Updated September 23, Selfies, sexting and twerking are all part of a teen continuum that has been outraging older generations since Elvis first thrust those hips.
We need teens to help us navigate the complexities of this new digital wilderness, writes Vanessa Gorman. We are heading towards a time when the label 'narcissist' will be just another term of endearment. Recently, I've had reason to trawl through the selfie collections of teenage girls.
There are hundreds, sometimes thousands in each collectionunselfconsciously proffered. For those of us still grappling with definitions of sexting and twerking my spellcheck hasn't caught up yeta selfie is that arm's length self portrait or reflection in a mirror shot, taken on a phone and uploaded to social media sites like facebook and Instagram. The camera phone means you are never without a device to record the fabulousness of your life in a stream of full frontals.
Burgeoning social media portals mean Over sexualized teens on social media are never without a place to publish them. Suddenly, like the crown of thorns
Over sexualized teens on social media the digital age, the selfie has colonised the internet with a wall of wide eyed, pouting faces and it has to be said, quite a bit of cleavage and bare flesh into the bargain.
When older generations travelled, we mostly pointed the camera outward. Our snaps were of castles, monuments and fountains and yes, sometimes we stood in front of them to prove we were there.
When a young friend of mine went travelling recently, her Facebook uploadings were pictures filled with her smiling face, just a smidgen of Bali and Greece peeking through at the edge of frame. Get used to it. This is the generation where every child got a ribbon just for competing.
A generation whose self esteem was continually bolstered in the name of good parenting and healthy psychological development good door opening! This is the generation who have been washed by the power of the image like no generation before them. The perfect image sells - they know that. To them, social media is the broadcasting tool to create and advertise the personal brand. Their online avatar spruiks the image they want to sell to their peers.
So looking hot in a selfie is a big part of Over sexualized teens on social media desirable that brand is.
I've been trawling through teen selfie collections researching the Australian Story episode "Turning The Gaze. It features year-old Melbourne school girl Olympia Nelson who recently penned a striking opinion piece for The Age on the 'dark undercurrents of teenage girls' selfies'. As each generation turns its anthropological gaze on the humans coming after them, Olympia helps us navigate the terrain of
Over sexualized teens on social media life in the complex new ecosystem of social media.
If social media only caused narcissism, it wouldn't be the worst thing. Instagram and Facebook are social networks that not only breed narcissistic tendencies but transform relations into a sexual rat race.
On these ubiquitous portals, the popularity of girls is hotly contested over one big deal: That's the reason we see mirror shots, pouting self portraits of teenagers typically female and sexually suggestively posed girls in a mini dress "before a party last night". They're showing how much they like themselves and hoping "Over sexualized teens on social media" you'll hit "like" to reinforce the claim. Olympia has nothing against the selfie. In fact she thinks they are 'cool' and 'awesome'.
What she noticed amongst her peers was an interesting conjunction between the types of selfie girls upload and the number of 'likes' they garner. But what kinds of pictures produce an epidemic of "likes? It's the true scourge of the selfie. Why are we girls competing to be the Queen of Pouts? Could it be the hypersexualised way women in Western society are often portrayed has been seared onto their psyche? Could it be they've turned on the television any Saturday morning to watch video clips full of clothed men and scantily attired women and thought 'that's what we have to do to prove we are a woman'?
Olympia's article drills down into the complex equations of how girls maximise their 'likes' with clever hashtagging to 'manipulate their image into popularity'. Thank God someone in the cohort can explain the rules. But the broad brush strokes of her argument question the image girls feel compelled to Boys' tastes are not always sophisticated.
The aesthetic yardstick is what they see in pornography. So girls have to conform to what boys see in pornography. And then girls post photos to 'out-hot' the other girls by porn star criteria. What the internet giveth, the internet also taketh away. What it seems to be removing from a whole generation of our youth is a healthy, appropriate sexual development. Children as young as eight stumble onto porn on the net by accident. For the curious year-old boy, hardcore porn is only the click of a mouse away.