Selfie or sexploitative?





Kevin Rudd’s a fan of the selfie, Heidi Klum’s holiday album is full of them and Miranda Kerr doesn’t do a day without getting her selfie on.

And Fox8 show Australia’s Next Top Model have now asked fans to upload a selfie for their chance to win a VIP experience at the show’s finale and have their image published in Cosmopolitan magazine.

There are currently 60, 337 images posted to Instagram under the ANTM competition’s hashtag #antmselfie and 40, 570 on the (moderated) Australia’s Next Top Model stream on Fox8’s website.

But one group, Collective Shout, isn’t so happy about the images teenagers are uploading for the competition.

Feminist author, social commentator and co-founder of Collective Shout Melinda Tankard Reist claims girls as young as nine are posting sexualised images, which could be “captured [and] sent to porn websites”.

The group has urged women to upload photos of themselves rejecting the competition’s superficial premise and to hijack the #antmselfie and #fox8tv hashtags with body positive messages and using a new hashtag; #nexttoppredator.

“When girls are judged primarily on the basis of their appearance and sex appeal, the implication is that their worth lies in their physical attractiveness, and in conforming to increasingly narrow standards of beauty,” wrote Tankard Reist.  “This message limits women and girls and we must be vocal in rejecting it.”


Tankard Reist also called on the network to remove any images of underage girls from the social media application, adding that “any competition that legitimizes this risky behavior is problematic.”

Instagram has a policy in place that states they will delete any collected information they have from a child under the age of 13 that doesn’t have parental consent.

Fox8 were seemingly unperturbed by the online activism and open criticism of the competition.

“There’s no doubt that the socially engaged fans of Australia’s Next Top Model have embraced Australia’s Next Top Selfie. The “selfie” is a global social media phenomenon that is fun and light-hearted – just like this promotion,” said a spokesman for Fox8.

Melinda Tankard Reist addressed the response in a blog post stating: “This may well be the most pathetic, socially irresponsible response I have ever seen from a corporate in my many years of activism.”

What do you think of the ANTM selfie competition and the subsequent activism?