Saturday, April 18, 2009


This is something I've known has been going on but hadn't known it was given a name until very recently. In a nut shell sexting is the act of sending nude (or semi-nude) pictures via text message, and - big shocker - it's particularly popular amongst high school students. The big-ticket item surrounding this issue is - how close to child pornography is it?

There are kids in schools all across the country who are formally being charged with child pornography. Generally speaking the photos are intended solely for the boyfriend or girlfriend, but the problem arises when the photos are shared between classmates and children from other schools. In some cases there have been reports of the pictures winding up on the internet. Once it hits the internet and Myspace or Facebook (or really whatever your social networking site of choice may be) it spreads like wildfire - and that's the kind of thing you just can't get back.

Then again, kids are notorious for not thinking that far ahead. It all seems well and good when they're together and feel like it'll be that way forever, but if there's a messy break-up there's no telling what someone may do out of anger. (And honestly I'm willing to bet a good percentage of the time a messy break-up isn't required for someone to share and brag with their buddies.) Anywho... I'm not here to try to argue one point over the other, and there are plenty of more eloquently written articles on the matter out there, so yeah...

I wanted my image to be kind of flirty without being to sexy or over the top, and I felt I had to get the idea across that it was a text (picture) message but that the whole thing is kind of ridiculous. Hence the emoticon winking face ;) My friend likes it, but says it's kind of creepy, (I suppose it's too soon after she saw Coraline) but I think that speaks to the issue at large. That kids as young as 8th graders (14 years old on average) and willingly exposing themselves in such a way. Oh well, I guess I'm just an old fuddy-duddy at heart.

Oil on canvas. 10 x 14


Dalton G Crosthwait said...

Your last line is a good example of the slow deterioration of standards in our world. It's not fuddy-duddy to think this is the most ridiculous thing. Kids shouldn't have cell phones. Kids shouldn't be on myspace or facebook.

These things should absolutely be reserved for older people. Social networks should be created to allow people to keep in touch after they're not forced to be together in a classroom every day. Facebook had the right idea when they were college students and alumni only.

I didn't have a cell phone until I was 17 or 18. I've received a few photos of female friends in sultry dresses asking for my opinion, but that's about it. I'm not sure that anyone I know has ever felt the need to send stuff like that, because the possibilities of it losing that protection of privacy is just far too great.

Let's keep the kids in check and stop giving them unlimited access.

Love the emoticon and the brand of the phone... or is that the model? The Maxfield thing.

Brian Bowes said...

Nice work Vaughn, once again you are on the forefront of news and illustration. I hope that The New York Times, the New Yorker, the Chronicle, et al are paying close attention. You're proving why your one to watch. Great work!