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Megan Fox – A Missed Opportunity- by Rodger Dinwiddie, Executive Director


Seems that there has been a bit of a buzz about Megan Fox and her commercial which aired during this year’s Superbowl.  Megan Fox appeared in an ad for Motorola advertising a new phone. Seems the buzz centers around Megan’s thumb. Evidently someone else’s thumb appeared in the ad.  Megan has a genetic condition, brachydactyly, which refers to clubbed thumbs.

If you didn’t see the ad, Megan appears in an outside bathtub playing with the phone. She takes a picture of herself in the tub and ponders what might happen if she sends it into cyber space. She sends it … the results … a guy falls off an unsecured ladder because his spotter is looking at the picture, partners slap each other, an electric company employee working on power lines causes shorts to occur, while Megan says … “probably nothing” would happen.  The fact is things do happen when people send provocative photos via their phones. The buzz about the commercial is misplaced. It’s not whose thumb that matters! What matters is the issue of sexting.

Sexting is when someone takes a naked or suggestive digital or cell phone photo of themselves, or someone else, and then shares the photo via cell phone. A December 2008 report conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies revealed that roughly 20% of teenagers between the ages of 13-19 had sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves. Thousands of young people have been deeply harmed by emails and postings on social networking sites that were provocative, and in many cases pornographic. The results can be horrifying and life changing for everyone involved.  Recently three Middle School students in Washington State were charged with felonies for sharing photos of a nude 14 year old student. This is a class C felony in Washington and carries a penalty of juvenile detention and if convicted can lead to the individuals being required to register as sex offenders. Somehow I don’t think students have really considered all the consequences of their choices when deciding to either send or forward photos of this nature. If they have considered the consequences and chosen to do it anyway, this raises an entirely different set of issues.

Young people face enormous pressures to conform, appear progressive and cool. They certainly don’t need any encouragement to find ways to get into deep trouble … sexting is one of these trouble spots and Megan Fox, who is attractive, a well known star in her own right, young and visible, and Motorola could really have had an impact if she’d said, “Maybe I shouldn’t send the photo.” The example she and Motorola could have set would have been powerful for a generation of young people who are looking for leaders to follow, and the real issue … sexting … not using a thumb double for the ad would now be the buzz.

At STARS we try to helps students and school personnel deal with the pressures that they face each day. Sexting is just one of them. If we can help call us at 615-279-0058.