#The Healthy Selfie

November 24, 2015 @ 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Cavanbah Room (upstairs)
69 Jonson Street
Byron Bay NSW 2481



Healthy Selfi 2

Tuesday 24 November, 5pm.

Cavanbah Room, upstairs

A photographic exhibition/community forum that addresses the pressures and consequences often experienced by young people who are engaged in social media that many of us who are not “in the loop” often know little about. The most challenging thing many professionals working with teens observe is that young people feel that its now culturally expected to post pictures of themselves on FB, Instagram etc, that will attract attention through being overtly sexual at a very young age.

What then occurs is often a massive outpouring of male (and female) attention that then creates a sense of initially being popular online. Some are 10 years and younger… this then often leads to explicit “nudes” being sent privately where boys send pictures of their erect penis’s and girls send pictures of their breasts which are then uploaded and passed between their peer groups or anyone really. We are seeing a large amount of young girls who are then expected to follow through with sexual interactions at an age where they are simply not developed emotionally or intellectually to deal with this….that and… a lot of older boys now have easy access to very young girls in a way that is new but evolving at a rate that’s more than concerning . The implications of this generally are very damaging and most of this is because adolescents are uneducated about what they are doing (usually because parents dont know, or dont know what to do) and ultimately no one really understands the bigger picture. From a professional perspective some of the behaviors we have observed linked to the negative side of social media social includes; self harm, suicide and suicidal behaviors, sexual assault, bullying, abuse, depression, anxiety and a range of other dysfunctional issues..

So….we came up with an idea that might help address this situation and we have been taking all 90 of our girls out in groups to the local rainforests and water holes in the Northern Rivers to eat and cook food, do yoga, meditate on the rocks, engage in nature therapy, play dress ups and have fun while also taking photos of themselves that they feel are true to who they uniquely are, not the pressure to conform to something that from my experience often ends in teen pregnancies, sexual assault, self harm, eating disorders and a world of bullying violence and abuse I’ve never encountered before. Particularly the power many young men and women have over each other and the pressure to conform to a identity that is extremely sexually objectified  ,dis empowered and damaging.

Our exhibition/ conference will educate and inform parents, healthcare professionals, teachers, the general public, young people and the girls involved to discuss this issue in a creative open forum.

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