Friday, November 11, 2011

The Story Of Angie Varona


If you have never heard the story of Angie Varona, head on over to ABC and listen to what she has to say. Angie is 18 years old and for the past four years has been the most Googled teenager in the world who is not a celebrity. When Angie was 14 she took a whole bunch of photos of herself in bikinis and lingerie and sent them to her boyfriend. She stored them all in a Photobucket account. The account was hacked and every photo made its way to the internet where they have been used for porn sites and other ads. The pictures have been altered to make her look naked and there are numerous sites on the internet all devoted to her. The problem is that she did not want any of this attention and at school she was bullied and called some pretty nasty things. Random strangers would call or e-mail her that they were going to rape her. She had to quit two schools and ended up being home schooled just because of the constant attention. Because of the stress she also started taking drugs and contemplated suicide because she knows the images will be there forever.

"When you're 14 you don't realise that the things you do really do matter at that point. No one ever thinks that, yeah, I'm going to take these pictures and it's going to end up all over the Internet. You just do it for yourself."

Currently if you search Google for images of her, you end up with 65,000. Her parents tried to stop the spread of the photos but were unable to do so and since there was no nudity it was not considered child porn.


My one question about all of this is whether doing a national interview is the right way to bring this to an end or if this will just result in more hassles and notoriety.


31 comments:

bluebonnetmom said...

Fourteen year old boys and girls sometimes do some really stupid stuff and end up paying for it dearly. My heart goes out to her and al of the rest of them. It is good that she is getting her message out there, maybe she will save some other teen from doing the same thing. It is too late for her. She should be able to sue all of these sites. : (

Electric Warrior said...

Being young is about making mistakes, being selfish and "doing it for yourself", and bad decision making. That's the benefit of age, you (hopefully) learn from all those mistakes.

Unfortunately some people's actions, regardless of age, render unintended and lifelong consequences.

I'd never heard of her until this, but maybe the news story will help? I feel for her and don't plan on googling her.

Rose said...

I agree, I don't need to google her. I
ve never heard of her but maybe speaking out will help a few teenagers make the same mistake.

surfer said...

I don't know what's right or wrong in this situation, but I have to give her credit for going public with this. I think kids are more likely to listen to one of their peers, rather than adults who may not be all too familiar with the medium.

I'm the farthest thing from a prude, but for some reason, I'm still really surprised when I see the pictures that girls/women use in their profile pics on Facebook - bikini shots or really low-cut tops. Don't these people realize that today when you apply for a job, the hiring person is very likely going to Google you beforehand, and seeing all these images may in fact lose you the job you were hoping to get?

MontanaMarriott said...

I am confused why she can't sue these sites for using her image without her permission like Madonna or some other celebrity can do?

RenoBlondee said...

I also don't understand how sites are getting away with this?
That is terrible for that poor girl. 14 year olds make mistakes all the time. I'm glad she's talking about it in the open now. Maybe it'll stop other teens from doing the same.

parissucksliterally said...

Reno, unfortunately it won't. At that age, a lot of girls want to be seen as sexy. especially these days. It is so sad that this happened. But she won;t be the last. :(

RJ said...

If some boy or girl out there sees this and makes the decision to NOT post sexy, scantily-clad photos of themselves to ANY site or to any friend's email, then going public with this will be worth it. Teens today are going to have to be more aware that photos are FOREVER and can be easily altered. It's a different world and they are going to have to be smarter and more thoughtful than teens of the past, which is not something young teens have ever done very well.

msgirl said...

Yeah kudos for her for speaking out - I think she herself needed to do it to come to grips with it, speak out against bullying and as said before, coming from a peer maybe some other girls will take pause.

MISCH said...

We've all done stupid things, I was lucky being a pre-internet teen my embarrassing moments have been mostly forgotten ...
Not so today in the world of Facebook, MySpace, YouTube....and a hacked account.
I know better and still make mistakes....
I can't say what's right, but I feel for here.

Wil said...

I cannot imagine the life of a teenager today. Things have changed so radically since I was 14. You get cyber-bullied on Facebook, email, SMS. You post pictures that can be hijacked and used for god-knows-what illicit purposes. There are so many pitfalls that I just have no idea how I could even survive as a teen today.

I am just thankful I grew up in a seemingly innocent time and don't have children. [I swear, at least once a day these days I am brought to the point to be thankful I don't have children.] Add to this the tale of the young lady who found her mom hanging from suicide .. dear god. Just too much.

Can we just get a societal re-do?? I think we really need one.

selenakyle said...

Most of the stupid stuff we did at that age was eventually forgotten-- no harm/no foul in the long run.

Lord knows these days something seemingly harmless can ruin a kid for life.
Like the teenage boy whose GF sexted him pix of herself. He's branded for life as a sex offender.

Giant kudos to this young lady for going public. She could actually parlay this into a career of sorts--speaking around the country yelling "DON'T make my mistakes, peers!"

How many of us were pissed that Rihanna refused to stick up/speak out against DV? I say good for her.

pomme said...

in France,there was a law about the right of oblivion/forgetting on the net
i hope the better for Angie

Princess said...

The REAL crisis these days is the fact that it is desirable to be seen as a whore - bottom line. The skimpier the clothes, the better. The closer to naked, the better. Sex tape = bonus. Thanks Kim Kardashian and Paris and all the rest. Teens need a role model that is more Taylor Swift and less Britney Spears. If it was still considered disgusting to be sexual as a teenager, there wouldn't be so many teens taking nearly nude pics to "send to a boyfriend". I'm sure I'm just old and crotchety, but in my day you were shunned and an outcast for this kind of behavior, you didn't strive for it.

