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Why this childish hullabaloo over nudes?

OPINION
By Cosmas Butunyi | April 12th 2020

Once upon a time, human beings roamed the earth in their birthday suits. Nudity was then not just an accepted way of life, but how life was lived No one gave the other a side eye for having nothing on.

There were no moral police deciding how appropriate dressing looked like, because there was nothing anyway. The penal code too had nothing to say about indecent exposure because it was the decent of those days.

This was until humans discovered that civilization meant covering up the essentials, which came with added advantages of protecting them from harsh weather, thorns and, of course, drooling type.

The biblically inclined link the sudden about-turn from nudity to that time when the first couple were banished from the Garden of Eden after eating of the tree of knowledge that made them realise they were naked and started using branches to cover their nudity.

Be that as it may, the moral of the story is that humans once went about their lives naked and unbothered.

They knew no other way, after all.

This probably explains why, from time to time photos and videos of adults of sound mind, some of whom very senior members of society, surface with them posing confidently. These nudes start circulating, feeding WhatsApp groups with scintillating late night conversation, as experts of social media analyse parts of the anatomy.

It appears that in those moments of madness, humans tend to regress to factory settings.

They not only have a preference for staying without clothes but also chronicling such moments in photos and videos.

Such bad decisions that are likely to be regretted in future happen in throes of the moment and during flashes of madness.

Social scientists have a cool name for it - the spiral of silence.

This habit of taking and sharing nudes is supposed to be a game of the young and mostly inexperienced in the ways of the world But alas! Advances in technology that has availed it to all has made the situation a lot worse, lethally combining a camera and social media on the same gadget.

The camera replaced the radio as a basic component of an average smartphone, keeping the propensity to take such lewd images at an all-time high. Add this to the fact that this same phone has social media applications installed, which means getting the whole world to see the images is easy.

This was not a risk ages ago. For starters, taking a photo was an event Getting hold of the photo-man was not that easy as he crisscrossed the villages on his bicycle, camera slung around his neck, to honour appointments.

Even after spotting him and getting him to come, photos could only be taken while fully dressed to avoid getting scandalized.

Remember this film would have to be taken for development at a photo studio, losing control of the number of people who could encounter the photos. No wonder, nudes were a rarity.

Even with the enabler that has been the mobile phone, criminal elements will not let people enjoy themselves in the best way they know how. Enter an extortion ring, which thrives on using such nudes as a bargaining chip.

The individuals in the salacious images are arm-twisted to cough up handsomely to avoid being embarrassed irreparably when photos of them unclothed are broadcast to the world Granted, it is indeed embarrassing to have one's nether regions viewed across the world and analysed by the Einsteins of social media. Remember, the internet never forgets; such images tend to resurface many years later when one lands a senior position and even find their way into the hands of one's children and in-laws.

Political ambitions have been shelved in the past and families broken.

All this, just because a cowardly dimwit to whom nudes were sent in confidence, betrays this trust, publicizes a private engagement and distributes them.

Whatever the motivation for doing this, whether it is a jilted lover trying to get back or just desire for a quick buck, it is not justifiable. The way to defeat these cowards is, hard as it may be, being proud of our nudity.

At the end of the day, why is it anyone's problem that another person felt confident enough to pose for photos and videos in their birthday suits? Perhaps, it is just sour grapes!

[email protected]/ @butunyi

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