Insecurity about appearance among teens girls is nothing new. In past decades, girls would ask friends and peers, “How do I look?” The internet now allows teens to take that question to the masses asking in YouTube videos “Am I pretty or ugly?” Desperate cries for validation are opening up young women to mean and insensitive comments or sexual innuendos by anonymous commenters.
When I first heard about these videos I felt sick inside. It played to the insecure teen that still lurks in me, and at times. I can quickly connect with those feelings of early adolescence when I was trying to find myself and to be accepted by others.
We are constantly bombarded with messages that women’s primary value is in the attractiveness of her physical appearance, and unfortunately sometimes the parents place excessive emphasis on daughter’s external qualities.
What can parents do?
Value & Model Character
As parents, it is crucial to create an environment at home that combats the cultural overemphasis on appearance by valuing our young girl’s character, intellect, and action. Crucial is modeling a healthy body image and valuing ourselves as multidimensional people.
Monitor All Computer Use
Parents, I can’t stress enough how critical it is to stay up-to-date on technology so you can guide your teen, and monitor online activity. Software like Webwatcher can be installed and track all site visited, chats, email, and more. There is no confidentiality when it comes to online behavior so ask for login and passwords to all of your minor child’s online accounts.
10 Commandments For Kids Online
Discuss with your teen the safety risks of posting information online. The Kim Komando Show published this great contract that you can print out and have your children sign called 10 Commandments for Kids Online.
Why do you think these teens are making these videos?
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