Think twice before you pose for pictures, it may ruin your life

Gisela Lagos, Editor-in-Chief

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A teenage mistake turned Angie Varona’s (now 18-years-old) life upside down after her Photobucket account was hacked and hundreds of partially nude pictures were scattered all over the Internet.  Low self-esteem and peer pressure from boyfriends or friends push young girls to take partially naked or naked pictures and share them with people who they think they can trust.  Unfortunately, the internet can never be fully trusted.

When Varona was 14, she filled her password protected Photobucket account with pictures for her boyfriend.  In each of the pictures she was either positioned provocatively or partially nude.  The account was hacked and each picture was downloaded onto the internet.  A Google search of her name now results in over 50,000 pictures, mostly of her at age 14.

The pictures wreaked havoc on Varona’s life, classmates began to bully her and people began to cyber stalk her.  The bullying escalated to the point where her parents decided to change the school she attended, but when  the students from the second school tuned out to act the same her parents decided to home school her.

Some online entities waited until Varona turned 18 to post her pictures, but soon after her pictures were posted they could be found on known pedophile websites and rape scenario websites.

A most worrisome trend on the internet is young girls willingly posting pictures of themselves for others to see.

Even a random search of your Facebook friends list will reveal at least one person with provocative photographs.  Pictures taken to make oneself feel attractive or sexy when in the wrong hands may bring on sexual assaults or violence.

There is no justification for the people who have tormented Varona, but even she admits that she feels partially to blame for the situation she is in.

She says on an ABC “Nightline” interview that if she’d never taken the pictures they would have never had the chance to be leaked.

Women, young and old, should respect themselves and be mindful of the type of pictures they post on the internet.

Nothing is private and while you can trust your friends, the random anonymous person on the Internet cannot be trusted.

Varona is still trying to come out of this situation.  She says she doesn’t have a need for fame, she just wants to live a normal life and wishes she’d never posted the pictures.

“Girls are more than just their looks, it’s their personality as well,” said Varona during an ABC “Nightline” interview, while she urged everyone to worry less about what others think of them and more about their personal privacy.

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Gisela Lagos, Editor in Chief

Co-Editor in chief for The Mesa Press for the Fall 2011 semester (along with Andrew Fergin), Gisela Lagos is working toward a degree in journalism.  With...

Think twice before you pose for pictures, it may ruin your life