As we all probably know the world wide web, the invisible net that connects the whole world together, is full of weird and wonderful things. Some use it as a form of escapism, some gain inspiration out of it and some even make money out of it. Whatever this mysterious network might be, it is like most things in the modern world, very glorified and glamourized with little hidden secrets, locked away from the mainstream. Even though the internet is man-made, it feels like it has its own life, which we humans kindly like to ignore, blended by our ideal version that we are the superior species. We utilise the internet for whatever we like for our own benefit, whether that is making money, showing off, or satisfying your desires and cravings. We feel like we are its captain, its GPS and in general the person who has the control over it. If we like something? We like it or post it- if we change our mind after a week? We delete it with the naïve thought in the back of our heads that deleted means the complete disappearance of something we’ve posted before.
Although this might be against human pride, but our child, the world wide web has a better memory than every human. It simply does not forget. Delete just means that something is out of sight, hiding behind a virtual rock, but it will never fully disappear.
Every picture you posted and deleted is not fully gone, it floats around somewhere behind a badly locked door in our cyberspace. Anyone who has it-skills could possibly have the power to unlock that dusty, almost forgotten door. The insane memory capacity of the internet is something, which is a.) very terrifying and b.) a fact that most of us, including myself, are very likely to forget as your curated web space might feel like a safe haven, a place where only your nearest and dearest can see your posted content, whereas in reality, posting (even when it disappears after 24 hours) means that you set a virtual mark, which will probably have a longer lifetime than yourself.
Back in the school days, I very vividly remember that teachers, who were really terrified of the internet, and by the way equipped with the incompetence of even opening a website, used to tell us that the internet is a dangerous place, where you should be careful and not show your face. Of course, nobody listened to them. At least I didn’t. I mean I have articles about my history with eating disorders, heartbreaks or the simple documentation of very questionable outfits online. I am aware that all this will stay forever somewhere, and I know that a future employer could basically google me and find out more than I would probably like him to know, but that is okay with me at the end of the day I suppose.
However, we all know, that fashion is a very powerful expression tool, which should be seen more like art than a form of male seduction, in my opinion. Before the internet was monetarized for PG content, it was a very free space in terms of dressing. It was a little escape from our daily lives into the modern version of the 1960’s free world. There were no rules, everyone showed how fashion can be artistic, expressive and aesthetic. That is still going on, just with a tiny change in order to remove the 13 from the PG restrictions. Nudity is a no-go. Nude content especially has been banned from the mainstream social media, right there behind the door of pornography, which a lot of Wi-Fi servers, including mine, still block. For some people, this hidden door is the entrance to pleasure and sexual satisfaction, for others, it is the door to making money. Until very recently, I naively thought you would have to be a significant part of that industry in order to make any sort of money out of it (I am by no means an expert, I am educating myself as much as can.). But as in most cases, my lovely friend, the internet, proved me wrong. As long as you have a smartphone and a body, you can literally be anything on the internet. I can’t really describe what I felt or thought when I found out about the ginormous amounts of money that people are making over the internet, simply by selling nudes or pictures where they are clearly wearing a lack of fabric. The places where you can find such images are the little hidden corners of the internet, covered in a veil of innocence, so nobody will be able to guess what is actually hiding behind that door. Stepping into it, you lift away the magic innocent veil and see the reality. You are now part of the club.
Our bills are growing from day to day, a global pandemic is really not helpful, and a lot of people have lost their jobs. The thought of making money by simply posting seductive pictures of your body is an appealing thought for a lot of females. I totally get it. Since I was little, I could probably pinpoint a million events where I was reduced to my sexual features in order to satisfy the male gaze. Whether that was because I wore something “too short”, “too revealing” or “too seductive”, I always felt that whatever I would wear, it can never be right.
And now, at this point, girls are clearly making a lot of money in profiting from those strings that society has been creating since decades.
To cut this short, I find it very difficult to form a proper opinion about this internet phenomenon, as I never properly tested it out myself. It is even harder to word anything about it, as I do not want anyone to judge for their behaviour.
What needs to change is our mindset and the way we treat females and their bodies from the minute we are born.
And, to everyone, just as a slight footnote, I want to remind you that not everything that glitters is pure gold. The internet might seem like a glorious place that is benefitting you in that particular second, but in reality, it is just a construct with bright as well as dark hidden sides full of unrevealed secrets.
DISCLAIMER: This article is an opinion piece, it is my personal opinion. This is by no means slut-shaming, as mentioned.
PHOTOS BY CHLOE DAVIES
PEARLS IN FRONT IMAGE:Pinterest