Permission to Pose…How Young is Too Young?

Photo Credit: Kelsey Mac  Model Credit: Lara Torres

These days it isn’t uncommon to see girls as young as 14,15, and 16 overtly sexualized. Whether it be in movies, tv shows, or advertising, it seems as if young girls are inundated with this idea that they must emanate sex appeal 24/7. With the use of social media and ever evolving technology it seems as if there is an unspoken competition among them to see who can grow up the fastest. With an already sex heavy culture this trend is exponentially growing. It may seem ironic that as a pinup and boudoir model I approaching this topic, however, I feel as if this subject needs to be broached within the community as it’s popularity rises.

To be clear: I strongly believe it is necessary and important to explore one’s sexuality, and sexual image. I think that there needs to be factual and in-depth sex education throughout our communities, and in our schools that promote a safe, sane, consensual environment for girls and boys to learn about what is out there, thus garnering a healthy outlook on this topic. Currently however, that is not the case. And there is an exploitation of a teenage girls image being had!

Pinup and boudoir are inherently highly sexualized forms of photography. To deny that would be denying the roots of pinup and boudoir culture. While it is ok learn, and to take interest in these styles of photography in ones teenage years; to go out and participate in these activities as a minor is not only inappropriate, it is illegal! It is an experience that one should have when they have the capability to understand all that it entails. Because it is truly a beautiful process, that can help one grow in a myriad of ways.

It is not about “just being sexy”! It is away for women (and some men) to guide and shape there sexual image separate to that of mainstream culture. There is something extremely therapeutic about designing one’s image for a photoshoot, and that process from beginning to end. It’s not something that should be rashly done. I do not think that I would have been able to see or understand the immense impact my photo shoots have had in my life had I done it in my young teenage years. In fact looking back to my very first shoot, when I was 18, I didn’t truly appreciate it’s significance in my life until my early twenties. At that point I could say it was fun, that I enjoyed myself, and yes, there was some healing from trauma previously faced; but I didn’t see as much of that healing as I do now.

I have often said that this is an experience that every woman should experience at least once in their lifetime, however, it is an experience that should be had when one can see, and clearly comprehend both the pros and the cons of ones actions. Properly weigh out what it means to them. Until then, the focus should not be on how sexy one can be or is, but should be on discovering who one is as a person! There is such a thing as growing up to fast, and even when the pressure to do so is there, build the confidence to say “I am not ready”. And remember “NO” is a complete sentence!

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