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Who’s That Camgirl?

Philip Burrowes

It’s happened to all of you one time or another. Your friend tells about this great new one he started visiting. You don’t usually do that sort of thing, but he’s so adamant about it you decide to give it a try. Before you know it, you’ve run out of money to fund your anachronistically geeky Dungeons and Dragons habit. Instead, you’re trying to single-handedly purchase the wishlist of a -- that’s right -- webcam girl. I, however, forgive you.

Sure, being by computers so often has skewed your life away from fantasy to facsimile. Yes, any relatively sane camgirl must consequently enter into their profession with such low standards as to actually respond to your bumbling advances. Let’s not forget the misguided perception that you have nothing better to do. No, the real reason I don’t berate camgirl addicts is because it’s already been done.

Allow me to backtrack for the uninitiated. Camgirls are females of any age who have websites dedicated to pictures of themselves taken by computer peripherals. Auxiliary content often includes wishlists so that visitors can purchase gifts for these people. Some webcams are merely part of various camportals which depict multiple camgirls on a screen without distracting text. While it may seem like an exercise by only the narcissistic, exhibitionist, and paradoxically insecure for the socially inept, both sides are far more diverse.

More importantly, the negative sides have already been brutally ripped apart. Webmasters can devote entire sections of their sites (Aaron McCray) or the site itself (Daign) to critiquing (mocking) the more [in]famous camgirls. Even camguys (Slight) and the portals themselves -- especially Stile’s -- do little more than exploit or belittle their female compatriots. As a result, over a short time span, the very best insults have already been taken. Notably, a random person e-mailed Daign with a near-brilliant comparison to geisha. Why try and top that when I can take the opposite route and “bottom” it, if you will? That’s right, it’s about time someone sprang to the defense of camgirls and addicts alike.

For starters, sometimes it’s just clean fun. Not every site is run by a subdebutante seeking praise and presents from fans for pornography. Sometimes camgirls have entertaining and poignant messages next to their relentless self-promotion. Or maybe a camgirl is just trying to keep visual contact with acquaintances she would otherwise be distant from. Who cares if some of those people used to be complete strangers before she had a webcam? Isn’t that sort of thing what the internet is for; a futuristic multimedia exchange previously relegated to The Jetsons and AT&T videophones?

Even those not-so-forward-thinking individuals can appreciate a good camgirl site. Since you’re already supposed to be looking at the camgirls, there isn’t the accrued guilt or social stigma associated with similar use of yearbooks and covert satellite photos. Camgirls take the place of more deviant females, like snuff film stars or Olympic gymnasts. They add a human touch to an otherwise impersonal class, thereby inhibiting perverse inclinations. In the grand tradition of The Patch and marijuana, camgirls offer a gateway towards real life (or “RL” as the kids say) interaction.

As for camgirl enthusiasts, they aren’t feeding into the delusions and whims of their entertainers. There’s nothing wrong with a little ardent praise or even physical enumeration for a job well done. Such positive reinforcement can do wonders for the self-esteem on both sides. In fact, the notion that this only encourage camgirls to use their bodies for personal gain couldn’t be further from the truth. Discerning and discriminatory visitors also pay attention to the technical aspects of the site, such as an optimal refresh rate on the camera and proper lighting, not to mention the artistic skill of makeup.

Those who would say that such pretense precludes camgirls from operating in “RL” neglect the valuable verisimilitudinous lessons that the adoring public passes on. Camgirls that overindulge salacious activity such as stripping are often pressured to go too far, teaching the importance of teasing without any actual fulfillment. Once camgirls have people worshipping at their feet, requesting undignified actions leads to insults from the camgirl and her crew, exhibiting the necessity of protecting one’s friends.

Of course, being a camgirl isn’t all peaches and cream. For one, despite the prevalence of “camgirls” 18 and over, nobody is about to start calling people “camwomen.” Webcam patrons get the short end of the stick as well; they don’t even have a name. Although such minor imperfections abound, these modern day geisha deserve our respect, not our denigration. Remember that the next time your roommate sells your CD burner to buy Chelle that Meade DS-70EC Telescope she’s always wanted. Just think of it as a capital investment in the space age or information age or whatever.