For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 14 July 2013.
If you’ve ventured into social media, chances are that you’ve seen photos posted online by teens and young adults, often in front of mirrors, pouting, with sexually suggestive clothing and poses, in what are called “selfies.”
On Thursday, year 11 schoolgirl Olympia Nelson published an article in The Age titled “Dark undercurrents of teenage girls’ selfies,” arguing that her peers post such photographs online to avoid being viewed as “failures.”
She says, “The aesthetic yardstick is what [boys] see in pornography. So girls have to conform to what boys see … And then girls post photos to ”out-hot” the other girls by porn star criteria.”
It’s about female pressure to conform to a male stereotype, with those girls who opt out committing themselves to “social leprosy.” Social media doesn’t need adult control to eliminate sexting or bullying, says Olympia Nelson. Its users need to discover the attractions of good taste.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.