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In Praise of Nude Selfies: A Portland Grandmother’s Perspective

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Jody Stahancyk

Stahancyk at age 18 while vacationing in Hawaii.

 Your granny is most likely pontificating on the evils of nude phone pictures. Selfies with her friends with clothes on are acceptable and prove her hipness. But without clothes is another kettle of fish. As a granny myself, I assert she is wrong. 

Nude selfies are an important historical reference. Ask your grandparents how they can prove that they were fine physical specimens back in 1967 during the Summer of Love? Talk is cheap! Can they provide photographic evidence?

The fact that you don’t actually want to see nude photos of your grandparents is in part why granny is wrong.  You are thinking of her “in her altogether” today rather than 50 years ago.

Let me take you back. In the 1960s you had to take the film to the drugstore to be developed. If it got past the censors (don’t ask how I know film was censored), your friendly pharmacist got to view the photos next. He was the guy who knew about everyone’s medical conditions (no HIPAA privacy in the '60s). The drugstore staff could open the packet, slip one in the “friends and family drawer” and just like a public posting, everyone got a private viewing.

At least the photocopy machine wasn’t yet available to the masses and the mimeograph machine just didn’t cut it. (Ask grandpa about that machine and its smell!)

Jody in swimsuit

No, that’s me, just ... long tall Jody, an original Barbie.

To avoid such exposure, recording your altogether at the prime of your life was done best with a Polaroid camera. But they were expensive, bulky and awkward to carry. Only Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale carries a Polaroid, and I don't think he is that old. If granny is really worried about your selfie habit, ask her to buy you a Polaroid camera.

As for me, being a woman with a vision of my future, I recorded my bikini-clad body at age 18 while vacationing in Hawaii. Nineteen sixty-six was a very good year.

Selfies, however, are not infallible.

When I used the photo to the left as an invitation to my 50th birthday party, a fellow (long since eliminated from future guest lists) queried, “did you photoshop your face on that body?”  

No that’s me, just … long tall Jody, an original Barbie.

There are other advantages to the age of the nude selfie. Besides taking selfies of your sun-kissed body, you had better chronicle those tattoos! In 2050 you’ll need visual proof of the sleeves that you sported in 2014.

Time, weight, and weather will alter your body art, leaving your grandchildren to question YOUR judgment.

From this granny to a whole new generation: Love your body at any age, but have photographic evidence of when it was at its best!

Jody Lee Stahancyk, Wife (40 years), Mother (36 years), and Grammie (4 years).  Native born with Oregon roots since 1890.  Crook County Cowgirl, Linfield Wildcat, U of O Duck Lawyer. Works as an Oregon divorce attorney at Stahancyk, Kent & Hook.  Jody Lee has a position and advice on everything - legal, life, party planning and canning.

Homepage Photo Credit: iStock  


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