Saturday, April 3, 2010

Camera Got Your Tongue?

The other day my 13 yr. old daughter was showing me some pictures that she has on her iPod Touch and Facebook. They were mostly pictures of some of her friends and a few of her with her friends. I was immediately taken by the fact that in more than half of these pictures, the girls (my daughter included) had their tongues hanging out - and not in the "na-na-na-na-poo-poo" way, but, in the gross "hey boys look at me" way. UGH! Why the heck do teenage girls want to take pictures with their tongues hanging out? The first thing I thought was, "Oh, I guess they think that makes them look hot." The second thing I thought was, "Oh no! I don't want my 13 yr. old daughter trying to look hot." So, I asked her why they had so many pictures like this. She shrugged it off and said she didn't really know, that it wasn't supposed to mean anything. I explained to her that, in my humble little mom's opinion, it's not really appropriate for young girls to take photos with their tongues wagging. Even though she might not think anything of it, someone else might get the wrong impression or take it the wrong way. She acted very surprised and said I was being a "perv". She insisted that it wasn't for any other reason than goofing around. Still, I let her know that I did not want her tongue out of her mouth in any photos, especially those that might end up online or on someone's cell phone.

A couple nights later, we were at the baseball park for our son's scrimmage game. A lady, who was a high-school friend of my husband, came over to say hello. I don't really know her, but she is very nice and has girls around the same age as my daughter. One of the first things she asked me was, "are you the mom who doesn't want her daughter sticking her tongue out in pictures?" HUH? She laughed and said she had been reading her daughter's facebook and saw where my daughter made a comment about it. Apparently it was a whole big Facebook discussion among my daugher and some of her friends. A few girls thought it was ridiculous of me. But, I'm happy to say that some fessed up and admitted that their moms felt the same way.

I'm not a prude or old-fashioned (well, ok, maybe I am a little) but, what is up with girls today thinking they have to be overtly sexual and provocative. Is it a low self-esteem issue? Some of the pictures that I see of these girls on Facebook make me feel like I'm looking at the girl-of-the-month calendar or something. And, they are so young! Do their moms even know they are posting these kind of pictures online? Do they even care? I think it's important to let my daughter know those kind of pictures are not acceptable and that she is too special to demean herself like that.

Now, I'll step off the soapbox. But, I would love to hear your thoughts on this....


Elizabeth said...

I think you did the right thing. As a mother of two little girls - I am already worrying about what they will be doing as teenagers. It doesn't seem very ladylike - guess I am old fashioned too!