Writing a more personal post today…  but it seemed revenant, so I am sharing it here too.

reposted from Project Beautiful Girl 

I am a photographer who photographs High School Seniors and other teen girls…

I am a mother of 2 teen girls and 2 preteen girls…  and a 6 year old boy…

I, first hand, know this war zone that is parenting teen girls.

As someone who is passionate about empowering girls, I am often disgusted with how our culture has tangled beauty and sexy together so tightly.

Intellectually, I get it…  Sex sells.  Marketing campaigns are full of women/girls provocatively dressed and in seductive poses.  Teen girls, and even little girls, imitate what our culture holds up as beauty.  I think most grown women, if they are really honest, would love to feel like they were worthy of a magazine cover.  How can we expect any different from teens?  It only makes sense to try and replicate what you see on the magazine cover…  on the ads.

Isn’t beauty more?

I believe real beauty really has nothing to do with how you look naked.

Have you ever met someone who got more attractive to you the more you got to know them?

Is there anything more beautiful than an eighty year old couple, complete with white hair, hunched posture and wrinkles walking hand in hand?

How do we teach THAT meaning of beauty to our daughters?

How do we balance the desire to look our best with knowing that real beauty comes from within?

As a mom, I think that I have really tried to downplay physical appearance and focus on inner beauty.  Somedays I pat myself on the back as my daughters have rarely spent thirty minutes perfecting a selfie, thrown fits about what they were going to wear or obsessed over getting a hairstyle just right.  Then there are other days…  days when my 16 year old leaves the house wrinkled and disheveled, when I think maybe appearance should be a little more important than I have made it.  Or maybe she has given up and doesn’t realize how beautiful she is.

Uggg…  Parenting teen girls can be hard.

As a photographer, the beauty/sexy tangled knot can be tricky.  When you have clients that come in wanting to look like they belong on the front of a magazine, they imitate what they have seen on magazines.  Because I am a mom first, I am more aware of poses that seem too seductive.  Because I am a mom first, I might be little more conservative on clothing selections.  It is hard.  I want my clients to feel gorgeous.  I want them to see a beauty inside themselves that they love and are proud of, but not at the risk of reducing them to a mere sex object.

As a photographer, the best I can do to untangle this knot is to get to know my clients.  I love to find out who they are first, so I can do my best to bring out their personalities and their inner beauty in a photoshoot.

Parenting Teen Girls

 

See the original post here.

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