Young Ladies, I've written before about why you should never ever allow yourself to appear nude in front of a camera. But some of you forget, and I keep seeing stories about sexting, as naked pictures keep flying back and forth via phones and Facebook. I know modesty went out with petticoats, but let's push character issues aside for a moment and focus on the real-world issues you probably haven't played out.
First, once these pictures are out on the 'net, they might as well be public. Anything that can be passed from phone to phone can be shared with other phones and other people. Even if you swear your boyfriend will never ever share those photos, the odds aren't in your favor when you break up. If your father gets a look at your Blackberry, you're done. If your boyfriend's mother checks out his Galaxy, he's toast. Parents do look, even when you think they don't, thanks to software called StealthGenie or good-ol'-fashioned nosiness. Ladies, the pictures will get out, and they're gonna find out.
Second, once those pictures are out, it is impossible to put the toothpaste back in the tube. This was true in the analog world of my high-school youth, when one girl -- whom I suspect was inebriated -- decided to stick a pocket camera up her dress at a party.
"The photo has been going around school for a couple of weeks," a friend said. He pointed to another friend. "I put your name on the waiting list."
If she was a willing yet intoxicated participant in the beginning, she had to be frustrated in the end if she chased that photo down. She couldn't take back the looks.
Get nude in front of the camera once, maybe twice, maybe in a lovesick fog, and you can write it off as a mistake. We all make them. But you can't change how people think about you. You can't undo your parents' shock and anger. You can't undo your friends' floozy jokes. You can only hope your judgment will be better.
That's why it needs to be better before the shutter clicks. The pain does not equal the mirth or the thrill of adventure. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Joshua 17:9 (NIV): "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Love, friendship, ego, arrogance -- they all deceive.
So resist, ladies, not merely because it weakens your character, but because you can't hit Control-Z on the effects.