They were often highly aware of the adverse effects of the sexualization on girls—but not always sure what to do about it.
“Sharenting” has given parenting a whole new dimension: viewer-rated performance.
The usual debate centers on whether posting pictures of one’s children’s online—or allowing one’s children to do so—is safe from a privacy or security standpoint.
Once upon a time, only the wealthy and privileged could afford to have their portraits painted by a small, select circle of artists.
With the advent of photography, parents of all backgrounds could have pictures of their children, which were coveted as documents of their development and a way to show off their innocent beauty and charm to family and friends.
In 1996, this seemed like a dark revelation, a national scandal. Now, parents post videos of their daughters suggestively shimmying to Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj—videos that rack up approval ratings, sometimes even media attention and ad sales.
In Boca Raton, Fla., a wealthy coastal city with a population of around 90,000, about 50 miles north of Miami, I met Julie, Maggie, Cassy and Leah, a group of 13-year-old girls—two white, two Latina—at the Town Center Mall.As the girls visited their social-media accounts, opening their Snapchats and liking and commenting on the Instagram posts of their friends, a parade of mothers and daughters drifted past, all dressed almost identically.There were teenage girls in booty shorts and cleavage-baring tops, and mothers wearing almost exactly the same things, except with heels and bling.“They want to look hot,” said Cassy, not looking up from her phone. “Their daughters look hot and they want to look like their daughters,” Maggie said.“They think they’re the Real Housewives.” The reluctance of baby boomers and Gen X-ers to grow old is not lost on girls.But while we’re consumed by the tangible dangers of messenging services like Kik, Yik Yak, After School and other anonymous apps, we may be missing a different influence: our own behavior.