I love my kids’ bums.
In fact you could say I’m a little obsessed with them. From the moment they were born, I’ve loved their round, chubby backsides, and if one of them runs past me naked, I can’t help but delight in their rear end as they storm past. There’s just nothing cuter.
Recently I came across a group of mums online who also loved their kids’ bottoms. They were discussing their right to post photos of their nude kids online and how the risks of doing so were minimal – and really didn’t impact on their children that much. Some of them even suggested that anyone who finds a child’s bottom sexual is a saddo pervert with nothing better to do.
But I disagree. Really wholeheartedly.
While I think your kid’s bum is the best thing ever (after my own kids’ of course), the internet is not the place to store your pictures, much less share them for a laugh with family and friends. It’s not safe to put your naked photos of your kids online, and it’s certainly not your right, parent or otherwise. It’s our job to respect and protect our children, and by posting photos online – naked photos, no less – we’re doing the opposite of this.
Here are a few reasons to think twice before you post that next photo of your child in their birthday suit:
1. You can’t get it back
Once you share that photo of your kid, there’s no getting it back. Releasing that personal picture into cyberspace means you relinquish possession of that photo… forever. That means that even if you change your mind and delete the photo, it can never truly be erased and placed back in your possession.
2. You can never be sure who sees it
You might have your privacy settings on high and think that you’re being very careful with who sees the photos of your kids online, but think again. Do you really know every one of your Facebook friends who gets to check out your sprog’s naked glory? I mean, really? Any one of them could copy your picture and decide to use it for something not so cheerful, regardless of any protective measures you might have taken.
3. Child sex offenders are the worst
Make no mistake – a child sex offender is not to be confused with a sad old pervert with a penchant for young flesh. They are cunning and predatory, and there are whole underground movements who are on the hunt for new child abuse material. I can assure you they won’t see the plump round flesh of little Johnny’s buttocks in the same innocent way you or I would. I’m sorry. I wish I was overreacting here, but I’m not. Offering up photos of your precious, semi-naked children is like feeding dangerous wolves.
4. You might be sharing more than you think
If your photo contains details of your location, you’re also offering predators and hackers information about where you live – and where to find your child. The geo-location settings on any apps you have on your device could be sharing geographical information about where the photo was taken. Unfortunately, the type of people who are into this are horribly clever, and make it their business to know how to get your information for their own sick purposes. Please, let’s not make it any easier for them.
5. It’s not respectful
If we’re going to teach our children to keep themselves safe from sexual abuse, it starts with us, and how we value their bodies. Sharing naked photos of your child devalues them and is simply not respectful behaviour. If we can’t get it right this early on, how the hell are we going to teach our kids to do it? The bottom line is, when it comes to the internet, we can’t make assumptions that the world is safe, or that sexual abuse occurs in certain places, by certain people only. It’s messed up like that, but it’s reality.
We mums should be able to enjoy and admire our kids’ tooshies. They’re heaven-sent and should be celebrated – after all, we made them. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with being naked, and encouraging our kids to see their nude bodies as normal and wonderful.
But let’s keep the pics offline, ladies. Our kids are too precious to take unnecessary risks.
For more information about online photo safety, see www.esafety.gov.au