Scandalous selfies

Ah, the selfie. The bane of parents everywhere who one day find their innocent daughter in a provocative pose on Facebook.

Yes, the selfie is a critical part of life these days. After all, if you’re not updating your social media with new self-portraits regularly, how will people know how you’re doing? How will they possibly know what you look like in your pajamas or bending over in that tank top?

One mother this week sent a verbal reprimand to young women posting provocative shots of themselves online. A mother of four boys, Kim Hall writes on

“I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel. Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t quickly un-see it?  You don’t want our boys to only think of you only in this sexual way, do you?

“Neither do we. We’re all more than that.

“And so, in our house, there are no second chances with pics like that, ladies. We have a zero tolerance policy. I know, so lame. But if you want to stay friendly with our sons online, you’ll have to keep your clothes on, and your posts decent.  If you post a sexual selfie (we all know the one), or link to an inappropriate YouTube video — even once — it’s curtains.”

I couldn’t agree more. I am always shocked by some pictures posted on Facebook. Even more shocking is that I often see these girls’ parents openly complimenting or “liking” their child’s racy photos.

Girls want to look sexy. They want attention — good or bad. This is not a new story, folks. What is new is that girls get to define themselves with technology in a way that’s never been done before. It’s right there in the name: the selfie. They choose what self the world is going to see. They get to define themselves with what they say and how they look online.

It’s too bad so many of them are choosing to portray themselves in a way that is less than who they really are.

My daughter is only 6. This is her most recent selfie taken with her dad’s cell phone.


Someday, she will take a real selfie. When that time comes, I will tell her, think before you click. Show the world the self you love — the person that makes you (and me) proud. Don’t let the world dictate who you are or tell you what is beautiful. You are beautiful — and you don’t need any bent-over, lip-puckering, back-arching nonsense to augment it.

Be your best self, and don’t be afraid to let the world see it, too.

How do you monitor what your children post or see on social media?

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.