Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
My friend and I have 8th graders, and were reminiscing about their classmates that we have known since Kindergarten. As we were looking at various kids on Instagram, we noticed that all of the girls have pictures of themselves posing in bathing suits, and other outfits with inappropriate poses. What is your opinion of this? Even if you set aside what some may consider my “prudish” feelings about this, what about how many pedophiles are out there, looking at all of these sweet girls’ pictures. Are my friend and I just “not with it,” or are we right to worry?
I do not think you are being a prude. What young people will not seem to believe is that pictures on the Internet follow them forever. Young people (and adults) need to think before they pose for a picture, let alone post it on social media accounts. Students need to start thinking about how they will be perceived by a photo when trying to get into a club or organization in college, and then by a potential employer. Parents need to start thinking about this as well for their children, and monitor what they pictures they post of themselves and of their friends. Explaining to them what is considered an inappropriate or provocative pose may also be necessary. I do not think a lot of young people understand that certain poses are considered acceptable for models, or celebrities on the red carpet, but not for young people. Also, you have an extremely good point about pedophiles lurking for young girls (and boys) on the Internet. Above all, let’s strive to keep children in our communities as safe as possible.