Editor’s Note: Anyone under the age of 18 sending nude photos of themselves is categorized as distribution of child pornography. For the purposes of this article, it’s important for readers under the age of 18 to remember that distribution of nude photos of themselves is illegal. Don’t break the law, friends!
At a young age, I distinctly remember an obnoxious MTV commercial of a girl in a towel listing off how her sext message was going to ruin her career and relationships with other people, present or future. It didn’t sit well with me then when I was absorbing that information, and it doesn’t sit well with me now either.
Our society says, “Don’t send nude photos of yourself because you’re giving someone power to ruin your life.” Thus, there is the possibility someone will take advantage of this sexual exchange.
It blows my mind that this line of thinking still exists. It correlates with victim blaming. Being in a sexual relationship encourages trust between two people, but if one person was to cause a rift in that trust, we’ve come to shame the victim, especially if the victim is female.
In our culture, discussion surrounding sex and sexual topics is still incredibly taboo, which contributes to a lack of needed sex positivity. If someone is comfortable with their own body and willing to share that comfort with another person, shouldn’t that be considered beautiful rather than shameful? Shouldn’t someone be allowed the freedom of sexual liberation, particularly within a private or consenting partner setting?
Now, should someone who is posting or sending these types of photos be mindful of possible outcomes? Yes, they should.
Unfortunately, there will be always be a possibility of negative consequences when carrying out an action, but with that being said, the exposure of someone’s personal photos should not be used as ammunition against them. If anything, it should be used as ammunition towards those who leaked the photos.
Exposing someone’s nude photos or blackmailing someone with their nude photos is what’s wrong with this equation. Legally, those who release media without the consent of those involved could be charged for committing a sex crime, but it’s not always easy for those charges to go through, nor is the offender ever really mentioned in a negative light.
If focus should be directed towards anyone, it should be against those who committed a crime and breached privacy. The focus shouldn’t be on those who’ve had their trust taken advantage of.
Overall, as a sexual human being, doing what you want with your body (within terms of personal safety) and wanting to show off your body are all okay. Someone taking advantage of that is not. So, with that being said, flaunt what you got if you want; don’t let others bring you down. ◼︎