On Selfies & Teenagers

Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion about the so-called “selfie” pictures, especially when it comes to teenage girls.  Two moms of sons wrote contrasting blog posts about girls posting inappropriate pictures that they took of themselves in suggestive positions or with sexual innuendo.  The first mom who started this off commented that she was disappointed in the girls because she knew they were bright, well-rounded, beautiful girls and that these pictures degraded them and turned them into sexual objects that boys couldn’t “unsee” or ever stop thinking about.  She also went on to say that as soon as one of these inappropriate pictures showed up on her son’s Facebook newsfeed, her son would have to “unfriend” her because there were “no second chances.”  The second mom, in response, was concerned about some of the first mom’s attention to the girl’s photos that may have actually encouraged the son to view the girl sexually.  The second mom also questioned the true validity that the son would never view that girl as anything other than a sexual object.  And most importantly, the second mom also raised the point that in her own life, she has needed second, third, and really infinite chances to learn from and correct her mistakes and stumbling blocks throughout her life and encouraged the first mom to be more forgiving.   These two moms couch their posts in their Christian faith and support their different perspectives in that faith.

It reminded me of when I was thirteen and taking roll after roll of self-portraits with my 35mm camera.  I wanted to add my thoughts to the discussion, reflecting on my desire to take selfies, and as a mom to both a son and daughter (and step-mom to another son and daughter).

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