Call for Mothers of Teenage Girls

SURVEY / INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Instructions: Please review the questions from three main topics of discussion below and answer from your own experience. Try to elaborate as much as possible.  It is not necessary to answer all of the question, just those you feel strongly about.   Please provide examples from your daughter’s life if possible. 

Video Interview: If you would like to discuss these in front of a camera for a future documentary, please call Oksana Cobb at 215-400-0233 or e-mail at oksanacobb@verizon.net to arrange the date and time of the video session.   Location: University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, TX. 

Image

1)      SEXUAL IDENTITY

“Dare to bare” is a common exhortation in the spring and summer issues of many girl’s fashion magazines.  What are your views on girls showing more and more skin from tank tops and belly shirts to extremely short skirts and shorts at younger age?

Is there a difference between sexuality and sexualization?  Please elaborate. 

Feminine modesty has been chastised for decades as a form of patriarchal oppression.  Is stripping and bearing skin today a badge of sexual liberation? 

When younger girls today wear sexy outfits and enjoy attention from boys, is there a danger of having to perform sexually at a younger age?  What are the consequences? 

Just 10 years ago, it was unusual for 10 year old girls to go to a beauty spa for a full facial, manicure and pedicure.  Not anymore.  Beauty industry keeps lowering the age bar for its products.  How does this phenomenon contributes to objectifying women and their self-objectification?

Today’s hook-up culture free of commitment encourages sex without romance and courtship.  Does this have an effect on depression levels among young women? 

“I Kissed a Girl” 2008 song by Katy Perry quickly became number one the Billboard national charts where it stayed for 7 straight weeks.  We are in the age of lesbian chic.  The girls that are too young to have a sexual identity pretend to be bisexual.  It is no longer a taboo, in fact it is encouraged, makes girls more popular with boys.  The problem is: what is genuine and what is fake?  The girl-on-girl show is often times for the boys, for their enjoyment.  Do the girls confuse desire for attention with desire for sex?

Do girls today have a chance to simply be girls and not women or sexual agents at much earlier age? 

2)      CYBERBUBBLE

Many girls today love describing themselves as “party animals”.  Their whole motivation to attend all the parties and sleepovers is to post photos of the gatherings on Instagram, Facebook etc.  Is the photo record of social events on social media similar to a diary or is it more of a creating a mask, marketing a brand, performing and putting on a show to amuse others? 

Are girls staying true to themselves when they blog, post photos, comment, like other posts?  Or is it all about projecting the right image, an image what is perceived to be cool, hip, popular?

Do you find that despite hours spent in texting and social media each day, teenagers are more awkward in personal face-to-face communication? 

What is the iPhone 5 or smart phone means as a status symbol in school age children?

American teens today send an average of 135 messages per day via text and social networking sites. 

Does 24/7 connectedness today means no private life and private time?  The technological hyper connectedness with peers may mean for girls disconnecting from themselves.  Does this lifestyle deprive girls from break, breather, private moments to “just chill”, sleep and rest. 

ADHD misdiagnosis by doctors and self-diagnosis for mental disorders. 

Cyberbullyign phenomenon

Sexting consequences

Can girls deal with the pressure of being micro-celebrity and to have to constantly package a product of their ownself, a product that did not have a chance to develop yet?  How do girls handle claustrophobic world inside the cyberbubble? 

There are three general styles of parenting: Authoritarian (ultra strict), Permissive (very laid back), and Authoritative (firm but not excessively rigid).   Which style do you consider yourself to be in regards of controlling your child’s use of internet.  

3)      OBSESSIONS

Thinspiraton… The internet and social media are full of websites, blogs and visuals promoting anorexia, encouraging girls to stay strong while they starve themselves and glamorizing the cult of the ultra-thin.  What are real dangers to our children? 

Can sports become an obsession for girls and one of the only ways to define themselves?

Obsession with overachievement can be dangerous.  Why?  Overly-ambitiousness and perfectionism often stems from demanding, critical and conditional relationship with one’s parents. 

Use of alcohol and drugs as a means of compensations for something missing in their lives or results of abuse. 

 Image

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Call for Mothers of Teenage Girls”

  1. Hi Oksana,

    I didn’t answer all the questions on your survey, but what I did answer was kind of long. If you need anything else let me know. Sorry hope it doesn’t take up too much of your space. I’ll email you a PDF too if you like. Here ya go…

    Answers for Oksana’s study: Lari Tanner

    1) Sexual Identity

    “Dare to bare” is a common exhortation in the spring and summer issues of many girl’s fashion magazines. What are your views on girls showing more and more skin from tank tops and belly shirts to extremely short skirts and shorts at younger age?

    My views on girls showing more skin and wearing more revealing clothing at a younger age is gonna be blunt. Girls (any age) need to wear more clothes! That’s it and that’s all. It’s so silly that their clothing is getting smaller, and the fabric is getting thinner…who are they getting bare for? I was always told girls actually dress for other girls not for boys, so is it peer pressure, or are they trying to impress the opposite sex? Who knows? But I wish the media would quit doing this to our girls. It’s like they’re nothing unless they reveal their bodies. I hate it!

