dear Bridget: wear it

Dear Bridget,

The world is all abuzz this week with news of leaked celebrity nude pics. You can’t go anywhere on the internet without finding another article about it.

The most common response I’ve seen is, “It’s their fault for posing nude. They should’ve known what could happen.”

There’s some truth to that. In this day in age, we’re all aware that nothing stored on technology is truly secure.

But at the same time, we all have things we expect to keep private – emails, texts, voice memos, pictures you’d rather not see plastered all over Facebook. I don’t fault these women for taking pictures they thought were private. There’s nothing shameful in that. If I weren’t well aware that technology isn’t completely private, I’d love to pose for my husband. Why? Because I like my body and I like the way he thinks I’m beautiful and has committed his whole freakin’ life to me. He is, therefore, the only one who gets to see me naked. But I don’t trust technology enough for pictures, and with good reason.

But technology and hackers aren’t the only culprits here. We’re ignoring a bigger, underlying problem: the way society has turned women’s bodies into a commodity.

The sad thing is, even women are playing into it when they willingly pose nude, “tasteless” or not, for magazines or websites. They’re allowing companies to make a profit from images of their bodies.

Your body is nothing to be ashamed of, Bridget. But it’s not for profit either. The more of your body you purposely show off, the less people focus on who you are. You are not the shape of your thighs or the curves of your waist or the size of your chest. You are more than that. And when you refuse to show your body off to the world, refuse to let people see you as an object, you force them to get to know you–the girl with a personality and a sense of humor and ambition. The girl who knows her body is not for public gawking.

I hope, as you get older, you hold tighter and tighter to the knowledge that your value is not based on your body, that you are a whole human being, not an object to be enjoyed. And that the people who would seek to pressure you into showing a little more, being a little sexier, are not worth your time. Kick them in the face and run. (Okay, maybe not literally because you could get in trouble for that. But you get my meaning.)

Wear your value, Bridget. Don’t let the world turn you into a commodity. You deserve so much more.

Love,

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What’s Dear Bridget all about? It’s a series on my blog composed of letters to a hypothetical teen girl named Bridget. Why Bridget? It means strong. And it represents the current generation of young women. These letters are my attempt to break through the chaos and the crap that’s flying at today’s young woman in order to offer advice and encouragement, from me and other incredible women who remember what it was like to be in her shoes.

If you’re a teen girl and you’ve got a question or issue you’d like us to address, let me know. Just click on the contact button (that round envelope icon at the top of the sidebar) and send me your thoughts. If you’re an awesome adult woman who remembers those teen years clearly and would like to write to Bridget, feel free to contact me and tell me about yourself.

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