Back in the bad old days, all it took for a lady to get fired from teaching job or lose an election was flip the bird at or show her areolas to a digital camera. No longer. In fact, as a recent case in Texas shows, we're moving toward a future where the only response to revelations of a "naughty" digital past will be a resounding, "Who cares?"
Texas Monthly's Dan Solomon believes this to be true as well, and points to the recent case of one Dallas teacher as evidence of society's momentum. Students in one DFW charter school have rallied to save the job of 21-year-old Spanish Cristy Nicole Deweese, who was recently outed as a person whose boobs were once photographed. When she was 18, you see, Deweese appeared in an issue of Playboy as the magazine's "Coed of the Month," which means she provided photographic evidence to the world at large that she has boobies, which means she's forever unfit to be around minors, because everyone knows that breasts are poisonous to children.
Or, at least, according to some parents, breasts are lethal to teen boys' ability to respect women. Some clamored for her to be fired on the grounds that because her students could go home and whack it to publicly available nude photos of their Spanish teacher, they might have difficulty learning. But Solomon argues that we're rapidly approaching a time when it will be rarer that a young person doesn't have nude photos online somewhere. He writes,
Deweese is 21—her photoshoot ran in 2011—which makes her part of a generation that has had the technology to take sexy photos of themselves basically since puberty. Deweese's photos were professionally shot, but according to this poll from 2011 on the women's-interest site The Frisky, only 37% of the more than 7,000 respondents said that they'd never send anyone naked photos of themselves; a 2008 poll from Glamour found that 63% of the women who responded had already posed for sexy photos taken by a man. It's not a stretch to suspect that those numbers might spike as the generations that have grown up with Snapchat and YouPorn start being asked similar questions. Fact is, people are interested in sex, they take more pictures of themselves than ever, and they share hundreds of thousands of photos online every second—at some point, it'll be hard to come up with a pool of teachers who haven't got racy photos out there somewhere.
Naked pictures, then, are like tattoos. Everyone's got them and most of them are bad, but no one cares. There's an oncoming deluge of young women with "sordid" pasts forming a slut wave that not even the clutchiest of pearl clutchers can stop. If we're all Hester Prynne, it's kind of like none of us are Hester Prynne. I, for one, welcome our sexy new overlords.