There she was this morning in my Instagram feed, aged ten going on fifteen, making seductive poses with her cheeks sucked in and her head tilted in just that way. There she was dancing and jumping in videos and shaking her bottom towards an unseen audience.
In the middle of all these is the picture of her dog. A little girl posting a picture of her puppy. Her poopy puppy. This is the picture I was looking for. I am not a big fan of Instagram so only open the app once in a while. This is the picture that The Doc told me was there so I went to look at it.
I wonder, when I see the other posts, the seductive poses and the bottom shaking videos, if maybe they are inappropriate for a girl of ten or even a girl of fifteen. Or am I just being old fashioned? I wonder because I have very little experience with girls except the fact that I was once one, but I was a considered a very odd one. Most of my experience was with my brothers, son and stepsons.
I wonder if her parents have seen these. I know they are aware that she has an online presence. I wonder where the photos and videos were taken as it does not look like the girl’s room. Perhaps a girlfriend’s, the one next door who is a few years older. The girl’s parents are responsible adults and good parents who, like all mom and dads, are sometimes exhausted and overwhelmed by the daily life of working and bringing up kids. Far be it from me to advise them on how to bring up their daughter in today’s world. I am substantially unqualified. Yet I wonder because that is what I do.
I wonder if she has been educated in the dangers of the internet. I worry about sexual predators and online stalking. She is a very beautiful, talented and creative girl who could be easily conned by some well-directed flattery. Does a female of any age have to curtail her creativity and freedom of expression in the interest of personal safety? I don’t know the correct answer to this. I only know history and what can happen and how the lack of physical strength puts most females at a disadvantage in certain situations. And how I always had to be alert of those situations in my youth, how I always had to be responsible for my own safety. This was not something I was ever actually told. This was a survival skill acquired through experience. Is this something we should be passing down to the girls of today? What exactly should we tell them? Will they want to hear it? I have my doubts. So do we just let them find out for themselves that there is a wide gap between how things should be and how things really are? I wonder.
That little girl, that beautiful ten-year-old in my Instagram feed, she is my granddaughter. And so I not only wonder, I worry.
Thank you for reading.
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