Ian Somerhalder takes a selfie as he arrives at the Teen Choice Awards 2014 in Los Angeles, California August 10, 2014. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) (TEENCHOICEAWARDS-ARRIVALS)
The scandal created by the nude photo leak of actress Jennifer Lawrence has brought to public attention the Internet-age phenomenon of the nude selfie since it showed that the A-list actress didn't just took a few snaps but at least 60 images, based on what the hacker got from iCloud.
And with the hacker's claim that he has 100 more naked selfies of other Hollywood actresses, it becomes apparent that the practice of taking photos of one's self in his or her birthday suit is pretty common not only among the youth but even those in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
A recent study in Australia confirmed that this social media habit is pretty common and not just a Jennifer Lawrence thing. The study, released in June, found that three of five male Aussies who are users of the app Snapchat admitted to sending sexual content, which presumes it includes their nude selfies. Among female Aussies, it was one in five, reports the Herald Sun.
Outside Australia, other studies indicated 10 per cent of young people have taken a nude selfie and sent it usually through mobile phone, while 20 per cent admitted having naked selfie images of other people.
"There's no single demographic doing this - any sexually active person with access to technology can do it," said Dr Laurent Rosewarne, pop culture researcher at the University of Melbourne, quoted by News.com.au.
She added that sexting is part of the courtship ritual now.
Sex therapist Somerset Maxwell noted the fast change in people's attitude when it comes to sharing their nude photos to people they know. She said that five years ago, few women would take photos of their breasts or their bodies wearing only nighties and send them to a male. But now, she knows of some female friends who send their naked body shots via Snapchat to their husbands who are at work.
Rosewarne pointed out that what is happening is not an indicator that people have become more risqué since sharing intimate photos with loved ones has been happening over time. However, "a lot more people are doing it simply because of the tools available to them."
But while taking nude selfies and sharing them with close friends has gained public acceptance, hacking a cloud service and stealing naked images of other people - whether they are celebrities or ordinary folks - is a crime. Even the act of retweeting or reposting such images with dubious method of sourcing makes a person accessory to a crime, wrote The Age columnist John Birmingham.
He added, "They debase every woman whose image they shared, and they shamed themselves in doing so."
As for the ordinary folks who believe only celebrities like Jennifer would be victimised by hackers, they are advised to be cautious with whom to share their nude selfies because a simple wrong click could create bigger personal problems like what happened in this video below.