Twenty years ago, if you wanted to give the special someone in your life a risqué picture of yourself, you arranged for a boudoir photography session. Ten years ago, it was all about sex tapes. Just ask Rob Lowe, Colin Farrell, Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton. And years ago, posing for Playboy was scandalous.
Now, social media and modern technology have given us the unsavory term "sexting." Sexting is defined as the broadcasting of provocative images or messages over the information highway. These images or messages are posted on Twitter or Facebook or sent directly to someone’s phone.
It seems both women and men sext equally. In early June, 2011, Blake Lively and Rep. Anthony Weiner both graced us with their private parts. Other recent sexting scandals include the likes of Brett Favre, Kanye West, Rihanna and Vanessa Hudgens.
Unfortunately, the images and actions of today’s role models are directly affecting our teens. Celebrity’s actions are speaking louder than words and demonstrating to our teens it is normal to flash the world your private parts.
According to New York psychologist Susan Lipkins, "I see a lot of young girls, tweens, teens, college age. About four to five years ago I saw a shift in the way they think about their bodies and sexuality."
Lipkins continued, "One 13-year-old girl told me, 'I've always been told I am equal, and I am equal to have sex, too.' For young people, sexting is part of their everyday communication system -- it's a mating call, a form of gossip."
Hopefully, these images of "down-under" are just another fad and will disappear. However, some media outlets seem to be milking this trend. Recently Ask.com featured a story titled "Sexting Etiquette.”
One celebrity who might have it right is Oscar winning actress Reese Witherspoon.
On Sunday, June 5, 2011, Witherspoon accepted MTV’s "Generation Award." During Witherspoon’s acceptance speech, she said "I just wanna say to all the girls out there, it's cool to be bad, I get it ... but it's also possible to make it in Hollywood without a reality show."