Here’s Looking at You, Kid
Social media … Sometimes I wish social media had a face so I could slap the crap out of it. I think 99.9 percent of what gets transmitted through social media could be filed under the category of Who gives a ____?
Even the Twit-in-Chief has taken second place to a minor uproar over a non issue. It seems one of America’s sweethearts, a girl gymnast, Instagrammed a video of herself dancing in her undies.
Really? She wasn’t even naked. And even if she were, haven’t the effects of social media made showing and viewing pictures of naked people passé by now?
If we’ve learned anything since the advent of easily processed and even easier accessed media, is that people like to exhibit themselves and others in the nude. Especially if it’s easy to do.
You might cite the advent of video cameras being made available to the public. How long did it take average folks to realize that in addition to being able to record their kids’ birthday parties and graduations, dad could also tape mom in some provocative poses in her altogethers? Or, even nastier, set the camera up on an end table or tripod and record dad doing mom doggie style, or mom giving dad a blowjob.
How much cajoling did it take for dad to get the secretary of the PTA to carry on like a porn star? Ah, but that’s another question for another day.
Of course, the so-called sex tape became a status symbol once the ex-boyfriend of a certain hotel heiress sold a tape of her giving an inspired BJ. What followed was a cascade of stolen celebrity tapes. Seriously, if you wanted to remain a celebrity, you needed an allegedly clandestine sex tape in circulation.
Long before video cameras became ubiquitous, there were Polaroids. Anyone remember them? So-called instant pictures. When I was in high school they got passed around at lunch. Some lothario had coaxed his girl into posing naked, no doubt with the promise, “No one will ever see them but me.”
I’d like to think that someone, somewhere is going through their just-deceased grampa’s personal effects and discovering some racy old Polaroids of grandma in an old shoe box. Can you imagine the shock on a millennial’s face? Well, kid, how do you think you got here?
Watch out when dad passes away and you come across some old VCR cartridges, if you can find a VCR to play them on, that is.
Being seen naked used to be so shameful. Visualize the kid with the smarmy smirk brushing her forefingers together in that once universal shame-on-you gesture. Does anyone do that anymore?
Sexting – sending a naked picture of oneself via your phone – has become routine among teens and twentysomethings. And, once they’re out there, they’re likely out there forever. But no one seems to be concerned. Sure, a few celebs have cried that their private photos were stolen or sold without their authorization. But increasingly those situations are being met with a big so-what, which is why I’m surprised when the moralists take someone to task for it. That train left the station a long, long time ago.
A couple of keystrokes and images of naked people fill your computer screen.
And why be satisfied with just pictures? Just go to the nearest beach for an eyeful of naked girl. Oh yeah, there may be a piece of fabric stuck between her bum cheeks, but by any definition, she’s naked.
It’s kind of sad, really. There was a time when seeing a naked body, if only a glimpse, was like experiencing a flash of the divine. Still, I hope it never gets old.