If you have ever met me you will know that I am most passionate when I speak about female empowerment. After all I’m a female business owner, I work with a team of strong women, most of my clients are female and I’m part of a generation that is paving the way for the next generation of young female entrepreneurs.
So it goes against everything I stand for when I find myself questioning where I stand on women sharing naked social media posts.
Recently a man that I know posted several photos of their genitals onto their social media! Their ACTUAL private parts!
I was shocked and horrified that I was looking at the most intimate areas of his body, and I hadn’t asked to see it, and I didn’t want to! It wasn’t in a private message, it was in MY newsfeed!
I hadn’t given my consent, and I had no way to control what I was seeing. Yes, I believe if you don’t like something scroll by and ignore it, but we aren’t talking about someone’s political views, it was a photo of their tickle tackle!!!!
If I had been in the park then this person would have been arrested for indecent exposure, so why is it so different when it is on social media?
As I spoke to my friends and family about what I had just seen I got to thinking about other photos I had seen on social media, and began to deliberate where the line is when it comes to your modesty.
How far is too far?
How do you decide what is and isn’t offensive?
Working in a salon I see naked bodies every day, I don’t feel uncomfortable, and neither should my clients. We feel it’s important to celebrate feeling good in your own skin, and when you are in the treatment room we want you to feel safe and free from judgement.
I grew up around really strong women like my granny, aunts, mum and sister, and being naked was never an issue. We were brought up to never be embarrassed of our bodies, we got undressed around each other and we all shared the bathroom.
So why do I feel so conflicted about seeing naked bodies on social media?
Scroll through Instagram or Facebook and you will see thousands of nearly naked bodies, photos of girls in their underwear, bare bottoms, the odd pair of nipples, basically photos leaving nothing to the imagination.
When did this become OK to share your body with strangers?
I understand that some images are an expression of art, and some of these photos promote body confidence. Some of these photos I come across are to highlight certain important issues, and make us think or begin a dialogue.
And I get that, I really do!
No one has the right to tell you what to wear, or how much of your flesh you should cover up.
But I’m still conflicted!
I’m conflicted because sometimes these nearly naked photos are posted just to get a ‘like’.
That the person who posted the photo is sitting on their phone waiting for validation that they have a beautiful body from strangers on the internet. That there are girls and boys who have attached their self worth to how many people like their naked bodies!
And if they don’t get enough validation or are subjected to online bullying then they start to hate the person staring back at them in the mirror!
That these poor souls can spiral into depression, have difficulty with intimacy, and can even become suicidal.
I’m conflicted because I have a son, nieces and a nephew, who are all far too young to be on social media. But there will come a day when they will join the online world and all the work we have done to build up their self confidence and self worth could be obliterated in just a handful of months, if not weeks.
It scares me to think that they will think it is normal to bare their flesh for all to see. That the lessons we teach them about modesty and privacy will be undermined when they see the plethora of flesh on their newsfeeds.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of my body, but could I still say that after I have bared all for the world to see? What if the strangers on Instagram DON'T like it? How will I feel then?
And what happens when these young boys and girls start to get older, and their bodies aren’t as perky or muscular as they once were? What happens to the number of likes they rely on to feel validated?
My body isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago, and I feel blessed that I didn't grow up in this generation and attach my self worth to how I looked. I attached my self worth to my personal values and to the connections I have with real friends and family. I would hate to think how awful I would feel if I relied on strangers liking my semi naked photos to feel worthy. Because maybe I wouldn’t feel very worthy now that I’m 36 years old and perhaps no one would like to see me in a thong……
Am I old fashioned? Did the world just move on and I’ve not kept up?
Am I missing something?
I keep asking these questions because I genuinely feel conflicted. Having studied anatomy and physiology for years I find the human body truly fascinating, but it’s the journeys and the stories of each client that I find even more inspiring.
So I don’t know where the line is when it comes to modesty, but I do think it’s important that each of us know where OUR own personal line is!
So here is a list of my own personal rules for social media, NOT yours, MINE!
1. If I am not prepared to leave the house in ONLY my see-through underwear and strut along the street then I won’t be posting it on social media.
2. If I wouldn't show my bare bottom to my husband’s great uncle Andrew (who is a FB friend) then I’m not showing it to the whole world!
3. If a photo of my nipples could compromise a future job or business opportunity then I’m not sharing it!
4. If it could get me arrested in the park for indecent exposure then I won’t be putting a filter on it and sharing it on Instagram!
5. If it teaches the younger generations that your self worth is attached to what is on the outside of your body, as opposed to what is on the inside then I won’t be posting it on Facebook!
Do you have your own personal rules for social media? I would love to hear them!
And if you think I am completely wrong, then I appreciate your opinions and would love to hear those too.
But more importantly, YOU, yes you reading this now are beautiful. You have one very MASSIVE ’like’ from me!!!!
Lots of love
Jodie Finnigan xoxo
Founder of Pamper Me