When you’re expecting, you want to share your joy with your family, friends, and even acquaintances. Pregnancy is a special time and you want to be able to remember it always, so you take many pictures.
It’s natural in this time of social media to share them; besides, what harm can there be in sharing pictures of you and your baby bump?
Unfortunately in 2016, blogger Meg Ireland found out the hard way that some people have no problem stealing photos off the internet and using them for their own purposes.
Meg blogs about many aspects of her life as a mother with two children with food allergies, and in many ways lives her life in the public eye, as many bloggers do.
When Meg discovered what some individuals were doing with the pictures she posted on her Instagram account, she felt like throwing up.
“This bump pic along with around 15 other pictures of mine ended up an online ‘preggophilia’ site. Which is a porn site for people who like pregnant women,” Meg wrote in a post on her Facebook page, which has since been deleted. “I see so many people upload their bump pics and now I just gasp and hope to god they don’t get into the hands of someone they shouldn’t.”
It’s one thing to share your joy with people who care about you, but it’s another thing when people are viewing your photos without your permission as a way to express their particular fetish.
“When I was scrolling through this god awful site trying to find where this thread was, I saw some pretty f*cked up sh*t,” Meg said.
“People who were uploading pictures of their wife to other users, brother-in-laws uploading pictures of their sisters-in-law, and women uploading pictures of their work colleagues! I literally couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
Aren’t the top rules of fetish play that it’s OK as long as you have permission and that no one gets hurt?
After threatening legal action, Meg was able to have her photos removed from the pregnancy fetish site and now is using her social media to advise other mothers to protect their photos.
“People would say I should only blame myself for uploading ‘personal pictures’ and that it was my own fault (even though my profile was then private). I see it differently,” she said.
“I didn’t care that someone had screenshot my photo to show someone, it was what they did with my photos that made me physically sick to my stomach.
Please be cautious about who follows/adds you. Block them if they look like a creepy MF.”
When sharing via social media, always proceed with caution.
Christine Schoenwald is a writer, performer, and teacher. She’s had pieces in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Woman’s Day, Purple Clover, Bustle, and is a regular contributor to Ravishly and YourTango. Check out her website or her Instagram page.