Sarah Irby, Editor in Chief~

So, let’s talk about nudes. Unfortunately, this discussion has nothing to do with my favorite types of lipstick. Some of you might send out a collective gasp, but I’m just going to throw it out there: Sending nudes is stupid.

I get it, nudes can be fun and flirtatious, and they’re a regular staple of sexting. However, it seems like the cons outweigh the pros. Maybe, they make you feel confident or maybe you’ve been conditioned into thinking you need to send that guy a picture of yourself sans clothes in order for him to like you; despite the reasoning, I find that sending nudes is an ignorant and risky act. Often, we do it impulsively, without even considering the potential ramifications, or we just ignore them and assume everything will go smoothly, because we totally trust this person. Maybe, there are certain circumstances where it’s rational to assume everything will be fine – like if you’re in a seriously committed relationship – but even then you don’t know what the future holds.

I’m here to tell you not to do it, and there are a number of significant reasons why you shouldn’t. First off, let’s get technical. You may think social media platforms (Ahem, Snapchat) are a safe option for displaying your goods, but you’re wrong. The receiver may only see it for five seconds, but guess what? Snapchat saves your information. The people in charge are seeing everything you’ve got too. And don’t even get me started on Facebook Messenger (steer clear).

unbelievably censored
Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

Secondly, let’s be honest. There are plenty of people out there who love showing others the naked pictures they’ve been so blessed to receive, whether you think they’re that type of person or not. Clearly they just can’t help it. So unless you don’t mind risking other people (maybe even some you know) seeing it, then I’d say it’s a no-go. Then there are the people who leak your nudes. It sure doesn’t bother them any to show the world what you’ve got, even though it isn’t their place whatsoever to betray your privacy, even if you did make the decision to send them a picture – there is always the reasonable expectation that it’s for that person’s eyes only. Depending on the picture, the context and other factors, this could be a life changing-event, and that’s something a lot of people don’t realize. I can personally attest to the horror of being exploited and bribed; not only do you not know how many guys you went to high school with who have seen it, but you don’t know who saved it and is still looking at it from time to time or even if it’s still being circulated among some. At this point, it’s a real hard “no” for the future.

With that being said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sending nude pictures, and you should never feel ashamed, especially if someone else makes the immoral decision to betray your trust. That’s on them; it’s on you to be cautious and to make wise decisions. If you do choose to send nudes, please, for the love of yourself, do not include your face – ever, ever. At least then if others see it, they can’t prove for certain that it’s you, and you won’t have to worry about finding your image plastered on the internet – forever – for any and everyone to see. You can save yourself a lot of humiliation that way. Unless of course you’re someone who doesn’t mind, or even enjoys, showing off your birthday suit. In that case, all bets are off, but more power to you.

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