Thin line between empowerment, endangerment

Feeling the pressure to look older and more mature, many young girls have used social media to present themselves more as women than teenage girls.


Posting overly salacious TikTok videos and Instagram posts, many teenage girls have used social media as a way to present themselves as older than they are in the hopes of social media recognition and fame.
This practice runs a very thin line between self expression and endangerment.Many teen girls believe that posting themselves in minimal clothing is body positive and a form of female empowerment.
While it is important to love and embrace your body as a woman, posting it on social media, especially as a minor, does not contribute to self image in a positive way.
Some may argue that the attention from social media may help them love themselves, but that is not a healthy form of validation and should be reevaluated by those practicing this.
There are, in fact, women who are sponsored by companies and are in paid positions to spread body positivity and self-love.
However, these women do not do it as a form of self love, they are spreading advocacy and awareness and are in protected positions from sexual predators.
They are also, generally, adult women.
The main problem with minors sexualizing themselves on social media is that it puts these girls in harm’s way.
Many sexual predators use social media to find young girls or abuse their content without any knowledge of the creator.
Whether young girls believe that posting salacious photos is empowerment or not, it is nondesputable that it makes it easier for sexual predators to find victims.
It is important to behave inline with the world that you live in. Women absolutely should be allowed to wear whatever they feel comfortable when going out to a bar.
However, it is important to consider the risk that comes with that, because, unfortunately, there are men in the world who believe a miniskirt is “asking for it” and is a form of consent.
It is important to fight for women’s safety and educate men, but wearing a miniskirt to a bar is not empowerment, it is a risk.
This can be compared to teenage girls posting their bodies on social media. While in an ideal society, it should not be unsafe, we don’t live in an ideal society.
A way to avoid this is maintaining a private account. This is extremely important for online safety.
The source of young girls’ desire to post borderline inappropriate images could very well be stemming from the teenage male gaze.
Many girls’ posts parallel those of adult instagram models whose jobs are to produce borderline sexual content.
In today’s age of social media, this is in fact a job.
Influencers are present in all categories of industry, ranging from health and fitness to explicit content.
The point of an influencer is that they make their lifestyle and the products related to their life desirable.
In advertising, it is understood that generally, male viewership has a certain taste in content, often being racey and seductive.
Many female influencers in all categories use this to their advantage.
This translates to creating pressure in young girls’ lives as young men look to these older women as attractive figures.
Teenage girls see what boys their age like, and attempt to replicate.
This in turn attracts older men, who were not the desired audience, putting these teens at risk for becoming prey.
Online footprint is another important factor to consider.
While someone may view a seductive bikini photo or a dance to a salacious song as “empowerment”, it could be viewed by an employer as inappropriate and unprofessional for an employee to have public on the internet.