Are young women becoming too sexual on social media? At least one concerned mother thinks so.
Following Miley Cyrus’ sexualized performance at the MTV Video Music Awards last month, parents have increasingly been penning advice letters to young people. While totally unrelated to the Cyrus spectacle, yet another mom took to her blog on Tuesday to pen a heart-felt — and stern — letter to young girls about the sexy photos many are plastering all over the Internet.
The entry, titled “FYI (If You’re a Teenage Girl),” focuses on the selfies (pictures people take of themselves) that teenagers regularly post on social media. The author, Kim Hall, takes the opportunity to target the girls’ poses, calling these pictures “unfortunate” and urging them to be “women of character” and to have greater self-respect.
“We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your pajamas this summer!,” she writes. “Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that.”
But the mother, who is the director of women’s ministry at All Saints PCA in Austin, Texas, said that teenage boys will notice other things — like the fact that it looks like the girls in these pictures aren’t wearing a bra. She also points out that they are striking “red-carpet poses” and “sultry pouts” before they’re going to bed.
“What’s up?,” she asks. “None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.”
“Please understand this, also: we genuinely like keeping up with you. We enjoy seeing life through your unique and colorful lens – which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate,” she writes. “Those posts don’t reflect who you are! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say?”
She says the awkward family conversations during which the boys’ social media content is discussed often lead to blocking of the sexy posts, as she cares about her sons’ well-being. Hall also warns that there are no second chances and that those who wish to stay friendly with the Hall family must keep their “cloths on” and their “posts decent.”
“If you try to post a sexy selfie, or an inappropriate YouTube video – even once – you’ll be booted off our on-line island,” she continues, noting that she knows the girls’ families wouldn’t be happy at the thought of her teen sons seeing them in their towels. “Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t ever un-see it? You don’t want the Hall boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?”
Admitting that her views and actions may seem “old-school,” she concedes that this is simply the way it is for the Hall family, as she hopes to raise men who have “a strong more compass.” These pictures, she believes, put in jeopardy her quest to instill integrity in her sons.
“Every day I pray for the women my boys will love,” she says. “I hope they will be drawn to real beauties, the kind of women who will leave them better people in the end. I also pray that my sons will be worthy of this kind of woman, that they will be patient – and act honorably – while they wait for her.”
The blog post concludes with a call to arms, challenging young girls to turn back on their online photo mistakes. Rather than keeping sexy pictures up, she encouraged them to take them down. Hall also noted that boys are looking for “women of character” and that these girls can fit this description, even if they’ve already made past mistakes.
“You are growing into a real beauty, inside and out,” she said. “Act like her, speak like her, post like her.”
Read the blog post in its entirety.
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