Artwork: Sophie Rose Brampton
In what is by far the creepiest decision Apple has ever made, users with the iOS 10 update can now type “b” into the photo app’s new search bar to find all their own boob pics, under the pre-programmed category “brassiere.” First of all, what the fuck? I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry about how fucking stupid this capability is, lol, so I’m just going to try to unpack this:
If the Apple overlords really thought it was a good idea to include tits in the update’s object recognition feature, they could have at least done it with a little dignity—the keyword that would pull up breast photos, both covered and uncovered, could have been something straightforward like, “titties,” or “pictures for Apple’s loneliest males to cry to.” Using “brassiere” to categorize actual pictures of breasts is like fully embodying the identity of a little kid trying to cover for his Internet porn browser history with “innocent” search terms.
But also, why? So far there are only 4,432 scene, object, and feeling keywords detected by the app, including “hoofed mammals” and “stethoscope” because those are also just intuitive search terms, I guess. And of course, there is no general “underwear” or “dick” category for men’s nudes to fall into. So needless to say, I’m upset for my gay male friends—and for all the ladies out there who are into dudes, ‘cause you know, dick pics. Why should they still have to manually sort their nudes for quick dating app access, when we don’t? What’s good, Apple?
Obviously, I don’t even have to assert that this whole thing is sexist and heteronormative—it clearly is. And it’s not like that’s totally shocking, but I am definitely considering switching to a Galaxy, or just ditching cellular devices altogether. We’re living in the Golden Age of Surveillance, where things like female nudes get their own iPhoto category. Clearly, things just won’t be okay until there are some more women at the top of Silicon Valley. So until then, I’ll be moving to a remote cave.