OMG! What is it with Instagram and girls of fourteen and fifteen years of age posting photos of themselves in next to nothing? Why, why, why? Who are they doing it for and what are they doing it for? Where is the self-worth? Where is the self-preservation? But also, and I'm probably going to be shot down for saying this, where is the parenting?
Now, I'm not saying it's easy raising teenage girls in a world of huge social media pressure on body image where accounts they follow are of girls who, quite frankly, must have the most unhealthiest of BMIs. I get that they lust after these body types and think that this is the perfect shape to be ... but when these images are then posted with boobs out, bums out it's taking the whole idea of what a girl wants to look like to a whole different level. So, back to my point of where is the parenting? If young girls are being influenced by these celebrity style Instagrammers and posting similar style pictures, why aren't their parents checking their posts?
Much to my girls' frustration, we do ... regularly!
There rarely seems to be today a teenage girl who posts a photo where she looks the age she is ... or happy with the age she is and the body shape she has been given ... and who can blame them? The culture that is out there is not short of vulgar but we have to, as parents of daughters, try to raise them to have some self-worth and to understand why they shouldn't be posting such provocative shots.
In this world of celebrity style Instagrammers who post such shots and notch up 1,000s of likes, our girls deem that this is what they have to post to get the likes, to be accepted. So photo after photo of girls far too young to be doing so appear on my girls' feeds of boobs out, bums out ... and, whilst my girls completely and utterly understand that it's not right, it doesn't give them a good feeling about their own bodies ... I can see in their eyes that they are confused as to why those photos get 100s of likes and comments over one where someone is cuddling their dog, for example.
I'm not saying I have the answer and I accept that this is a much huger issue than can be discussed in 500 words or so. I'd love your views though, so I can explore further . However, there is a society out there that has created an acceptability on exposing and baring all, but I don't like my girls feeling less about themselves as a result . They are so much more than that . We have to share the positive role models with our girls, they are out there across all aspects of life and not just in the world of social media. We just have to show them to our girls, encourage them to see the healthier side of life, and we have to help our girls have value in themselves to see that they are more, so much more ... just saying ...
Helen blogs at http://www.justsayingmum.com with more stories on raising teens.