An interesting story is percolating here in Southern California. Essentially, photos of a high school water polo team ended up on a gay porn site. As I listened to a radio report, it sounded like the photos in question are not unlike those taken during or after road races – where professional photographers snap pictures of participants and then post them on their Web site for viewing and for purchase.
There’s an assumption that only friends and family are interested in buying these, but the water polo case indicates otherwise. In that case, porn sites may have legally placed an order and then misused the photos by publishing them elsewhere. Or they may have just lifted them off the site itself. And it remains unclear what lengths, if any, the part-time photographer took to prevent or encourage this.
Until now I never considered how “exposed” we are when we’re out in public, nor how little control we have over the use of our image. Many a woman I know has mistakenly worn a thin bra or shirt soaked in sweat, amounting to “the wet T-shirt look.” And, guys, we’ve maybe seen more of you in those split-leg shorts when the wind's blowin' just so. The idea that these images may be exploited and widely circulated makes me wonder, and shudder.