Today is #SaferInternetDay, and I thought to myself, yes I know how to internet safely – passwords, avoid phishing scams etc. But what about the subconscious safety concerns or the unintended consequences of messages on the internet for children?
Are you watching what your children are posting/viewing online? Are you watching what YOU are posting online? Is it necessary? Is it kind? What image are you portraying to the world? I’ve really been thinking a lot about what the messages some people (especially celebrities) are teaching our children. Seeing the shenanigans that some celebrities are up to lately (Kardashian Instagram pictures show what?) has me concerned. This is important to me… Not just because I am always online, but because I am a mummy, I work in the media and I see worrying images and conversations on the internet ALL THE TIME.
Yes we monitor our kids devices, but these images are EVERYWHERE!
Let’s take the Kardashians as examples.
Kardashian took to Instagram recently for a “night cap,” as she captioned the racy photo, in which she’s laying seductively on a bed with her breasts exposed (but censored) and sheets cleverly concealing her other lady parts. She tagged fashion photography team Mert and Marcus in the photo, which is seemingly from the same photo shoot as another bed pic Kardashian posted earlier. Kim, don’t get me wrong, celebrate your body girl, the female form is beautiful, but don’t you think there are some of your body parts and certain poses and images that should be kept between you and Kanye??
And Kylie Jenner? A young 20 year old having babies and apparently mum Kris is filled with glee about this? Kris Jenner is a “momager” mum/manager and she has done everything to make her daughters the most famous faces in the world… for nothing more than being famous? Since 2007 she’s had her family on the little screen in a mind numbing reality show.
In 2015 the show has notched nearly 6m viewers for a single episode, has several spin offs, and E! has reportedly signed the family for another four seasons with a contract worth $100 million dollars, according to Page Six.
The family have gone on to launch beauty brands, fashion collections, autobiographies and are reportedly the most talked-about and sought-after family in the world.
And don’t even get me started on the “Bo Derek” braids…
There’s no arguing that braids have played a critical role in Black hair culture, which is why when celebrities, namely Kim Kardashian, chose to credit the style to Bo Derek, a white actress, there is an issue.
So… THESE are the messages that are popular. This is what the example is of “beauty” in the world? Cultural appropriation, very little morals and a Mum not only giving her glowing approval but PROMOTING this. Nude photos on the internet, private business on display, marrying famous people to get more famous. It’s disturbing.
If you ask me… this is what we should be protecting our children from. The idea that this is okay.
Did you know that in the UK if someone under the age of 18 posts or sends nude pics of themselves to others it’s considered child pornography? When a schoolgirl sent an explicit photo to her boyfriend, it resulted in the police being called in. She was under 18 and therefore committing an offence of distributing an indecent image of a child – even though she was the child in question.
It led to Nottinghamshire Police sending letters to schools in the UK, explaining the legal ramifications of sexting – teens can receive police cautions, or end up on the sex offenders register.
So when we’re talking Internet Safety, we need to be realistic. The images of these “popular” women being naked and being famous for pretty much no reason WILL get to your children, one way or another. It’s at this point that we as parents, need to take the reins and have the uncomfortable talks with our girls and boys. So that our sons don’t objectify women and end up being desensitised to women’s rights. So that our girls don’t grow up thinking that these images are what’s beautiful and that these women are role models.
This week I’ve also seen and have been seriously concerned about skin bleaching. On Good Morning Britain and in all the magazines and papers in the UK – Beyonce’s father thinks the reason she’s successful is because of light skin? And then there’s Spice Girl Mel B – who seems to be getting lighter every week? You can be sure I’ll have a lot to say about this next week. My fingers are already flying on an article to talk about… that.
So… do you agree? I know this post has been pretty opinionated, but it’s VERY important to me. I’d love to hear what you think…