If I don’t show my face, is it OK to send someone a nude pic of myself?

By Kaz Cooke
From the latest edition
of Girl Stuff 13+

If I don’t show my face, is it OK to send someone a nude pic of myself?

Some people send nude pics of themselves but that doesn’t make it a good idea. The danger is that accidentally or otherwise, somebody else will show or share those pics, or the fact that they exist – by sending to someone else, who shares it with other people, maybe at your school, or to parents, or even in a school email and on social media, as has happened.

A person who makes a private pic more public, or sends it to someone else, is doing something much worse than taking the nude pic of themselves. But once it’s “out there” you can’t “get it back”. You’ll have no control over who sees it or how it’s used, whether it shows your face or not. So here’s the best advice that could help save you from some real, difficult drama …

The answer is NO!

  • Never take or send such a pic of yourself (this is often called ‘sexting’). Even as a joke between friends, never allow anyone to take a picture of you nude, topless or showing private parts.
  • Never send or resend anyone a pic of you or anyone else under 18 who’s undressed or showing private parts. It can result in police investigation, charges and a criminal record. If somebody sends you a nude or sexual photo, show it to a trusted adult then delete it.
  • Remind yourself that any sexual message you send to a friend, even as a joke, can be sent on accidentally or deliberately and end up being seen by parents or teachers.
  • It’s illegal for anyone to send you porn pictures, messages, links or info by email or text, or otherwise display it or send it to where you live, work or study. If someone does, show it to a trusted adult.
  • If you get a porn or harassing message or pic, report it to your parents or a teacher.
  • If porn sites or pics ‘pop up’ on your computer, tell a parent, teacher or boss (depending on where the computer is). Otherwise, if they check the history they might think you went to the site deliberately.
  • Don’t take photos of a friend and post or tag them without their permission.
  • Don’t keep any embarrassing pictures on your phone that someone could send deliberately or accidentally.
  • If an embarrassing pic of you is posted or texted, don’t despair. Ask friends to delete it, get help from trusted adult – a teacher, parent or aunty perhaps to deal with any wider problems, and put it down to experience. A photo can’t ruin your life, define you as a person or create a reputation that stays forever.

For more on social media and online safety get the book, Girl Stuff 13+: Your Full-on Guide to the Teen Years.