What would you do if you were alerted to your 14-year-old daughter having provocative pictures posted on her Instagram account?
I don’t think it’s as simple as one might first think.
Let’s get some context.
Watch: How to improve your daughter's body image. Post continues below.
My husband went to drop his 12-year-old daughter (my step-daughter) back to her mother the other night. Standing on her doorstep, she said to him, ‘Have you seen Delia’s Instagram pictures?’
He hadn’t, of course, so she showed him.
Now, I’m not bothered about getting into his ex’s motives behind showing him the pictures and bringing this issue to our attention. His ex has never really caused us any problems and I’m happy to focus on the matter at hand — the pictures and my 14-year-old.
When he got home, he was fairly fired up and animatedly told me that Delia had posted sexy pictures on Instagram.
‘What are we going to do about it?’ he said in parenting panic.
‘She is pretty mature,’ I said. ‘What were the pictures like?'
‘Awful,’ he assured me. ‘She had a tiny dress on with her boobs bulging out of the top, and in other, she has a skimpy dressing gown on pulling a side pose which reveals her hip; and in another, she’s showing the bracelets on her wrist but her arm conveniently sits in her crotch area which is only just covered by the dressing gown!’
His shock and dismay was clear to see.
‘She looks at least 19 years old,’ he stated.
I had that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that there’s going to be drama. Whichever way I play this there will be tantrums, protests, threats and tears.
My husband suggested I look on Instagram, but I didn’t need to. ‘She blocks me,’ I said casually, ‘I am her mother after all.’
‘Oh,’ he said.
‘Don’t worry, I have a second account for work that she doesn’t know about, I might be able to get through with that,’ I told him.
I logged into Instagram using my work account and found hers. My husband had popped out again so I was able to take a good look through without commentary from him, and without needing to discuss anything.
The pictures he described were there, and true to his description.
But I felt a huge sense of relief.
Yes, a few pictures were bordering on provocative. But there were also pictures of her pouting and posing in tracksuits, and on a bike ride with leggings and a baggy t-shirt.