The naked selfie… an intimate electronic postcard. Private? Most certainly! But what does ‘private’ mean in a world where personally prepared portraits of your nibbley bits are housed in the same cloud as those holiday photos you shared all over facebook? Can the cloud be trusted to keep your secrets? The answer appears to be a resounding ‘NO’.
The ever-popular cloud is like that college pal who promised never to reveal the name of your weekend hookup only to start blabbing after a single beer. Every woman can relate. But ‘back in my day’ the worst case scenario was a few days of embarrassment and a lost friendship. After all, even a drunk, blabbering fool can only whisper your secrets to a certain number of ears on any given day. But the cloud is an uber-gossip, capable of reaching a million plus ears (and eyes) in less than the time it takes to drink that beer.
Added to the problem is the newfound popularity of naughty photos. Where my generation racked up long distance phone bills ‘talking dirty’, today’s young lovers have discovered truth in the adage that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. I guess it makes sense… efficiency in all things! Why waste half an hour trying to find the most provocative adjectives to enthrall and entice when a few minutes in front of the bathroom mirror can graphically display exactly what the object of your affections is missing during your absence?
I feel badly for those Hollywood starlets that recently found their nude selves all over the internet. And no… it doesn’t matter that they are famous or that some of them have been paid, on occasion, to display those same bits of flesh on screen. At the root of it, they are still just young people, exploring all the ways to get ‘hot and heavy’ and their explorations shouldn’t have become comic fodder for late night talk show hosts or the topic of water cooler conversations.
That said, all of this talk of naked selfies inspired me to take a shot at it. It’s never too late to try something new was my logic… until I tried it. Holding the camera from above seemed to exaggerate the already disturbing effects gravity has had on many of my more fleshy body parts. Extending one arm straight out and pointing the camera back towards myself brought the shocking realization that I may no longer have a ‘good side.’ And holding the camera from below resulted in an image in which I looked like the long-lost cousin of Gollum, the freakish troll from Lord of the Rings!
Adding to my own dismay was the reaction of the dog, sole witness to my attempt at 21st century titillation. As I twirled and twisted in front of the bedroom mirror, Buster the Schnauzer sat on the floor beside me, un-amused by my antics yet unable to turn away. I know that ‘naked’ doesn’t mean much to my four-legged friend, nor does ‘embarrassed’. After all, this is a fellow who will randomly begin licking his own genitalia in the middle of the living room while the rest of the family tries to watch television. But in those moments I sensed a level of communal discomfort in the room, as though even he recognized that my naked photo shoot was not going well.
In the end, Buster and I abandoned the activity and I donned clothes, which seemed a great relief to both of us. I think that at 50, clothing is my friend… as is dim lighting and a few drinks. But if I was twenty-something in 2014, I might be inclined to indulge in a little provocative photography… if only so that my fifty-something self might have a permanent record of the days when everything was firm and luscious and spectacular!