Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Community News Network

April 8, 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
Community News Network
House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Has the rash of shootings in Indianapolis made you reconsider attending an event or patronizing a business there? Yes, it's out of control No, it's no more dangerous than anywhere else

     View Results
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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