Today as I was going through my twitter feed I found a link, I clicked that link and what I read was beyond anything I think I have read recently. It was a letter addressed to teenage girls by a woman who signed the letter as Mrs. Hall. The post can be found on her blog and is called FYI (If You’re a teenage girl).
If you don’t want to read it the Tl;dr version is basically if you take a picture she deems “inappropriate” and are on her kids FB page you will be blocked.
As most know I do not have kids, I do not question anyone’s parenting technique because, well simply put I do not have kids and everyone has a parenting style. So this is not to rip Mrs. Hall a new one about that at all but this is in response to her letter to teenage girls.
Dear Mrs. Hall,
First I applaud you for taking an interest in what your children are doing on social networking sites, all too often parents don’t and that is when bad things happen. I also want to applaud you for keeping the lines of communication open with your kids that is important.
I do not know how old your sons are but they appear to be between the ages of 12 – 18, are you telling me you seriously sit around a kitchen table and talk about every single one of their friends who are taking photos of themselves in their Pajamas this summer? Does this not seem at least a little odd? And to notice they are not wearing a bra? If I had a child I would feel very awkward reading this, three times more so if I knew you in person, as it is I feel a little awkward reading it.
I get it – you want to keep your children protected, you also seem to want to protect these girls. But I really think you are overreacting. These girls are fully clothed are they not? They may be a little risqué for you but I am sure they are no more than you would see in a PG-13 movie.
You see Mrs. Hall I am sure you remember being a teenager. Trying to figure who you are, or who you want to be. I am sure your parents or your friends parents would cringe and wonder what you were trying to do with your big hair, tight jeans, short shirts etc. Who were your trying to reach? What were you trying to say? I am sure if you dig into your photo albums you will find photos that will transport you back to that time, where you were trying to find your place in this world. How would it have felt if your friend’s mom decided that you couldn’t come around their child anymore, essentially blocking you from their life? I mean they just care about their children.
I know you mean well Mrs. Hall, I really do but do you really believe that your teenage boys are less than that? I know teenage boys can be a little rowdy and full of raging hormones (I have 3 brothers) but they are probably fine young men, who respect women.
If you raised these boys with the strong moral compass you are hoping, I am sure they will be men of integrity. But I am sure that even you must know that men of integrity linger over a picture of a scantily clad woman, they are human after all and that is what humans do. Women do it as well, and teenagers more so with the hormones this is after all the natural progression of life.
Telling these girls they should run to their accounts and remove anything that makes it easy for their male friends to imagine you naked in their bedroom, is a little crazy. That would pretty much mean they have to remove every single picture from their account. I know this because I have brothers I have grown up around men my whole life, they do not need to have a scantily clad woman in front of them to imagine what they would look like in their bedroom, they have an imagination, which is generally far more descriptive than any Selfie posted on the internet.
Most of these young women will grow into beautiful, wonderful, intelligent , successful women whom I am sure you would be proud to welcome into your family at some point. A photo does not make them any less than that right now. These posts are just their way of growing into their skin and getting to know themselves which is really okay.
I hope above all else Mrs. Hall that if something were really that horrible on a teenagers facebook page you would contact their parents so they could talk with their child, rather than just looking down your nose and making your children block their friends interaction.