Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Self-Shooters

NOTE: This article was originally published at In Mala Fide on June 3, 2011. I’m re-posting it here as the site is now defunct.

Ever feel like telling the world to fuck off and leave you alone?

I’ve been AWOL from the Interwebs this week largely because I don’t feel like writing. I’m in one of those emotional sinkholes where I lose all motivation to do any work or even leave the house. Despite all the free time created by my twisted ankle, I’d rather thumb through the bibliography of Hunter S. Thompson or turn Nod bases into smoking craters in Tiberian Sun than do anything productive. You go-getter types can piss off; a man’s entitled to retreat to the confines of his secret place and mope every once in a while.

self-shooterBut unfortunately, heading up a site like In Mala Fide keeps me from hanging a “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign here for two weeks or so until my mood swings back and I feel like emerging from my pit of despair. So I’m going to attempt to write something worth reading. If it sucks, well, I’ll live with it.

Advocatus Diaboli suggested I write something about the preponderance of self-shooters and other similar phenomena and what they say about modern women. “Self-shooter,” for those of you who don’t know, is slang for a girl (usually a teen) who uses her cell phone camera to photograph herself in various stages of undress, then puts it on the Internet for every man with five minutes and a box of Kleenex to beat one out to. And there’s enough of ‘em on the Web to fill a small city. It’s one thing to sext your boyfriend with a picture of your tits, but it’s another thing to sext the entire planet.

self-shooterIf you want a snapshot of the sheer variety of smartphone whores out there, take a look at the Fuck Yeah Self Shooters Tumblelog, the number one hit for “self-shooter” (without quotes) on Google. (Be forewarned, it is very NSFW.) The first thing that came to me when looking at that blog is that despite the protestations in the sidebar, the mean age of the girls featured is probably 17. Yep: at least half of self-shooters are technically child pornographers. You can tell from looking at the girls’ youth, the way they dress, and the fact that a goodly chunk of the pictures were taken in spacious suburban and McMansion bathrooms. No doubt most of these girls have walk-in closets that are bigger than the room I grew up in.

self-shooterThe second thing that came to me when looking at the self-shooters was their relative wholesomeness. This means more than you think. It’s a truism that women who become “sex workers” (God I hate that loathsome, PC phrase) tend to be fucked up. You have to have a screw loose in order to have sex with strangers (porn stars, prostitutes) or even expose your body to strange men (strippers) for money without going insane. Take a look at the “Top 100 Most Popular Pornstars of 2010” (very obviously NSFW, found via HBD Chick) to see what I mean. The girls featured there may be hot, but you can tell from looking at them that they are varying degrees of messed in the head. I’ll bet almost all of them were molested as children and come from broken homes, particularly homes in which daddy was absent.

self-shooterIn contrast, teenage self-shooters almost all seem to come from upper middle class families. They’ve got well-off, doting parents, hot boyfriends, good friends, and probably are popular at school: the exact opposite of the “sex worker” demographic. They look like the girls I grew up with, and I don’t doubt that had iPhones been around when I was in high school, half of the girls in my graduating class would have shot themselves and put it online not long after their Sweet Sixteen, unbeknownst to their parents. Granted, nude photography has literally been around since photography was invented, but we’ve never had a deluge like this.

So, we’ve got teenage girls all over America who were ostensibly raised right but are still posing nude in front of their mirrors for all the world to see. Something is rotten in the state of Dawson’s Creek. Explanation, please!

self-shooterWell, I’ve got one. The reason girls nowadays are baring it all for the camera without so much as a free hamburger in return is because they’re vain, arrogant and stupid. The vanity is easily explained – how can you not take a picture of yourself in the bathroom mirror posing nude without being intoxicated with your own good looks? There are even paid erotica websites like I Shot Myself that consists entirely of self-shooters, though the quality is usually better and none of the girls are underage. If anything, the ubiquity of self-shooters is evidence against the feminist/conservative claim that teens are asexual angels being preyed upon by older men, because you can’t get more sexually aware than snapping your snapper and showing it off online.

self-shooterThe arrogance and stupidity part needs elaboration. Because our feminist world insulates girls and women from almost every consequence of their actions, girls growing up today think they are invincible. None of them understands that plastering their buck naked bodies all over the web could possibly have any consequences down the road, even though we live in a world in which people get fired from their jobs for mild antics on Facebook. And, it’s not like they’re publishing their names along with their pictures, so they’re safe… right?

Wrongo. As it turns out, pictures taken with iPhones, Blackberries, Androids and other smartphones often have embedded GPS data telling where the picture was taken, when it was taken, and other information our budding phonewhores don’t want publicly known. You can turn this feature off, but a lot of people have no clue it even exists, and it’s not like teengrrlz are known for their technical savvy. In fact, there’s now a whole online community dedicated to extracting EXIF information from self-shots to find out where these girls hail from. Just take a look at this NSFW forum thread, which not only has precise latitudes and longitudes of self-shooters’ locations, but satellite pictures of their homes and neighborhoods. Here’s one example from the thread that isn’t NSFW:


Image date: 2009:05:23 02:43:31, 2009:05:23 02:47:09, 2009:05:23 02:52:40 & 2009:05:23 03:00:21
Camera Make: Apple
Camera Model: iPhone
Aperture: f/2.8
GPS coordinates: 42° 1′ 22″N, 87° 58′ 46″W
Home town: Elk Grove Village, Illinois




A large percentage of the girls who upload self-shots to the Web are putting themselves in danger of being stalked, and they don’t even know it. The guy who started the forum thread explicitly put a warning against this in his first post. Advocatus Diaboli wrote over a year ago on the future of self-shots and data mining:

I see a future, very soon, where you could use the cell-phone number of a girl to search for self-shot pictures of her at ‘gray’ information sites. Given the decreasing cost of data storage, access, transmission and computing power combined with the increased use of smartphones, the possibilities are mind boggling.

In the future, we probably won’t even have to take our own nude pictures of our girlfriends: they’ll have them floating on the Interwebs already, taken in the bloom of youth, preserved forever whenever you need to do the old rub ‘n tug. Talk about a great homecoming gift! Unfortunately, it doesn’t bode so well for an entire generation of phonewhores who will eventually have to grow up and enter the workforce, short of a massive realignment in the priorities of bosses nationwide, who, as I mentioned already, have no problem firing people for comparatively minor Facebook infractions. Hedotopia is all we’ve got left, so we might as well enjoy ourselves.

Read Next: No Tears for Dead Sluts; or, Why I Have No Sympathy for Felicia Garcia