I was on Facebook the other day when I noticed a disturbing trend in the photos of many of the young women I came across. I’ll call it the Slut Pose. In case you haven’t been unfortunate enough to view this increasingly popular phenomenon, I’ll describe it for you: young women, some very young, stand in front of a filthy bathroom mirror, contort themselves into an unnatural pose that resembles the preparation leading up to hitting a golf ball with a three-wood, and then take a “selfie” photo of it.
These young women (and I call them that as opposed to young ladies) pose either alone or in pairs, or more rarely groups. Each face sports an odd, lip-plumping pout that gives her the moue of a primordial fish. She pushes out her spandex-clad buttocks so they look as if they’re swollen to twice their normal size, which has the same effect on her fledgling yet burgeoning young bosoms, and these future milk-makers seem barely constrained by whatever slim pieces of fabric she’s managed to stretch over them.
She is, inevitably, a beautiful young person. So, why then would she feel insecure enough to post such a photo of herself on a public site? And I assure you this is public with a capital Pee. These photos are not protected by privacy settings, however, even if they were, most of these girls have hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook “friends.”
I have several objections to such objectification, not the least of which is location. I understand that every bathroom has a mirror, and every bathroom door has a lock, but must she always produce these masterworks of insecurity and look-at-me attention-getting in the privy? As much as I appreciate viewing her bathroom from several different angles, I would love it if instead she’d put the cell phone down and give it a good clean, including the mirror. Oh, and after she does that, I hope she’ll remember that no one wants to see the inside of her loo. Ever.
I also object that the ubiquitous nature of this phenomenon might make my son think this is proper behaviour for a young lady and that looking at girls in these poses is okay; or my daughter might think she should climb onto the bandwagon and do this too.
I would like to tell our Slut Pose woman that the attention she gets from her self-portraits is not the attention she wants, even though it feels like it when the Facebook Likes and Comments come pouring in. This kind of attention is not about who you are. It’s not about your accomplishments, your character, your charm or your intellect. Maybe you feel insecure and not smart enough. Maybe school is a struggle and you haven’t yet found a passion that fulfills you. I say: you will. Give it time. Pour your boundless energy into building up your skills, character and confidence.
I find myself wondering when this happens. When does the sheer joy and un-self-conscious abandon that is apparent in a photo like this:
Become the sad desperation apparent in a pose like this:
Or, equally sad, this:
When does she erroneously begin to feel like any attention is good attention? What happened to our little girls who loved to play and swim, who found joy on a soccer field, in dance class or climbing a tree?
I was a teenager once. I remember the hormones and angst, the insecurities and fears. Fortunately, I didn’t have Facebook on which to post permanent reminders of my own adolescent foolishness. Someone needs to guide these girls to the right path.
I don’t have answers but what if we women—the mothers, step-mothers, aunts and cousins of the Slut Pose generation—stepped up to show them how ridiculous and decidedly un-sexy these poses really are? I’ll be the first.
You’re welcome (I think I just slipped a disc). If we all covered Facebook in photos like that I suspect the Slut Pose wouldn’t remain cool for long.
Finally, if sexy is what she’s going for—although sexy is not the first word that springs to my mind while viewing the many variations of the Slut Pose—she’d do well to remember that nothing’s sexier than a strong and independent woman who respects herself enough to keep her knockers off the Internet.