Naked selfies: Another view

I’ve had an exceptionally satisfying few naturist days in SL. St. Patrick’s day dances, new friends made, the Holi Festival, and caught up on some of the backlog of posts planned. And it’s not over yet. I’ve got today and tomorrow before I go back to work! Hooray! Another 48 hours living SL.

Before I move on with some other posts, let’s backtrack a little.

Last week I posed the question as to whether women are becoming more comfortable with their bodies. It was a debate that then opened up a little both here at SL Naturist and on Hontouniheart’s blog ‘Penguin Love’, as well as being re-blogged elsewhere. I then moved on to note that Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Again, re-blogged several times. A third post examined the issues around ‘Revenge Porn’.

In those posts, I expressed a little concern at the phenomenon for posting naked selfies online, or sending them to others and thereby losing control of where they end up.

I subsequently received a message telling me that I was ‘out of touch’ 🙂 Hehe, it’s what happens when you get to be as old as I am 🙂

The text of that message is reprinted further down, and we’ll come to that presently. But it got me thinking, so I’ve done a little research. I love research…it takes up the vast majority of my SL time and ensures I’m never in world as much as I would wish.

A google search and a Cosmopolitan article later and it appears my correspondent might be correct! Apparently 90% of ‘millennial’ women now take nude photos of themselves. (‘Millennial’ women are, apparently the demographic of ‘Generation Y’ -which followed ‘Generation X’- with their age range being from those born in the early 1980s through to the early 2000s…so that tells us nothing, really. Just another convenient marketing/shoe-horning term that is, essentially, drivel).

I only just miss out on being part of the demographic, yet my mindset appears to be markedly different from those are within that demographic.

90%????

Now intrigued, I moved on. Dear goodness! A Guide on how to take good naked selfies????? I am getting old!

It was a relief to find an article wherein the author’s views mirrored my own.

Another article I found suggested 88% of all selfies online were stolen (source: The Internet Watch Foundation, via the BBC). Another article posits an Australian perspective.

By now, it’s clear. The practice of taking selfies is a phenomenon. A global phenomenon. The practice of taking nude selfies not much less of a phenomenon. By now my research had led me to some of those places I don’t really want to see on the internet, porn sites which were offering Hijab wearing girls wearing…only their Hijab! Enough!

Back to my correspondent and critic. Here’s what she had to say…

Hi Ella. You’re out of touch with today’s youth. Everyone I know takes selfies all the time and they’re part of our culture. We post on Facebook and Instagram a lot. These are not always nudie shots but there’s hardly a day goes by when I don’t post some sort of selfie somewhere. It’s just a modern diary of where I was and who I was with and where I was on a particular day. You probably don’t get that this is how we young people operate today.

If I buy a new bra and it looks nice I’ll do a photo of me in a bra. No biggie! I’ll do the same with a new dress or a top or something. It’s just a picture diary for everyone I know. My friends do the same. We can’t post nudie shots to Facebook but I’d use Snapchat to send my friends a photo of me in a new bra. ‘How do you like my new bra?’ I’d ask. My generation doesn’t break things down to friends being boys and girls either. I see no shame or embarrassment in sending photos of me in a new bra to some of my male friends. I get responses back. ‘That bra makes your tits look bigger, lol’. This doesn’t seem like those guys are sexist or anything to me. It’s just a comment. Sometimes the comments from guys are more useful. If the bra does make my tits look bigger that’s useful to know when going out, lol. I want to look attractive or look my best.

Sometimes I take nudie selfies because I’m feeling good. My friends do this too. Even the guys. They’ll take photos of themselves in new boxer shorts. Maybe they have their junk hanging out. I’ve probably seen 80-90% of my male friends cocks via things like Snapchat. I guess that the same number of male friends have seen my tits or my pussy or ass.

I keep the photos I take because they’re my diary. I want to look back when I’m old and remember me being young and looking good in my youth, not to look in a mirror and see me old and wrinkled.

I’ve got photos of me kissing other girls not because I’m gay or anything but because it’s a laugh. It’s a memory of us out clubbing and having a laugh.

I’ve not taken photos of me doing sex acts, not because I don’t want to, but because there’s not been circumstances where it has been asked or it didn’t occur at the time. If a guy wanted me to take a photo of him getting a blowjob from me I might say yes because it’s going to be more memories or a time and a place. This is our world today.

I think I might be a bit embarrassed if a photo turned up on the internet with me giving a guy a blow job but I’d not be embarrassed at all if a naked selfie of me turned up on the internet as long as I look good in it. 

Snapchat, I learned following further research, is a smartphone app that allows you to send a photo that self-destructs after a short time. The fact that it is only a temporary photo may be key to why people do feel a self-confidence in sending nude photos.

The problem being that there are other apps that allow Snapchat photos to be saved. So those risqué, naughty, nude or semi-nude shots could still end up online. But back to my critic…

You’ve said you’ve posed on a nude beach. What’s the difference between that and what my generation do?

