I’m Shirtless, But Don’t Look

Hartsock - "Don't Look At Me"

In an age where almost everyone is on a social networking service like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, we are exposed to new and fascinating people. Dangerous people, too.

When sharing personal information or photos on the web, certain responsibilities automatically come with it. They could stem from the website’s terms and conditions, or your every day common sense. More often than not, it’s both.

So, what about those provocative photos?

Facebook is full of dicey photos of young men and women that, in turn, receive many colors of feedback. Some believe that if you post a risque photo and receive negative attention for it, you are asking for it and shouldn’t complain. Others say that, regardless of what you post, it may warrant attention, but does not grant anyone the right to harass you.

The bottom line is that, no matter how you display your body, you should never be subject to harassment. Psst… Getting turned on by a photo of your friend pushing her breasts together does not grant you permission to go around saying so.

But they want attention.

Sure, from what I’ve witnessed, men and women tend to post provocative photos on public servers in order to gain attention. This happens all the time with celebrities; take Miley Cyrus and her multi-photo scandals. What is this young actress’ intention? Did she expose her body for public view because, quite frankly, it’s just a human body? Or, is she seeking public attention by pushing the boundaries? Of course, we don’t know her intentions — but we can make an educated guess.

Nonetheless, you cannot claim that someone is inviting you to assault or harass them because of their photos. Harassment, of any kind, is never justifiable.

However… by posting these photos, you are putting yourself at that risk. Don’t let society oppress you (constantly sexualizing and censoring the human body), but when exposing yourself to the world, be mindful and responsible for your well being as much as you can be. Be proud of your body, but protect it, too.

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