    Feminine modesty has been chastised for decades as a form of patriarchal oppression. Is stripping and bearing skin today a badge of sexual liberation?

    It might seem like a badge of liberation but it’s all how one looks at it. I personally don’t think so. My daughter’s were always modest in their dress because of our religious beliefs. Their friend’s skirts were getting shorter and shorter. My girls were always encouraged by their friends to get something strapless or short to show off a physical attribute. The peer pressure was very tangible and my daughters had a hard time fighting it. But, they stuck to it because they didn’t want to succumb to the pressure, they wanted to dress the way they wanted to, not how their friends dressed. My own mother would tell me that the more clothing a girl had on meant that she cared about her body, and also, it left something to the imagination. It’s interesting that her generation found empowerment with covering up instead of going bare.

    When younger girls today wear sexy outfits and enjoy attention from boys, is there a danger of having to perform sexually at a younger age? What are the consequences?

    As a mother of sons it was always frustrating to see the girls my sons were dating wearing such short shorts, or sleeveless blouses with low cut cleavage. I do believe it does send the wrong message. I feel like it’s saying, “Here I am, or Look at me I need attention.” Girls dress certain ways for a lot of reasons, some for insecurity other’s to make a point. Either way it can get them into all sorts of trouble.

    My boys are boys after all. I know you want something from a daughter’s perspective, but I have to share with you what my youngest son shared with me—He told his date to go and change because he couldn’t take her out the way she was dressed. She was wearing a tube top, and “Daisy Duke” (cut off jeans) kind of shorts, her belly button was showing, and the tube top kept slipping. My son said the shorts were so short he could see her buttocks cheeks hanging down from under them. She was constantly pulling down the shorts, and pulling up the tube top to keep it from slipping. He basically made her change because she looked uncomfortable, and he was as well. I was happy my son had some sense, but he also told me later it gave him impure thoughts, and as a modest young man he didn’t want those thoughts to interfere with getting to know this girl. What would have happened if my son hadn’t been a decent young man? Another boy might not have been so decent and could have taken advantage of the situation or done something terrible to her. Girls do play with fire when they dress a certain way.

    I think a boy shows more respect to a girl who dresses more modestly, it shows that she has self-esteem and more importantly self-respect. Not that those other girls don’t but it’s definitely harder to see in outward appearance when they are dressed in scantily clad attire. ☺

    2) Cyberbubble

    Are girls staying true to themselves when they blog, post photos, comment, like other posts? Or is it all about projecting the right image, an image what is perceived to be cool, hip, popular?

    I have two daughters, one is an adult now, but the younger one is a teenager. My teen daughter and her friends stay very true to who they are in real life. She is not the giggly, silly, talk about boys’ dramatic teenager. She is more soulful, and seeks things that make her happy and what encourages her creativity. If you’ve ever seen the movie, “She’s All That,” the main girl in the story is a lot like my daughter. She’s an artist, so she is kind of moody to an extent, but she also is not your typical teenager. She has a group of friends, but they definitely are not in the “popular” crowd.

    What you see is what you get with her. She’s very honest, and just want’s to do some good in the world. She does know of other girls who pretend to be something they are not on social media. Some of the girls she knows who do this either play up how wonderful their lives really are, or they make their lives sound worse than they really are depending on the girl.

    I have noticed a trend in some of the things they talk about online, usually if one makes a comment the other’s all chime in with similar comments…it’s almost like a “group think.” They seem to agree with each other. I see this “group think” mentality with their favorite TV shows, like Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, Doctor Who, Supernatural, etc. They comment on the actors and storylines, as well as the fashion and art on the show, and of course how HOT everyone is. I know on Tumblr the kids have their own secret language. Like when my daughter says, “She’s got the feels,” that means she was emotional about something, whatever that may be. I can get more lingo for ya, but I’ll have to ask her.

    Do you find that despite hours spent in texting and social media each day, teenagers are more awkward in personal face-to-face communication?

    I do agree there. My oldest daughter is very good on the phone and also face-to-face, but the other three are terrible. The three younger ones don’t like to talk on the phone, they always ask why they can’t just send an email. My youngest daughter is the worse. She hates to talk to another person by phone, we literally have to force and coach her before she makes a call. Most of the time, when someone is talking to her face-to-face, even if she has her phone out or not, she has her head down and isn’t paying attention. Although, I have noticed a bit of a shift since she turned 16 (six months ago). She’s starting to show some signs that she’s finally evolving. She use to hide behind me when someone spoke to her, now she’ll actually stand next to me, and look up to answer!

  2. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter Larry. Thank you for taking the time to address those issues. Your feedback is particularly valuable as you are a mother of girls as well as boys. Talk with you soon. Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s