Sunday, February 21, 2016

Nude Selfie? Delete Your Face!

It’s been three days since we went to the polls and alas, some peeps won’t read this column because they are in Luzira or some outpost police station for not adhering to police kiboko’s, or they went abroad to err on the side of caution or tragically, lost their lives. That solitary sentence, marks my input into the elections for we have more interesting issues to talk about – selfies.

A good number of our celebs – Anita Fabiola, some MUK don, Desire Luzinda and more have fallen victim to nude selfies and sex videos being published in the papers and social media. People have it in their heads that because they own a smart phone, they are compelled to take selfies of themselves nude and share them with the wrong people. I too have taken selfies and posted them, but I am clothed and they tend to be of me having discovered a new watering hole.

Weeks ago, a Daily Mail article about nude selfies left me disturbed. When 15-year-old Beth White goes home from school, it’s straight to her bedroom to strip off her school uniform down to her underwear, snap pictures of herself with her smartphone in the wardrobe mirror which, she shares with a boy she is dating at school.

A Bristol study recently found ‘sexting’ has fast become the norm in teenage courtship, with almost half of 13 to 17-year-old girls saying they have been sent explicit pictures and videos. What ever happened to taking her for a scoop of ice cream at Speke Hotel that’s eaten so slowly, it would last the entire afternoon?    

Beth says it started when the boy sent her a close-up of his privates. Incredibly, she wasn’t surprised because she had been sent something similar by of all people, a stranger on Snapchat. The boy asked her to send one back a few times and she gave in because, “I didn’t want him to lose interest and ask someone else.”

These days if you don’t have the stereotypical big bouncy breasts, you are made to feel you are not good enough. Not only do you have to look good with your clothes on, you are also supposed to look good with them off too.

Jake Land, began sexting when he was 15 and received 100 pictures from five girls at school but only had a proper relationship with one. Thankfully she was bright and mature enough to learn the rules of the sexting game.

Nude selfies follow a set pattern - flirty messages exchanged, followed by ‘selfies’ while standing semi-clothed in front of a mirror, then to  lying down while showing more intimate views being the next stage. Girls know from music videos what they are supposed to do. A few years ago, a boy might have been happy to be sent a picture of a pair of breasts, but not any longer.

Andy Phippen, professor of social responsibility at Plymouth University, who has done research on sexting, says tales like all these are typical and doubts there is a school which has not been affected.

In my teen days, all that we boys wanted from girls was for them to be impressed when we drove up in dad’s stolen car and not sexy pictures before the relationship moved to the next level or because she wanted to BAE us (Before Anyone Else).

One word of advice was we end – regardless of a teen or adult status, if you send a nude selfie, it’s imperative you chop your head out of the picture so you can’t be identified lest, you end up being laid bare in social media as it happened to Fabiola and Luzinda.