Is this the New Normal?


A few years ago we were cleaning out the garage when we stumbled across a small collection of Playboy magazines from the 1970’s. They were hidden in the roof of all places. What a cultural discovery! We flicked through the pages and marvelled at all the pubic hair and natural breasts. The curved hips and the generous bums. No scalpel here my friends! Women looking like women and all different. It was rather ace.

And then we threw them in the recycling bin.

Anyway, I bring this up because now, women’s bodies are judged for pretty much everything. We are taught from a very young age that we are fairly hideous and things need to be improved. And then (hopefully) by the time you hit your 40’s you stop giving a fuck and become more grateful for the marvel that IS your actual body, and despite punishing yourself by treating it like shit for all those years, it gets you from A to B.

Were you like me? When you were a teenager at the beach, or the pool, you would wear your towel wrapped around you, walk to the body of water and then, at the very last second, whip off your towel and jump straight in, hoping to GOD that no one saw your bod? Because you thought you were fat? Or because your boobs were teeny, or huge! Good times. I made sure everything I wore was baggy, didn’t show much skin and sweated through tracksuit pants on even the hottest of days. I wanted to look like Raquel Welch, or Olivia Newton John in her Xanadu era. I even had some headbands with coins on them, which I used to
wear across my forehead. LIKE ALL THE TIME! With my tracksuit pants.

Anyway, the difference between me growing up, and the youth of today is the development of Social Media. I like social media very much, and I am lucky enough to have turned it into my profession. TICK. But it does worry me so much in so many ways. I see the kids on various accounts, and they are growing up way too fast. I check out the instagram feeds of teenage “Instagram Stars” and cannot help but think what all the other girls feel about themselves when they are shown the shiny happy people holding hands. And then there is the mysterious SNAPCHAT which I cannot get my head around, but they are all using it.

Recently, one of my sons who shall remain nameless, has had his phone removed from his person for the remainder of the month due to some very poor decision-making. I cannot begin to tell you the difference it has made in every area of his life! Sure, it was not the most popular executive decision I have ever made, but it has been well worth it. I have seen glimmers of the kid he truly is, and in a way, I sense a bit of relief from him. I chatted about this to the Huffy Puffy gals this morning, as we did our session in Mrs. Goodman’s pool, due to the scorched earth situation happening here in Sydney at the moment. These gals are WISE, like super super qualified in dealing with parenting issues. Mrs Jenkins said indeed he would be a little relieved, as it is all about trying to Keep up with the Kardashians in the playground. Interesting hey.

Anyway, it was during this discussion that the Huffy Puffy Trainer’s phone pinged. She looked down at it before proclaiming “OH. MY. GOD”.

This was far more interesting that doing squat jumps in the pool so we all went over to have a gander. And there she was. As naked as the day she was born. A young teenage girl, who had sent some selfies to the HP trainers son, which ended up going onto the family iCloud and thus ending up on his mothers phone.

What the hell would you do? The wise ladies offered up plenty of solid advice, with one of them supplying the fact that approximately 30% of girls under the age of 16 think that this is a normal thing to do. Meanwhile, at the same age, I was doing everything humanly possible to make sure no-one would ever catch me dead in a bathing suit. Is this the new normal? Jesus H Christ…..

Tracey Spicer wrote a really interesting article about the sexualisation of young girls yesterday. Read it here. In it she talks about some inappropriate comments directed to her ten year old daughter by an older man.

“My, how you’ve grown. You’re a pretty little thing. All the men will be looking at you instead of your mother!”

What the actual fuck?

Anyway, this has turned into a long winded, not really cohesive rant about things that are not sitting right for me right now. I hope you have something to add to the conversation. Let me ask a few questions, ok?

Have you ever found something shocking on your kids phone?

What would you do if your kid was sending nude photos of themselves to others?

Or am I over-reacting? Is this now the new normal?