‘Sexy girl’: How Instagram allows the offering of young girls as fetishised flesh – Collective Shout
Instagram hosts countless pages filled with sexualised images of kids, many under the guise of ‘child models’ promoting dancewear and swimwear. There are girls standing, hip to the side, pulling on bikini bottoms. Others are posed with arched backs and spread legs. Backsides to camera, arms overhead. Girls look wistfully back at the camera, lips parted. Side-shots capture girls with backsides pushed out.
Kids don’t naturally strike these poses. Adults put them up to it. And we know how these poses keep women and girls in their place, for example, by portraying them as submissive or positioned for sex.
Posts of young girls in bikinis are hashtagged #girl, #young, #beautifulteen, #teenager, #teengirl, #teenmodel, #teenbody, #bedroom. They attract a lot of attention, predominantly from accounts that look like they’re owned by men. It appears that many men like to look at, like and comment on young girls and teens in bikinis.
In one post, a US-based school-aged model straddles an arcade motorbike. It’s captioned, ‘Lets take a ride.’ In another shot, she stands by a drinks fridge. Male-named followers make comments like “Goddam you’re so f***ing gorgeous” and “absolutely sexy.”