If you’re an active Twitter user – as we all should be – you couldn’t have missed the latest sister scandal.
That’s right. I’m talking about James Charles’ booty pic. James joined celebrities like Bella Thorne and Whitney Cummings in leaking their own nudes after being threatened by a hacker. The picture quickly circulated and sparked memes and conversations alike. From “if I see James Charles’ butt cheeks on my timeline one more time I’ll scream” to “why take the nudes in the first place?” People were talking.
While some said “sister so brave” others looked down from their throne of hate to spout their disapproval. Say what you will about James Charles — this incident highlights an ever growing issue surrounding nudes.
The modern reality is that a lot of people take nudes. An unfortunate few get burned with threats and leaks. When this happens, people are quick to victim-blame. It’s a not-so sneaky way of shaming people for their sexuality and perpetuating an unhealthy sexual culture. Just because someone takes an intimate picture to share with one person doesn’t mean they’re asking for everyone to see it.
Then you have people that take nudes for themselves as a form of empowerment. It’s completely valid to want to feel good about how you look naked. Using something so private and natural to exploit someone is devastating.
And here’s the thing: telling young people, ‘if you don’t want to be humiliated, don’t take the nudes in the first place’ is not helpful. It’s the digital version of saying if you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex.
We all know that approach has been historically ineffective, yet it’s the first argument out of naysayers’ mouths. The truth is that these critics don’t want to be helpful, they want to be shameful. It could happen to anyone, but the response is exponentially greater for celebrities, so it makes sense why they’re choosing to leak their own nudes. If people will shame you either way, you might as well get the first say and keep your power.
So I say take the nudes if you want, but exercise smart nude etiquette. Keep your face out of it, don’t send them to obviously grimy people, and keep that kind of material in protected places. Put a condom on that nude, okay? And don’t let anyone shame you for it.