In one sense, none. I don’t actually pose, I have to say, but we take holidays photos of him sunbathing, me swimming and the same stuff people would do in swimwear. So you’re right: there’s no difference. But those photos are private. We don’t post them online. We don’t keep them ‘in the cloud’. They’re confined to memory cards which are locked in the safe in our house. Occasionally we’ll sit and go back over old holiday photos on one of those photo viewers you can buy (the memory sticks don’t get attached to a computer) and personal safety is paramount. That’s not simply the case for nude photos. I would treat all photos with the same sense of personal security.

What if someone was to sneak a photo of you on a nude beach and put it online?

Maybe it has happened, I don’t know. With today’s technology it’s nearly impossible to know if someone is filming or photographing with key fob or pen cameras. No, I wouldn’t be embarrassed about it at all, on the basis that it’s within the context of a naturist beach, amongst other naturists. I would, however, be very angry that someone had taken a photograph of me without my permission. But in that respect, I’m happy enough that it’s unlikely to have been an issue much over the years.

Besides… :)…there are photos of me online, lol, with my face (and the rest of me) clearly identifiable (to me). I took part in Spencer Tunick’s photographic happening in Amsterdam a couple of days after my 30th birthday (it was my birthday treat 🙂 )

tunick shoot amsterdam me

 

Can you spot me? 🙂

Again, there is nothing embarrassing or shameful about this. I imagine the majority of people in this photograph are ‘recognisable’ to friends, family and co-workers. Most would not classify themselves as ‘naturist’. You may not agree, but for me the contextualisation of the photography is paramount. The Tunick photo above does not focus primarily on breasts or male or female genitalia, so often the main focus of selfie styled photographs.

You seem to be a great champion of the normalisation of the naked body. Don’t you think that naked selfies help to do this? Isn’t it a good thing that we’re proud of our bodies and aren’t afraid to share our naked photos?

In this, I’d agree with you, up to a point. If the ‘naked selfie’ is a phenomenon of a particular demographic embarking on life, then many of those featured are facing a period of their lives when such photographs could come back to haunt them when applying for jobs, or finding there’s maybe even some form of ‘blackmail’ element involved when that person finally wishes to establish a long term relationship. Maybe you’d like to come back to me on this: my perspective would be that it could be damaging or destructive to a relationship to find, or be shown, photographs from before the people in them became ‘an item’. Maybe that’s an old person’s term you young folk don’t use anymore 😉 Not so much in respect of nudity per se, but in some of the other types of photographic ‘selfies’ I see take place, such as where people are performing sex acts. Perhaps you disagree and think that those types of photographs also form part of a ‘diary’. I would love to hear your views. Indeed, I would love to hear anyone else’s perspective on the ‘naked selfie’ phenomenon.

Am I old and out of touch? Are ‘naked selfies’ to be welcomed in the manner in which they make people ore self-confident about sharing their own nudity? Please, let me know your thoughts.

Ella

 

 

The Female Photographer Reel 2: Selfies

tumblr_m96d5oN3hJ1r4wdm0o1_500 tumblr_n0ne9t1TX51s08fx7o1_1280 tumblr_n0z4m7PGQB1s1gk63o1_500 tumblr_n17gft2gqx1svi3t5o1_500tumblr_mp7tcgKUpj1rwey8mo1_500

 

Not all quite ‘selfies‘, the first photo would easily have fitted in with my first ‘Female Photographer’ post, and the second one could just as easily being a naturist checking texts as taking a selfie. The other three are clearly selfie styled shots. And while not strictly naturist, they show the allure of nude photography, and being the subject of a nude photograph, is strong. Of course, the fact that the subject is most often female, nude or in lingerie has led to a debate on whether or not the whole culture for selfies is one of objectifying the female (or more accurately the female model/photographer allowing herself to be objectified).

And while they may be cute, in the midst of a young love affair, what’s the position on intellectual property rights or morality when that love affair breaks up? What if your ex boyfriend or girlfriend subsequently subsequently opts to publish these on social media as an act of revenge, a way of getting even with you for having ended the affair?

I confidently predict, 25 years from now, some leading politician who opts to stand for the Presidency of the United States will be forced to quit when his (probably his) teenage selfies, sent to one of his first girlfriends to show how -ahem- ‘manly’ he is, come to light.

This despite the fact that attitudes may have further changed in 25 years to the point where photos of one’s naked self floating around in cyberspace are met with a shrug of the shoulders by most people. ‘I was young, I was silly’ will run the ‘excuse’. But politics aren’t quite like that, the attitudes therein being of dull piety -no one ever inhales in advance of standing for President- and typical political hypocrisy.

self1 self2 self3 self4 self5 self7

So I snagged myself an iPhone, found a mirror and started posing. 🙂 The different bedrooms, incidentally, are from a showroom in SL…I haven’t been running around half the bedrooms of SL in my birthday suit! I’ve not attempted to do any post-production on the photos as they’re quite often in their ‘raw state’ as published by RL people. Indeed, I should ask Harry to ‘degrade’ the photos on his iPhone, as he’s done before with some SL shots, in order to give them a truer air of being not top quality.

The art of (reproducing) the selfie is something I shall return to in a subsequent post.

Diane