lifestyle

Bindi says 'put your gear back on girls'.

I have days when I despair at the state of the first world. On some of those days it’s because I’m pre-menstrual. But more often, it’s because I’ve been looking at social media and seeing acres of dross like this:

I despair as a woman. I despair as a mother. I despair as a human being that the currency of success, of fame, of value appears to be inextricably linked to looking hot. Flashing flesh. Pouting and preening for the camera.

Whoever exposes the most skin and poses in the most sexual way wins likes and thus social status. Narcisim is something to be celebrated instead of reviled. Vanity is the norm and humility and modesty are as old fashioned as fax machines.

Ugh.

Bindi Irwin

And so to Bindi.

Today she’s come out with a suggestion to girls and young women: put some clothes on.  In an interview with News Corp, she said:

“I’m a big advocate for young girls dressing their age. I mean, for me, I look around at a lot of young girls that are my age and they’re always trying to dress older. Whether it’s wearing revealing clothes or hardly wearing any clothes at all, I feel really bad for them.

“It kind of has the opposite effect in some ways … it kind of does the opposite where it makes you look younger and like you’re trying too hard. I almost wish I could tell young girls, ‘look, in 10 years when you look back at yourself, you’ll cringe honey, honestly’,” she said.

“A lot of times I want to grab these girls and say ‘look … in 10 years you’ll regret this. Just dress like who you are. Don’t try so hard. A pair of jeans and a T-shirt is just as gorgeous and even makes you look classier. The way I choose to dress, I want to influence other people around me I suppose.”

And……exhale.

To agree with Bindi is to risk being called sexist or oppressive or a nana. She’s already been slammed by the outspoken former Neighbours star Caitlin Stasey who tweeted:

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Young girls dressing in sexual ways is not a new thing. But social media has made it so mainstream, so public and so endemic as to have created a new normal. Which frankly, scares the crap out of me. Semi-nudity and butt selfies are the new wallpaper of social media and pop culture and I struggle to see how that can benefit women either individually or as a group.

But while everyone else is doing this:

Bindi is doing this:

To me, Bindi is a refreshing oasis in a trashy desert of cheap flesh. And her thoughts about putting your clothes back on have so much more cut-through coming from her than it does from adults old enough to be her mother (cough…me).

This is not the first time Bindi has shared her thoughts. This is a girl with substance. A girl who has something to say. And when Bindi speaks out about something, I lean forward to listen because it’s usually interesting. Whether it’s floating the idea of contraceptive implants for women in third world countries to lower the birthrate and improve survival rates for both mothers and children, raising awareness about conservation and the environment or exhorting young girls to keep their clothes on and “dress their age”,  this is a 16 year old girl who is clearly socially and globally aware.

She appears to have a great relationship with her mother and brother and she uses both her profile and her social media feed to give a curious audience a very balanced, mature, thoughtful, age-appropriate and intelligent view of the world as she sees it.

Not a butt selfie in sight.

Here’s a few examples of the sexy selfie trend… 

And here’s Bindi Irwin… 

What do you think of Bindi Irwin’s comments?

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