I have these thoughts sometimes. Thoughts about what it must be like for girls in their teens right now. Girls who are navigating the whole world of changes that comes with their growing/changing body in a time where it seems to be socially acceptable, if not a requirement, for them to be sexy. Look at the profile photos and weekend happy snaps. It’s written all over them.

A recent survey that said Facebook is over, Snapchat is where it’s at with the kids. They said it means people {cough parents} are less likely to snoop {monitor?} their photos. Well well. I’ll bet the nude selfie has something to do with that. Just quietly. Bits and pieces of their bodies flashed and paraded around the internet with or without their consent.

I’ve asked it before, why? Why do they take these photos in the first place. I got an answer not that long ago actually. A telling experience that shines a spotlight on exactly why this happens. It might just be the lure of a late night conversation, a send me a pic babe, an exchange that escalates and pressure to say yes when every rational thought you have says say no. The pressure, so much pressure. How does she say no to that? As a grown woman I would find it hard to say no to that.

Would you?

But we told her to be sexy right? We told her to be confident in her body, to be proud, to be wise and to take control but the only way it has been demonstrated to her is through sex. She thinks that by determining what she sends when and to whom that she has some semblance of control. But she doesn’t have any control. Ask those starlets who have had their private images become public. Every woman/girl who has sent these photos only to find the recipient isn’t as trustworthy as you first thought.

I want to tell every single one of these girls {and I don’t care if it does make me a prude}. You don’t have to. You don’t even have to want to and you probably shouldn’t. And no your Mum didn’t tell me to say that. I said that. If you’re uncomfortable or under pressure don’t do it. It is your basic right to say no, I won’t do that. I’ve got your back lady.

And I’ll continue to say it for as long as people keep telling women that being sexy and being available on demand is essential. While role models for women are sexy first and thoughtful second, I’ll be here. While sexy and wanted matters more than how good or kind or smart you are, I’ll be here. And I’ll especially keep saying it while there are women under pressure to be sexy, to “sext”, whether they are in relationships, looking to start one or just competing with peers.

Maybe that’s the only way to remove the pressure and give her the space to say no if she wants to. Maybe it’s a start.

  • This. Being confident means controlling your sexuality not making available on demand.

    My sister has returned to uni and has friends in their early 20s who are very happy to be virgins. In my day, no girl at uni was a virgin (or would admit to it if they were). It gives me hope for young people – that they play by their own rules not someone else’s.

    • sydneyshopgirl

      This. Both Kathryn and yourself, Melissa.

      SSG xxx

    • Yes. And not controlled in the repressed way of the past, but in a way that empowers you, as an expression of yourself. {totally just sitting here nodding btw. Haha}

      I love that! I really do. I wasn’t a virgin for long, I never regretted the decision I made or felt any pressure to get on with losing it but I know plenty of girls who did. It’s nice to see these ladies demonstrate that your choice is your choice and you are what {who} you are. It gives me MUCH hope. YAY!