A Letter to Sexy-Instagram Posters
(This letter is in response to this controversial letter to a teenage girl from a mom who blocks sexy-posters her from her sons’ social media feeds.
Dear Sexy-Instagram Poster,
I see you. That feels like a good place to start.
I see how you long to be beautiful, to be told you are beautiful. I see how hard it is to grow up in a digital fishbowl where all your secrets, your flaws, your triumphs are on display. It was hard enough when I was your age to put up with bullies, but I can’t imagine a world where they have instant access to you through text message and social media. You have it harder than any other generation, this I know for sure.
Recently, a mom wrote a post on her blog telling you her boys can never ‘un-see’ your sexy pictures so she’s blocking you from their social media feed. I know she meant well, but her post has inspired me to remind you of the truth.
Do I think putting sexy selfies on Instagram is a good idea? No, I don’t. I don’t think it’s a great idea because there are a bunch of people out there that will take your pictures the wrong way, some weirdo creeps other just innocent moms. These pictures never go away, so your boss may one day see them which will make you want to break out in hives. Think of pictures like you would a tattoo–they never really disappear without a lot of hard work.
But let’s be clear about something: I have put one too many bikini pictures on social media, so I totally get it. We want validation that we are desirable and “likes” seem to answer that question, right? But no matter how many ‘likes’ your sexy selfies receive, it really won’t ever be enough. I promise.
But I am not worried about what you post. Keep posting sexy beach pictures or don’t post at all, that’s not why I’m writing this letter. I’m writing this letter because well-intentioned mothers of boys in your class or youth leaders or pastors or teachers might shun you for these pictures. They might tell their sons that you aren’t worthy of their love. You might hear that once men see these pictures of you they can’t “unsee them”. They might tell you there are no second chances to be a woman of character.
But they are dead wrong. So wrong that I wrote about eight cuss words here because this makes me so angry. But I’m not writing to prove that they are wrong, rather to let the truth wash over you.
Here’s the truth, written in “I statements” so you can read it out loud:
- I am not dirty.
- I am not bad.
- I am not an object.
- My body is not the problem.
- My posts do not mean I deserve mistreatment.
- If a man only thinks of me in a sexual way, that is his fault. Not mine.
- My clothing choices, what I post, and who I made out with last weekend does not excuse his lust, his unwanted touch.
- There are no women of character without Jesus. He always gives second chances.
I have had many tell me to cover up, reminding me of how ‘tempting’ my body is, and shunning me when I chose the wrong outfit. For years, I believed I was dirty and unworthy of a good man because I was the girl who liked attention, the girl who wore a bikini, the one who answered a few late night messages to ‘hang out’.
But then I met Jesus. This Jesus looked right past my mistakes and my wardrobe and saw a woman desperate for love. He saw the painful words that clung to my heart—and you know what He told me? He didn’t tell me how hard men have it with lust. He didn’t tell me to cover up and hide. He never reminded me of my part in my boyfriend’s lust.
Jesus told me I was worth loving. He tells each of us that we are worthy of love, of His Love, not because of our Instagram feeds or our promises to get it right, but because He’s a good Dad. And he cares deeply about you and me.
You were given a beautiful body, not as an object of shame, but as a visual representation of Jesus’s grace and healing to a hurting world. Start here, and you’ll have all the answers to your questions about worth.
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