Friday, January 18, 2019

Instaskin II: The Next Generation (Showing Skin On Social Media For Likes)

This post is the second part of a series about the issue of nudity on Instagram.

Recently I was able to speak to a person who uses Instagram to show off their body.  I asked them some questions about their use of Instagram, and why they use it as a medium to show so much skin.  The person did not really come up with many answers (they seemed more upset about it all instead).   What was interesting about this particular individual was that there was a lot of images of their daughter interspersed between the images and "adult natured" comments about what others thought of the body that was being posted.

Little Eyes Are Watching How We Spend Our Time

One of the reasons I reigned in my use of Facebook and other (a)social media is because I had some little eyes watching me and how I spent my time.  And those little eyes are taking everything in.  That little mind is growing and it is learning about the world and what is right to do and what is right to spend time with.  I did not want my little one to think life was about staring at a phone and posting every little thing on Facebook.  She can witness enough of that when they go back to Eastern Washington and see many of the family members locked into their phones obsessively, compulsively, addictively.  But, here, at home, I do not want her to witness her parents doing that or acting in that manner.  Life is to be lived, in the world, not away from the world in the sphere of (a)social media mindlessness.

But this isn't about the place where we find ourselves traveling to now and then.  This is about showing excessive amounts of skin on social media.  I have not been the kind to want to show off my body or body parts on social media, and I don't think it's a wise choice.  Not in a world where the professional image is really everything for the advancement in life.  So, why would I train my daughter up in it?  Why would anyone?  Seriously, do some people just not think?  In what world does posting private pictures of yourself and then posting images of your children seem okay?  Yet, this kind of behavior seems normal.  There are many accounts with such actions, and many have tens of thousands of followers on Instaskin.

Showing Your Children That It's Okay To Use Your Body to Promote Your Profile Page

Many people use their bodies to promote their profile pages.  Beach images with the skimpiest outfits possible, shirtless men with pants and shorts so low you see the upper part and the part du jour.  Everything out and about, enjoying the breeze and the flood of likes.  And this is seen as completely normal.  It's a way to fish for comments, get attention, and to reel in like after like.  What kind of message are we sending to our children?  Would I really want my child to post half naked pictures of themselves on social media?  Would I really want my own daughter to think it was okay to send nude and close to nude pictures out to people online?  When is this okay and not okay? 

That's something that you are going to have to teach your child.  But, remember that children don't learn as well from the words of others as they do from the actions of others.  In short, actions speak louder than words.  But in this overly loud (a)social media world of words and images, oftentimes what is said often does not jive with what is seen and displayed.  Too many of us will talk big, but reality shows a far different image of what the truth is.

Is Body Positivity on Social Media Really Body Positivity?

Children are learning from this generation of instaskinners, and they are learning that the best way to get popularity is by bearing skin.  It's often wrapped up in this idea of being body positive or loving your body, and I understand that those are good ideas and that we should learn to love who we were created as, but I think that doing so in a way that is meant to maximize how much others like us is not body positivity, but fishing for acceptance because we are not yet ready to accept ourselves In short, the body positive movement on Facebook and Instagram is largely a lie.  It's a myth for many who depend on a flood of likes and compliments to feel good about themselves.  If you really did love your body, if you really were confident of who you were, you would NOT NEED TO PROVE it to the world on (a)social media.

Do you know someone who just can't keep their clothes on when it comes to (a)social media and the internet?  Do you think that getting half-naked on (a)social media is just a way to garnish likes?  Do you really accept who you are enough to live life without having to prove it to strangers and family/friends on (a)social media?  Are you tired of people using their bodies to get fame on the internet?  If so, please comment!

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