Girls Gone Regretful
Spring breakers urged to be cautious with split-second decisions
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 09:03
One of the most anticipated spring holidays is quickly approaching for students across America. Spring Break is known for being an alcohol-fueled week of partying for many college students. Florida, California and the Texas coast will soon be flooded with coeds from all over the U.S. But it won’t just be college students hitting the beaches — they will be joined by film crews from popular reality shows such as the infamous “Girls Gone Wild” series.
While some college students may see flashing these film crews as a fun experience, they should be cautious of the long-term effects a split-second decision can have on their futures. Although the crew is required to obtain consent from participants who must all be over the age of 18, a few women have unwillingly been exposed without consent on GGW. Even though they some have won these cases, their reputation has already been negatively impacted. Not all camera crews are directly employed by GGW and might not be identified as being affiliated with the show. But, according to founder and president of GGW Joe Francis’ website, even independent contractors are required to attend “…numerous training meetings that [explain] all of the company’s policies and procedures.”
Even if a woman later regrets her spontaneous decision to flash the camera, it cannot be guaranteed that the footage will never be aired. In an interview with Ryan Simkin, former GGW cameraman and author of a tell-all book called “Flash,” he says, “We never erase footage…If someone called and asked not to be used, we would do everything in our power to find her footage and mark it ‘not for use’… I spent many hours with editors not finding the needle in the stack of needles.”
So does GGW have to chase girls down to put them in the video? Apparently it’s the girls who do the chasing. In an interview with Fox News, Francis says, “The girls run up to “Girls Gone Wild” cameramen.” Francis compared baring all for the camera to a “rite of passage.” Although GGW is a target of conservative groups who claim that he is a pornographer, flashing cameras to get on TV is becoming a norm in this generation. Some girls have said it is a freeing feeling and are not worried about future repercussions.
“Flashing for the camera is a kind of release for them,” Francis said in his bio. “It’s an expression of freedom, a statement of independence and, frankly, a matter of pride.” Surprisingly alcohol is not a key factor in the majority of appearances. “Alcohol barely cracks the top 10,” Simkin said. “I don’t think that many girls are affected by alcohol — if she’s going to do it because she’s drunk, she was going to do it sober. Really, drunk girls weren’t that good for us. They look sloppier on camera.”
In addition to random beach “shootings,” GGW host their own events in venues across the nation. “The buses travel to over 700 live events per year and interact with more than 30,000 college-age consumers every week. Bars, clubs and entertainment venues across the country are eager to book,” according to Francis’ website.
Many college students are looking for the textbook Spring Break experience pushing rational thinking to the side in the pursuit of beaches, booze and boobs. While these memories may last for years, flashing the camera can ensure that these moments may also be with all of America for generations to come.
When thinking of checking GGW off your bucket list, think about exactly who might be checking you out—your friends, your parents, your children or your future employers.