visited your blog.

    We both didn’t like We Were Liars and we both have issues with the abuse of the word porn. I actually wrote a blog post myself last year about how much the hashtag #bookporn bothered me. It sparked quite a discussion since quite a few people disagreed with me, insisting that those are just words that have nothing to do with pornography per se. Still makes me uncomfortable though how flippantly people use #foodporn, #bookporn, etc.

    So yes, I definitely support your call for #loveinspirationbeauty 🙂

    • Yay, I’m glad to hear someone else in the book blogger community agreeing with me! I would love to read your post about it! I looked but it eluded me.

      I haven’t had any negative reactions to it yet but I was definitely afraid of people disagreeing with me.

      Thank you so much for your words 🙂

      • That’s why I was so heartened too. Not many people seem to stop and think about the connotations. The link to my post is http://wordrevel.com/issue-book-porn/

        And I don’t think there’s any need to be afraid. I think the point of discussions is to understand varying perspectives 🙂

        • Oh wow I really like your post. Your explanations of everything were so thorough. I really liked how you showed the difference in numbers between book porn and book love on Instagram. Would you mind if I linked back to your post in mine?

  • Jessica Samuelsen

    Wow! You have an incredible gift for expression. This is a beautiful article! I hope you don’t mind but I’m sharing this on my social media. I just find this inspirational, honest, and necessary. You have a new fan! Keep writing things like this… and good luck on your English major. Word choice is super important!

    • Thank you so much! Your words mean a lot to me 🙂
      And I’m so glad that you agree with me about this. It seems like such a small thing but it makes a difference and it is necessary, like you said!

  • Laurie Siebler

    I agree and love your perspective ! I find it interesting that the word means slavery in Greek. It definitely does cause slavery and bondage to those involved.

  • Rebekah Williamson

    Well said! The trend has been bothering me for quite awhile now. I wonder if this might be an extension of an older trend. A few years ago everyone starting using the adjective “sexy” to describe everything under the sun. In fact, the sun itself is “sexy”. You’re dinner is “sexy”. The design of you’re bathroom fixtures is “sexy”. Quite frankly, I don’t care what my toilet looks like, it’s still a toilet. I take a dump in it. There is absolutely nothing sexy about it nor should there be.
    This seems to be how trends like this work. It starts with one idea that is a little shocking and slightly false, like making everything from your dinner to your dog’s squeaky toy be about being sexually appealing, so accepted and so common place that a new even more dangerous idea has no trouble becoming common place. Now not only is EVERYTHING about sex appeal, but EVERYTHING is something to “get off on”.
    Let’s start thinking carefully about the ideas carried by our words again before everything beautiful and good becomes trivialized and twisted into something it’s not.