Body Image Expert Begs Parents: ‘Save Your Daughters From Instagram’

Parents, I have written time and time again about not letting your child have social media access; in an article about, a concerned mother wrote that she saw girls sexually objectifying themselves all over that app (which is *supposed* to be a way to make fun lip dubs) and that seeing a 12-year-old trying to make herself sexy was “worse than porn.” Seeing young girls fall victim to self-objectification is another point Kite discusses thoroughly in her article (please read it, Mamas, please please please), and she makes a forceful plea to parents as well, saying,

If you are a parent or caretaker to a child, you undoubtedly face the burden of giving them access to social media. We are here to promise you that the burden of objectification that will be placed upon your daughter’s shoulders is much, much heavier than the burden you will carry by encouraging her to stay off Instagram. Even if everyone else is on.

Please, moms and dads. Please do not allow this burden of self-objectification to be placed on your daughter’s shoulders. PLEASE.

I know a lot of my mom friends who struggle with body image issues, and all of them who have daughters have one thing in common: they do NOT want their girls to experience the same thing. Step 1, in this modern age of preventing your girls from having negative body image: Save your daughters from Instagram.

Parents, I am going to beg you once more to read Kite’s entire article. She tells you how to go over the pee-reviewed research studies on the pros and cons of Instagram with your kids as well as the self-reported feedback from Instagram users about its effects. For example, while a “pro” of Instagram is: You won’t be left out of what is happening on Instagram, the corresponding con is: You will be more likely to experience depression and anxiety, and the more time you spend on social media, the worse these symptoms get.

She also has a fantastic section on “media literacy” for your child: questions they need to ask themselves such as:

  • Does this image/account encourage me to fixate on my own or other women’s appearance?
  • Does this image/account spark body anxiety or feelings of shame?
  • Am I engaging in self-comparison as I view these images?

The bottom line is this, parents: as a 40-year-old woman with an awesome husband and three great kids, as a follower of Christ who knows I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, Instagram can sometimes make me feel REALLY bad about myself. How much more damaging is it to a 13-year-old girl going through massive body changes and hormone swings, who feels peer pressure and the desire to fit in? The answer is much, much more damaging. Please, save your daughters from Instagram.

And while you’re at it, subscribe to Beauty Redefined. It’s so chock full of resources for parents that in this social media age, we will all undoubtedly need to make use of.

P.S. Just in case you think I’m overreacting, search the “#fitness” hashtag on Instagram. Might seem like an innocent search your teen daughter would make to learn about exercise, but be warned: it’s mostly just sexy, near-porn poses in the name of fitness.

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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