Kitchie Ohh: That Sounds Like a You Problem

Fetish model and writer Kitchie Ohh striking a pose for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Victor Devilbliss, Copyright 2023

Text by Kitchie Ohh,  Copyright 2023


Photography: Victor Devilbliss

Hair / Makeup: Charlie Leanna Murphy


That Sounds Like a You Problem


Apologies in advance that this whole topic may sound like a brag, but this subject has come up many times in my life and an alarming number of times over the past few months. While I am not surprised by it anymore, I am – each and every time – genuinely confused as to why it’s brought up at all. The topic? Being told I am intimidating, scary, frightening, terrifying, or something along similar lines. 

Excuse me…WHAT?? I do believe you have this backward. I am not actively or intentionally doing a damn thing to create this reaction in you. You are scared. You are  intimidated. You are frighted. You are terrified. What do you hope to gain by bringing this to my attention? If my existence and the way I present myself, personally or professionally, causes this reaction, know that I won’t be changing a thing to make you feel more comfortable.  And I’m not sorry that I’m not sorry.  

Ok a small backtrack is needed. If something I am doing is hurtful, offensive or insulting, please bring that to my attention. It is unintentional. I will apologize and I will do my best to change that behavior. However, for everything else…see above.

If you’ve read some of my earlier posts here on this blog, you know I’ve gone through some stuff. If you haven’t, the short version is years of bullying with internalized feelings and lasting effects that have only recently started to fade as I discover and love myself. This is what makes being told I’m “scary” is just so hard to comprehend. I would never want to intentionally make someone feel afraid. Now I know that sometimes this is said as a joke or a compliment of sorts. But I don’t understand it, and even more, I don’t like it. It’s not flattering.

Granted in the earliest instances I can remember, I probably didn’t handle it in the best way. “I used to think you were the biggest bitch, like I couldn’t even talk to you because you just looked like it, ya know?” Umm no, I don’t know. So, you only think I’m kind of a bitch now, or… {shrug} I don’t think I need to spell out that we did not become best friends, or ever speak again after that interaction. Which, occurred on the last full school day of high school. It still makes me laugh, teen angst at its peak.

Into adulthood, it didn’t get better. Honestly, the frequency has increased, especially since leaning into my modeling interest and growing in self-confidence, but my reaction has improved. On multiple occasions, I’ve received messages from female friends telling me that a male they know contacted them about me stating interest but also being afraid to approach directly. They needed an “in” or encouragement from my friend to ease their intimidation before approaching me. The “Me” they were scared of didn’t even exist, though they tried quite hard to convince themselves  – and me – she did when they finally got up the nerve to speak to me. This disparity only proves that the fear or intimidation felt was entirely of their own making. The real me, the non-burlesque dancer, non-gamer, yes I am actually staying in to knit a sweater while wearing flannel pajamas on Friday night me, politely turned down their date offers. With zero regrets and no sarcastic comments. (Seriously, I’d love to know how they even came up with their ideas about who I “really” am!)

In my professional life is where the scary nonsense has appeared most recently. In just three short months of my new job role, it has been suggested no less than a dozen times. Only once warranted in a non-work-related conversation about an incident with my dog. I suppose I can understand, since my dog is my baby and how very dare anyone or anything hurt him and not expect me to be scary! But all other instances were related to something in the office getting done quicker, better, or just differently than expected because the other person must be scared of me. For the record, not a single individual at my workplace has come forward to admit being afraid of or intimidated by me. Yet the conversations about how they “must be afraid of me” persists. Apparently, intimidation is the only logical explanation for successful collaboration. 

The old me would take it to heart anytime it was even remotely suggested. My immediate reaction would be to prove the person wrong. I would self-deprecate to the point of embarrassment, do overly nice things even if entirely inconvenient and not remotely what I wanted to do. I would bend over backward to be the smaller, nicer, more palatable version that was wanted. Honestly, this never resulted in anything good for me. It took a very long time to stop and get to my current feeling about it, and there’s no going back. 

I know I am a good person, self-sufficient, hardworking. I am confident in who I am. I’m talented, responsible, reliable, trustworthy, and generally have all of my proverbial shit together. Sometimes I’m loud, and dramatic, and absolutely ridiculous. I am extremely self-aware and have learned how to use my own self-described “fun little quirks” that help me function on a daily basis to be more understanding and patient with others. I own it. I am it, all of it. And I refuse to change a thing about me to make anyone feel better about themselves, or better than me. 

I can see how telling me, or anyone, that they’re intimidating could be well-intentioned. But I argue that it can be said in so many different, more positive ways; ways that don’t seem to be saying change is needed. Intimidation and fear are not generally viewed as good things. This is likely why it’s rarely “I’m intimidated by you,” because expressing it this way shows I – the subject – am having the feeling. “You’re intimidating” puts the blame elsewhere – someone else is making you feel it. Follow me? It’s just another way of not accepting responsibility. And that is a giant pet peeve of mine, if you haven’t guessed by now. 


Kitchie Ohh strikes a pose in a sheer negligee
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Victor Devilbliss, COPYRIGHT 2023



Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits in the Philadelphia area over the last 20 years. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then, she has worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles. She has been featured in- and on the covers of – multiple print and digital publications. Over the years, she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn.

In addition to her philanthropy-focused career, she has volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even the events team of a local brewery for a while, pre-pandemic.

You’re just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is “be both.” The model and the homemaker, sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once.


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