The vanity of today's youth – what happened?

Whenever I look on my Facebook newsfeed, I am flooded with pictures of friends’ grandchildren and my own. While I love seeing them, my own grandchildren, who are 14 and 16, are always pouting and taking ‘selfies’. Don’t get me wrong, they are stunning girls and I support them, however as their grandmother, I can’t help but feel a bit upset that they are putting photos of themselves like that on the internet.

There’s those ‘stars’ like Kim Kardashian and so on who use social media to display their bum and boobs to everyone who wants to see it (and some who don’t!). It’s become more about what you look like than what you have to offer – silly apps like Tinder exist, which my son tells me is like a dating service but you just flick through peoples’ pictures until you see someone who takes your fancy. They could be dumb as a doornail but as long as they have a big bust, then they’re perfect for you. I do worry about the world my young granddaughters are growing up in, where the focus is solely on what you look like, where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. They give so much information out they could be stalked, though it’s not stalking if you make it easy for them!

I wonder what happened to the era of natural beauties. I look back at my black and white photos, one of my favourites is me wearing a (faux) fur coat in the middle of 1970s London. I looked beautiful, if I don’t mind saying so myself, and yet I just had some lippy on and maybe a bit of mascara. Oh, and I certainly did not take the photo myself! In fact, it was spontaneous and was taken by my late husband who said “Marg, look!” and captured me turning around.

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Fast forward to today and if you look in any magazine, website or Facebook, you can see the amount of inane photography going on. It’s actually very sad that the vanity of youth is so much so that some would die to look pretty. Just the other day an Australian girl had her breasts enlarged and had a heart attack on the operating table. She was interviewed and had passed off her cardiac arrest as if it was a walk in the park. She was just glad that her boobs were finished! She literally died on the operating table. Fair enough, some women do have good reasons for having work done, but when you see KK and her enormous bummed family plastered everywhere, what message is that sending? I’ll eat my hat if they haven’t had surgery, the lot of them.

I think vanity can be combatted with some tender love from a mother or grandmother. I have taken it upon myself to instil a good body image in my grandchildren, and have been trying to steer them away from social media when they are with me. I don’t judge them for their pictures by saying (I have heard my friends say this) “You look ridiculous” as that makes them think there’s something wrong with them. They need to be told they’re beautiful every day. I saw a lovely video (which you can watch here) made by Dove that helped young girls with curly hair realise they are beautiful, with the help from some of their family members. This should happen more in society.


What do you think about the vanity of today’s youth? Were you vain when you were younger? How did you dress? What should be done to make young women love themselves the way they are?

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