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10.15.09

Don't Call Me a Slut

Hours after The Daily Beast's Meghan McCain posted a self-portrait on Twitter, it made national news and she was a pariah. But she says it's the media who are the real boobs.

On Wednesday, I posted a hastily taken self-portrait on Twitter—which I thought was funny and silly—and within a few hours I had caused a minor media scandal. I spent most of the next day thinking about what exactly was so shocking about the picture, why there was such an immediate and nasty overreaction. After all, it’s not like I was caught making a sex tape. I certainly didn’t pose nude for Playboy. And I hadn’t even exposed a nipple.

So why all this Sturm und Drang?

Could it be it's because I have breasts? Because for those of you who didn't know, I have two. They're larger than some women's and not as big as others. I don't usually show off my cleavage—as I did in the photos I posted—which I will admit is not the smartest thing I have ever done. But it’s just not worth the drama it caused.

To be honest, I don’t feel that I have anything to feel ashamed of. I’ve always embraced my curves and will continue to do so.

To be honest, I don't feel that I have anything to feel ashamed of. I've always embraced my curves and will continue to do so. I'd rather be the size I am than a skinny model fired for being too fat. And once again, a day after writing about my weight, it’s the media that have a problem with my body.

For years I have struggled to accept the fact that the way I look in a tank top comes off more “sexual” than a flat-chested woman. And once again I was reassured by the media that someone with my cup size should always be covered up. Or what, I’ll be seen as a slut? It’s pathetic we can come so far in so many ways, but when Rep. Aaron Schock or Rep. Jeff Flake post pictures of themselves without their suits on—and their shirts, for that matter—they are proclaimed “hotties.” But put me in a tank top and I am suddenly an embarrassment to the Republican Party and women everywhere. The double standard is infuriating.

Meghan McCain: Stop the Fat Jokes!As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I live my life very openly. I will happily tell you what I'm doing every minute of every day. I will tell you what songs I'm listening to, what movies I've seen, and what books I've read. (That’s Arthur Danto’s new biography of Andy Warhol in the photo, by the way.) I love reading other people's Tweets to me.

It's amazing what you can learn. And I've certainly endured my share of harsh comments from those who follow me. But yesterday was the first time it really wasn't fun. It's not easy to be called a slut. But I'm not giving up my Twitter just yet—I'm just going to be more judicious in how I use it. At the end of the day, I am a work in progress. I am not perfect and have never given anyone the assumption that I am. I turn 25 next week and I am still adjusting to the glare of the spotlight and making mistakes.

This is the last time I’ll ever address this non-scandal but at the very least I hope other girls can learn from this episode before they post any kind of photo online. I know I have learned a valuable lesson about the Internet and the boundaries between personal and public use with social media.

I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Plus: Check out more of the latest entertainment, fashion, and culture coverage on Sexy Beast—photos, videos, features, and Tweets.

Meghan McCain is a columnist for The Daily Beast. Originally from Phoenix, she graduated from Columbia University in 2007. She is a New York Times bestselling children's author, previously wrote for Newsweek magazine, and created the Web site mccainblogette.com.