Taking pictures of food has gained a bad reputation since the surge in popularity of photo filtering applications such as Instagram, but as we complain about this ongoing trend, are we missing something much more sinister? After all, what harm is there in a picture of a meal? Is any reasonable person going to be offended by your Sunday roast? Are the Yorkshire puddings going to cry as people comment on their lardiness?
No. What is truly harmful are those teenagers in the streets who are pushing each-other into the road to capture a photo of their ‘friend’ mid fall, people snapping people who are unconscious instead of coming to their aid and paparazzi-ing any poor stranger that has attracted your attention for whatever reason. Thanks to these people, should I fall in public (which happens a fair amount, admittedly), my primary instinct is not to pick myself up, but to check for phone cameras pointed at me.
Worse yet, we have to deal with these photo gatekeepers – these (supposedly) human beings that have awarded themselves the rights to retain images of you online without your consent. No matter how bad the photo, no matter how much you beg for it to disappear into the void, you both know that there’s no way you can truly enforce it. This can lead to people being represented in ways that are a huge blow to their self esteem.
Perhaps the most extreme example of this is revenge porn. Despite never having been a victim, the concept as a whole is sickening not only because it removes a persons freedom to choose how they wish to present themselves in public, but it also removes their freedom to choose who they wish to share their body with and could affect their employment and relationships further down the line.
Adding insult to injury, faceless social media commentators will often choose to blame the victims rather than call into question the twisted morals of those who are violating their personal privacy and freedoms. If a video of a small child in a playground was taken and blasted across paedophile networks, would you blame the parents for wanting to celebrate their little bundle of joy by taking a video and sharing it with the people they trust? After all, a nude photo is presumably taken to celebrate your body and share it with somebody that you love and trust.
Reading through several accounts of revenge porn victims, it would seem that it’s often the case that those same people who pester and beg for nude photos are also the first to condemn those that take them. It’s yet another situation where you’re either a prude because you don’t or a ‘slut’ because you do. But that’s a whole other slice of mouldy, festering cheese.
See, taking pictures of food doesn’t seem like a big deal now, right?
The bottom line is, we need to stop abusing photography as a way to crush people’s self esteem. Whether somebody requests that you delete a photo of them, or that you do not take a photo of them in the first place, they should not need justification. If anyone ought to justify their motives in this scenario, it is the person holding onto a photo without permission.
So, if you find yourself bored at a meal out in public or unable to put your phone down, then please, Instagram your food. Leave the drunk person at the bar or the person with the mismatched outfit to enjoy their life without having to worry about any tiny social or fashion-related faux pas being documented on the internet.
If you find yourself a victim of revenge porn, try The Telegraph’s guide here, or visit Undox.me.
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