JoElla said...

I think every tween should read about this. Lets face it, as parents, kids think we are dumber than a box of rocks, and soo out of touch. Sometimes hearing about it from somone who unfortunately has lived it, really has a huge impact on kids.

As a Mother of 2 teenage boys and a tween aged daughter, sometimes you do have to pull out the big guns to have it hit home.

I beleive this happens more than we want to think. I have already caught a bikini shot on my 14 year olds phone (son) and all hell broke loose! Not only did I lecture my son, but his friend who 'supposedly' sent it to him.

I also used the "What would you do/how would you feel if someone had a picture like this of your baby sister and passed it around" angle. That really did make a huge impact on both my boys. (Not that my 12 year old daughter has a phone but still... you gotta work with what you got!)

I try to explain to them that everybody has a phone that can take videos, if you don't want to be the idiot on youtube, then don't do it PEROID!

Princess I agree with you.. since when being slutty is okay?! I guess maybe dinosaurs really were roaming the earth when I was a kid?

iheartjacksparrow said...

I don't think doing a national interview will bring it to an end. I think it will just increase the curiosity. Instead of doing the interview like she did, I think the better course of action would have been to be in shadows so her face could't actually be seen, and not use her real name. She could still get the message out about the dangers of posting provocative photos on the internet, and not expose herself to even more Googling. I also have a feeling that it will not stop any teenager from doing the same thing.

iheartgoss said...

I think some laws need to be made to stop websites from doing that.

FS said...

Man, all the stupid stuff I did at that age. Thankfully, no internet...

I'd say that parents should teach their children about the internet and computers, but honestly, so many parents are so busy these days and they aren't that computer savvy themselves, so what can they teach them? It's the parents that are getting scammed by fake emails from their banks and things like that.

Two rules in the electronics age: The internet is not written in pencil (a line from The Social Network) and Once its out there, you've lost control of it. That 'private photo' will be forwarded as soon as you piss someone off. That online storage account can be hacked. Your laptop has malicious tracking cookies in it. That public Wifi is not secure, and so on and so on and so on.

So glad I'm not a kid in this day and age. Their world is moving way too fast.

Sherry said...

You CAN remove stuff you do not want to see off the internet with Reputation.com. Because of the stupid stuff out there are bound to be others that compete with this company. Typically lawyers and others in the public eye use it to remove harmful stuff but I cannot see why it can't be used in this case. But yeah, I'm glad there wasn't an internet when I was a kid and I see younger children are sexualized more and more by supposed "role models". It was bad to be slutty when I was younder too but now it's celebrated. Sad.

Sherry said...

"younger"

linnea said...

I agree with all of you about how we make mistakes as teenagers, and have the right to have it be forgotten, but.... I dont want to venture into blaming the victim, but there are some facts about this case that seemed odd.

I remember reading about this girl somewhere else (gawker?) a couple of weeks ago, and someone in the comments pointed out that she never stopped taking pictures that were highly provacative and posting them online, so that by now there are thousands of them. Even after the first couple were stolen, she just kept creating new facebook profiles and uploading new sexy pictures, for years.

I hope that her story can help others. But I wonder why on earth her parents didnt put a stop to her posing and posting after the first round of pics. They should really think twice about their responsibilities.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

You know, I don't feel that bad for her actually. I feel bad that she feels bad, but you put ALL those pics out there, so what did you think was going to happen? I can understand feeling violated if it were 1 or 2 pictures that have been photoshopped and twisted, but there's at least 50 I saw that are just facebook type pictures and not really all that sexy. For some reason I just don't believe her.

What, is she writing a book?

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Exactly, linnea.

I saw pics of her at a rave, in the bathroom, on vacation etc. AND she's on youtube and twitter?

Uh huhhh.

Something ain't clean in the milk.

Jac said...

Like the others said she kept posting them, and some of hem are very explicit for a teenager. She also does an interview that has been picked up internationally? And isn't she still posting pics online after getting a boob job? something smell a bit off.

Robert said...

I DID Google her, and received 67,100 hits in .27 seconds. She may be a teenager, but in the multitude of pictures she's posted, she definitely knows how to work it, and work it she does. Like Britney said, "She's not that innocent."

MadLyb said...

Well, she is underage. Decent human beings don't exploit minors, or go searching for suggestive pics of minors. I think if people who are old enough to know better weren't so infantile, perhaps it would be impossible for young women/girls like her to be exploited and bullied. And pubescent girls don't want to be "whores" - they are going through hormonal changes and are starting to realize their sexuality. To some, it's something new and exciting that they want to show off. I'm sick of the whore/rape culture. She did nothing wrong. The people who Google her, ogle her, bully her and have exploited her are the ones who really need to do some soul searching, because they are embracing the worst of human nature.

sussique said...

I guess speaking out now might help other slutty 14 year olds not make the same mistake.

linnea said...

MadLyb, I see your point. But she is not underage anymore, and she is still taking these pictures and posting them online. I am not saying that it is her fault but I do want to blame her parents as well as all the creeps that try to find pictures of her. It seems as though they might have been, if not pushing this, then at least not trying to stop it from happening.

Lelaina Pierce said...

I'm thankful the internet/social media weren't as big when I was a teen, even though I don't think I ever would have done the nude pix thing.

Perhaps she can parlay her experiences into a book or be hired to do talks for girls at middle/high schools?

sussique said...

Having this slut talk to impressionable kids is about as useful as having a porn star read to them in the sanctity of a classroom.

RocketQueen said...

A good story that I will tell my future children.