Community Standards (revisited)

It must be my obsessive personality. That’s why I had trouble accepting my Facebook ad. We’re all on the mental health spectrum, I believe, and each of us has our quirks. I had tried to promote my website on Facebook by boosting a post about it. The featured image turned out to be a painting of a nude woman. Because it appeared in the thumbnail preview, my ad was rejected.

Open Book – Oil – 18X24 – 1994

So I tinkered with the settings, got a different picture to appear with the link and my promotion was approved. So, what was the problem? It didn’t fit thematically. That bothered me. It was posted on a page dedicated to my second novel, “The Sketchbook”: To summarize the plot, a woman wagers that she can stay naked all summer long, an artist takes her to stay at his cabin and she finds a new life in the neighboring town. Drawings of her illustrate the novel and are sampled on the Facebook page. The picture that resulted in my new ad, however, was of a bridge.

Gold Hill – Tempera – 16X20 – 2014

It’s a nice painting. I don’t mean to brag. Rather, my guilt compels me to say so. After a decent number of people had clicked “like” (and a couple, even, “love”), I deleted it. The landscape had nothing to do with my novels. At the top of a series of entries about the figure, the bridge was incongruous. I formulated a new approach. My website’s homepage features a detail of a chalk-pastel drawing. The sitter in it is turned away so that her nipples aren’t even visible. Surely, no one could object to such a harmless scene.

Wrong! It was rejected once and, after a brief review, a second time. What I needed was something where the model was suitably obscured. Why not, I thought, use the same photograph that I had for the cover of “The Sketchbook”. Maybe, if I wrote something intriguing, it would lead to more engagements. So I submitted my request along with the image in question.

Nope. It was rejected, too. The explanation cited provocative content as the reason. It also said something vague about too much skin. Never mind that it doesn’t reveal any more of the model than a bathing suit would, how does holding a sketchbook imply anything sexual? I was amazed. As a test of what exactly was acceptable, I tried the photo from my first novel, “In So Many Words”.

At last, my campaign was approved! Who knows how well it will be received? I’m not spending a fortune on it. In my frustration, I typed a placeholder sentence as a caption. Hopefully, it will do the job. What ‘s surprising is how strict the standards are. A lot of my writing regards the idea that nudity can’t really hurt you. If the censors have their way, nobody will ever know for sure.

Published by Colin Turner

I'm an artist, an author and, usually, the quietest guy in the room.

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