That Sexy Facebook Photo Won’t Make People Love You

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woman bikiniThere's no question that women are the primary photo sharers on social networks like Facebook; however, is there an underlying reason when, whoops, that sexy bikini shot from your family vacation gets slipped into your shared uploads? An academic study of over 300 college students found that women who base their self-worth on their looks tend to share more photos of themselves online and keep larger networks on social networking sites like Facebook.

I'd argue that college women aren't the only ones guilty of this behavior. What's really going on with all those sexy mama photos on Facebook, huh?

Most of my online friends are moms, and I've still seen several of them go crazy posting sexy photos of themselves in low-cut tops, bathing suits, and overtly sexual poses. So what is it, moms? Is it all good fun in the Internet age? Or maybe we really just need a good ego boost every now and then? Is it as innocent as that? Or is it more complicated and after career and marriage and babies and lives far beyond the nightlife scene, we're still defining ourselves by how we look, or maybe even more so?

I mean, I know when I post a photo of the delicious chocolate cake I'm eating (as I've been known to do and as Jezebel deems to be my own self-conscious style of branding), I'm hoping to make my Facebook friends say, "Mmmm." Isn't that what women are also hoping when they show off a little extra skin on Facebook?

Oh, who can blame us -- even in all our modern 2011 feminist glory -- with all the Yummy Mummies and celebrity moms who fit back into their pre-pregnancy jeans three hours after delivery? Doesn't it feel good, especially after the monstrosity of pregnancy and getting back into some sort of shape, to show it off a little and (hopefully) get a nice comment or two on our Facebook page?

On the other hand, coming across these types of photos of a friend on Facebook can also be really disconcerting. I'm not a prude, but I don't lead with sexuality. Never have. It's just not my thing. I've never truly believed that being comfortable in one's sexuality has to be tied to having your boobs hanging out. So I'm not always that comfortable when other people do it constantly -- especially in a public space for no apparent reason. I mean, to each her own and "Women's Lib!" and all that, but it definitely leads me to wonder why they're doing it. Do they need to do it? Are they addicted to the "go hot mama" love and the "lookin' good!" praise they get?

I'd love to think women are finally evolved enough to be sharing sexy photos without their primary motivation being to feel better about themselves, but I'm just not convinced that's what's going on.

What do you think when women post lots of sexy photos of themselves on social networking sites? Innocent fun or what's really going on?


Image via 3Neus/Flickr


beauty, body, self esteem, web