Is Facebook Turning Girls Into Porn Stars?

By

tongue
Or, what's so bad about looking slutty online?

There's a question that's been plaguing a lot of people lately, particularly mothers, feminists, accomplished professionals, and roughly half the world's women over the age of thirty. It goes a little something like this: What is it about Facebook that makes tween, teen, and twenty-something girls want to come across to the world as porn stars?

More specifically: Is there something inherent in the social networking site – which exploded in popularity primarily due to its photo-sharing capabilities – that makes girls want to look at a camera with the pursed-up lips and half open eyes of a blow-up doll? Does the idea of having their photos seen by everyone they know compel girls without hesitation to stick their tongues in each other's ears and give each other lap dances? Is simulating fellatio equivalent to a peace sign in Facebook land?

A piece on yesterday's Open Salon by Mary T. Kelly, entitled "Facebook: Home to Wannabe Porn Stars," has many of these same questions at its heart. In it, Kelly examines hundreds of photos that are posted in the Facebook albums of her daughter's friends (yes, that's right, her daughter's friends "friended" her, knowing she'd be able to see all their trampy pictures). She then identifies some of the popular porn-like poses: the breast grab, the bump and grind, and of course, the infamous and perplexing tongue between the "V sign" fingers. Finally, she expresses exasperation ("I’m no spring chicken, and I’m pretty sure I know what the V sign is, pretty sure, but WHY?").

The article – which is primarily focused on Kelly's confusion and frustration rather than the sociological nature of exhibitionism, media, and female sexuality – suggests that the photos these girls post aren't merely unflattering, embarrassing to future generations, and a potential obstacle to prospective employment, but an affront to "all the mothers who burned their bras in protest to the sexualization of women" and evidence of a "drop in expectations and core values."

To quote Kelly: "Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem are rolling over in their graves and they're not even dead."

Is she right? Are these girls "degrading" themselves and women in general? Or are they merely celebrating, exploring, and poking fun at their burgeoning sexual identities in a socially acceptable forum?

 

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