Exclusives…?

In 2007 when someone mentioned the term ¨nudes¨ I thought of the shade, usually while trying to find it in makeup stores or when buying lingerie however just the singular word, meant just that..being in the buff.
Fast forward to 2017, add a question mark and it´s considered a suggestion to send a series of nude photos to the requester.
This isn’t a new concept nor is it some taboo topic, back in high school (perhaps even middle school) you would hear about the occasional nude photos that were unfortunately passed around because some douche bag thought it was acceptable to forward intimate pictures to boast to his friends, meanwhile the girl is going through public humiliation from her parents, peers, teachers not mention being seen as an attention seeker, hoe, slut, whatever.
Today, it´s considered part of the norm, many Instagram models pose (basically nude) on social media for the world to see, creating constant traffic to her account, generating a large social media influence which consequently can translate into fame and cash flow for her personal brand all while having complete control. On the other hand, when normal young girls imitate the thirst trap, they are bombarded with DM`s from randoms thinking they are fortunate enough to have exclusives or for business ¨opportunities¨.
So because an online presence has been proven to be a catalyst to real life fame…so why not send that nude or ¨exclusive¨ right?
WRONG! and this is why.
For over a year, I have been part of an Online Grooming Prevention campaign dedicated to promoting safe online practices…why? To prevent young teens from falling into the hidden dangers of social media such as Online Grooming.

What is online grooming?
It´s the act of establishing connections through false profiles with minors, inducing them to carry out sexual activities online and subsequently personal encounters.
If the victim refuses to collaborate then the predator will either threaten to disclose personal information provided throughout the relationship or will suggest a meet up, to ¨guarantee¨ his victim, that she isn’t being “catfished”.

Sadly enough, girls actually agree, and later find themselves in serious predicaments resulting in rapes, kidnaps and/or becoming human trafficking victims.
According to The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime; Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation includes, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
Let be me very clear, human trafficking is very real, you can find numerous reports online of human trafficking rings worldwide whom successfully lured teens through social media into sending personal information, bank information and intimate photos.

In various studies reported by the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) , states:

1 in 5, 8 yrs to 11 yrs and 7 in 10, 12 yrs to 15 yrs old have a social media profile

1 in 4 children have experienced something upsetting on a social networking site

There were over 57,000 URLs containing child sexual abuse images(as reported in 2016 by the Internet Watch Foundation).

There were over 2,100 counselling sessions with young people who talked in Childline about online child sexual exploitation (CSE) in 2016/17

These reports are to be highly considered, as these studies were conducted to support claims stated above.

(Girls) This is serious business , if you consider yourself an adult, then let that maturity reflect in the decisions that you make.

I am not here to preach however I am here to tell everyone to stick to the values instilled early on.

Love yourself, be smart, stay safe, make logically decisions in order to never fall into life-threatening situations.
Love you all
Lola

Soundtrack to this post: Lust for life, Lana del Rey, 2017

Sources:
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html

http://internetsafety101.org/grooming
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0034/93976/Children-Parents-Media-Use-Attitudes-Report-2016.pdf
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/08/online-grooming-of-children-often-alarmingly-fast-researchers-find
https://www.enisa.europa.eu/news/enisa-news/new-report-cyber-bullying-online-grooming-18-protective-recommendations-against-key-risks