Could Your 12-year-old Be Asking for Nudies from a Porn Star?

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Could Your 12-year-old Be Asking for Nudies from a Porn Star?

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré

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popular French adult film actress Nikita Bellucci, has made an appeal to parents to teach their kids about sex, so that she doesn’t have to. Bellucci was left outraged over vulgar messages sent to her by boys as young as 12. Understandably, when she shared the screenshots of the boys asking her to send nudes, she made it a point to call out the irresponsible parenting that led to this in the first place.

The whole incident holds up a mirror to the times we are living in. Think about this: It’s 2018 and a pornstar was pushed to the point where she had to categorically state, “I’m getting fed up with educating your kids. Stop unloading your responsibilities on sex workers.” Slow clap.

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It’s disturbing that pubescent boys old enough to drink only Horlicks, are sending “snd nudz” messages to a woman twice their age. But there is much to think about what Bellucci has said by placing the blame on parents, and not solely the boys. After all, these are children who have grown up in an age where internet privilege is worshipped, cyber-bullying is the norm, and trolling strangers is pastime. Add to that the fact that the internet is a trashy place with smut and X-rated websites popping up everywhere. Is it really any surprise that an entire generation of boys is curious in such sketchy ways because we didn’t care enough to monitor?

The blatant objectification of Bellucci, regardless of her being a porn star, is what begs the question: Do we need better parental controls and age restrictions for social media? Are children today so drunk with internet privilege that they’ve developed gonads big enough to ask women for nudies over Twitter DMs? If this isn’t grounds for more stringent age restrictions being enforced, I don’t know what is. Suddenly, I can see the premise of Black Mirror’s recent “ArkAngel” in a new light.

With more and more children under the age of 15 becoming active on platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, the side-effects of overexposure to social media from an early age are there for all of us to see. I might sound like a crotchety old man, but I can’t be the only one disturbed by children aping Kylie Jenner’s duck-face selfies and using explicit Chainsmokers lyrics as captions, instead of doing what I was doing at this age: Playing chor-police, falling off bicycles, and ignoring girls. Primadonna complexes aside, this current crop of teens could very well face severe personality disorders in the future. This is reason enough for Facebook and Snapchat to increase their current age restriction of 13 to at least 16.

The main difference between teens of today and teens from a decade ago isn’t social media, it’s social media entitlement

Having watched more than my fair share of porn in my late teens, I tried to imagine myself as a teenager today. Yes, this is a time when you are freshly hit by the first jolts of puberty and are probably just beginning to discover the wonders of masturbation, porn, and attraction to the opposite sex. But as I looked back at my own teenage days, I realised something important. Back in 2005, while internet porn was certainly around, social media wasn’t an addiction. So while we certainly dabbled in our own “philosophical treatises” of Sasha Grey and Lisa Ann, there was no Twitter that enabled us to slide into their DMs demanding nudes and no Snapchat either, where we could brazenly share unsolicited dick pics. The main difference between teens of today and teens from a decade ago isn’t social media, it’s Social Media Entitlement.

Which is why even though we ’90s kids may get bored with countless apps as easily as teens do, we value a smartphone a little bit more. Because we remember an age when the only way to kill time was playing Snake 2 on our Nokia 3310. We don’t aspire to be social-media influencers because we recall a time when having two hundred friends on Orkut was a big deal.

Most importantly, with social media making celebrities more approachable, we also aren’t quick to abuse that power. Because we grew up in a time when privacy was respected and objectifying people online didn’t make us trolls. It made us harassers.

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