I will admit that ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ is my guilty pleasure show. Don’t judge me. I find their highly choreographed ‘reality’ fascinating.
But I was struck by something I saw in an episode from a few years back that has stayed with me since. In an episode which touched on the sex tapes and nude photos of both Kim and her sister Kourtney, Kim insisted to her mother:
“Everyone has sex with their boyfriend. Everyone takes pictures.”
No Kim, everyone doesn’t.
While the evolution of the Internet and social media has been beneficial in so many ways, it has also created a means for the exploitation of young people, particularly young women. Sexually charged photo messaging or ‘sexting’ has garnered much media attention in the past few months, and the latest Hollywood luminary to have been publicly shamed by nude photos is Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively.
As a twenty-something woman, I’ve often been confounded by why people do this. My boyfriend is a photographer and despite repeated requests I’ve never let him photograph me in so little as a bikini.
With the accessibility of the Internet and social media today it seems perilous to ‘sext’ your partner via iPhone or have a flirty video exchange when chances are someone else can very easily get their hands on it.