Meridian Star

New Today

April 9, 2013

Instagram beauty contests worry parents, child privacy advocates

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

"In the realm of 12- to 13-year-old girls, nothing much is voluntary, and the peer pressure is intense to conform and be part of it," Balkam said.

Maryland PTA president-elect Ray Leone said schools in the region are struggling to keep up with complaints and questions about online safety because children are moving so quickly between the latest social network sites. Counselors and educators have little time to monitor how children are using social media.

"It's hard to even get your head around any of these new sites. It's overwhelming for everyone I talk to," said Leone, whose own children, ages 15 and 18, are on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. "Most parents are just throwing their arms up in the air because the new platforms are coming and going so fast, it's hard to get your head around it."

Middle school girls are particularly sensitive to online interaction. Positive or negative comments contribute to self-esteem and the formation of identities, experts say.

Racking up followers and "likes" on Instagram is a measurable way of feeling acceptance, said Simmons, the "Odd Girl Out" author. On Instagram, teens often post notes imploring the public to become followers and to "like" their posts.

Hollee Actman Becker, a writer and blogger from Philadelphia, last Saturday discovered her 10-year-old daughter was in an Instagram beauty pageant. Horrified, Becker confronted her daughter and realized the girl didn't fully grasp the risks of the contest.

Becker said she didn't know the minimum age for Instagram users is 13. She will let her daughter maintain her account, she said, but has pushed back against contests on the site. She posted a photo of the words "Beauty is Skin Deep" on the palm of her hand.

The photo is beginning to go viral.

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Are you for or against Common Core — which is mandated by the state — being taught in Mississippi schools?

For
Against
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide