As a mother, there is one thing in life that I feel strongly about… Protecting my children. Protecting them from bullies, from colds, from sniffles, from sunburn, from getting dirty, from suffering, from heartbreak, from mean people and from tough circumstances.
But, recently, I’ve seen a trend in the media that has sparked my attention. Now I’m no cotton wool parent. While I wanted my children (and still want my grandchildren) to be protected, there are a whole lot of parents out there who simply aren’t protecting their children. Not from failure, the flu and bad friends, but from the scary world that is the internet.
Just yesterday I was reading about a nine-year-old girl with “two million instagram followers” from Russia. She has already been modeling for some of the major fashion brands all over the world and without a doubt, her parents are probably earning a pretty penny on her behalf. Now, I’m fine with that. But what I’m not fine with are over sexualised photos of children thrown around the internet just to make a buck.
Posing in short shorts and long boots, little dresses and bikinis, the instagram profile of this young child is nothing short of what I would expect to see of a world-class model in her 20s or a Victoria Secret model. They are poses and outfits that would typically be seen as “sexy” but on a small child, they are nothing but awkward and obscure. While this girl is absolutely beautiful and placing her photos on social media and the internet seem like a great idea for her public profile, the trouble is that they are just that.
They are public. They become available to anyone, anywhere at any time. The truth is that we live in a scary place, where people take advantage of the internet and sadly, of children. It would be great to say that the world is a rosy place and that child predators aren’t around nor are people that do bad things, but we can’t, because it is simply not true.
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By sharing these photos and this private information about your child or grandchild, you aren’t protecting them. You aren’t giving them the security and safety that they need.
It is one thing for someone who is 18 or even 16 to decide they want to model, show their body and their own self to the world and have this posted on social media. This is their choice and their parent’s have to trust that they have given them the right education and value set to make that decision wisely.
But the parents who do this for their children, before they have the know how or moral compass to know whether it is right or wrong, are simply exposing their own children to dangers they shouldn’t ever have to be exposed to.
As a parent and a grandparent, this is my opinion. I couldn’t dream of exposing my children or grandchildren to unnecessary risks and dangers… I just hope the parents of today realise just what they are doing.
So tell me, do you agree with my point of view? Or do you have another? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please share them with us in the comments below…