Editors Note: The following is in response to Attention Instagram “models” — You are selling yourselves
I appreciate your concern for “those young women on Instagram.” I get it. You’re worried there’s a generation of women devaluing themselves by posing in lingerie for the sake of being gawked at by complete strangers. You’re worried that there’s an epidemic of half-naked girls lacking self-esteem. You’re worried they don’t remember what self-esteem means. So, you’ve done them the favor of reminding them: “It’s called self-esteem because it emanates from the self.”
However, you fail to mention that this is not a female-specific phenomenon. The plethora of shirtless men taking gym-selfies will prove that. If you’re going to take it upon yourself to hate on what people do, at least be gender-neutral.
In your letter, you also take it upon yourself to assume that all women think alike. Well, despite popular belief, that’s simply not true.
Reality Check: You tell women to “stop fooling yourself into thinking that the ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ you get are because they like you. They like the show you are giving them; they don’t care who you are.” Well, what if I told you that not all women (just like men, gasp!) have the same motives?
Yes, there are women who post half-naked photos of themselves due to a lack of self-esteem and mistake these “likes” and “shares” as a genuine form of social approval.There are also women who post half-naked photos of themselves who are strong, independent and confident. Don’t be lazy and categorize all of us under the label of “self-esteem issues” in order to make a point.
My advice: Don’t body-shame women into thinking it’s wrong to express something they feel proud of. If someone is brave enough to show the world that they feel good about their body, let them.
By the way, you’re right. Self-esteem does emanate from the self. That’s why you have no business dictating how we choose to emanate that feeling.