I’m just going to put it out there: you shouldn’t care what other people do or try to control their lives. It’s just going to be disastrous. Although this problem is common amongst teens in high school and college, it applies to parents as well.
Tightening the reins on your children doesn’t always make them better people. More often than not, it’ll cause the children to become more rebellious and more likely to break the rules you so gently (read: obnoxiously) laid out on the table. Being a responsible adult entails setting up rules and regulations — it does not mean you should be a dictator over your child or children.
Cameron Dallas, a famous Viner, has something he wants to say about this matter. If you don’t know what Vine is, it’s a popular app on iPhones and Andriods and a website on the internet where people can create 6-second videos. These videos can be funny, serious, scary, or musical — they’re all creative in their own way. Dallas, who is a 20-year-old living in California, has a massive fan base consisting of mostly pre-teen and teenage girls. On March 1st, 2012, he tweeted the following:
Cameron Dallas (@CameronDallas):
I’m going to be so strict on my daughter, no hooking up for her! Now for my son… he will get a high five.
Of course, there are many parody or fan Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts that are made in the name of the star, but this tweet came from his verified account. It has the little blue checkmark and everything. If this tweet doesn’t anger or annoy you, well, I don’t really know what to say.
At the time of the tweet, Dallas was 17 years old — mature enough to understand the equality of men and women, girls and boys, and their abilities in society. Similarly, he was 17, which is one of the many ages involved in hook-up culture.
There are two problems present here: the inequality of men and women and the ambiguity of the term “hooking up.” Dallas claims that he will praise his son for “hooking up” with a girl, but he will chastise and punish her if she does the same. First of all, what constitutes as “hooking up?” Does this mean kissing, or penetrative sex? What category does oral sex fall into? What if the boy initiated the contact — in this case, would his daughter still be at fault? Although these are hypotheticals, the point is valid. Dallas is proving Deborah L. Tolman’s “sexual subjectivity” to be true: girl’s exploration of their sexuality falls behind boy’s on the list of what is acceptable in society.
Sexual encounters are much more complex than who is involved and what is done. As I mentioned before, initiation is important, too. If a man initiates a sexual encounter – assuming it is consensual – he is praised and seen as godly. However, if a woman initiates a sexual encounter, see can be labeled as a “whore,” “slut,” or “easy.” The double standard surely has not gone unnoticed by those who are involved in hook-up culture.
Dallas is not the only Viner who participates in this absurd belief. Actually, he is part of a group of friend on Vine who are seen as heartthrobs by those preteen and teen girls. Some of the boys in this group include, but are not limited to, Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier, J.C. Caylen, Shawn Mendes, and Carter Reynolds. All of these boys also have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts.
On December 20th, 2013, Nash Grier uploaded a video to YouTube entitled, “What Guys Look For In Girls.” This 9-minte video created a lot of controversy and received backlash from its viewers. In the video, Grier, along with Cameron Dallas and J.C. Caylen, describe what they look for in a girl. The boys first listed average qualities many people look for in a partner: spontaneous, fun, and people who can “make you a better you.” After a while, however, they entered a dangerous territory, listing qualities that are degrading to women and reflect the ignorance of gender norms; The boys criticized “fake tits,” shared their favoritism towards petite girls, and expressed their disgust towards girls who don’t shave their facial and body hair.
The video was removed after five days.
The audiences these boys have consist of young girls who are still trying to find out who they are. They do not need to be told by ignorant BOYS – yes, boys, not men – how they should and should not behave and dress to get a boy to like her.
Many commercials for games and apps include the phrase, “please get parent’s permission before logging on.” I remember reading this on the Club Penguin website each time I would go to log on. This is where everything intertwines:
- Parents tell their kids what they can and cannot do based on society’s laws.
- If they’re too strict, the kids retaliate and do everything they’re told not to do.
- Most of this retaliation is fostered through the media.
Websites warn children to ask parents before logging on because, in most cases, kids will be exposed to inappropriate or explicit content, regardless of how childish the website or game is. Seriously, 13-year-olds can be pretty perverted.
But, why should kids have to ask permission? Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their children being exposed to this negative content. No one should have to worry about their child watching a stream of 6-second clips or a handful of YouTube videos. You get your child an iPhone for her 15th birthday and next thing you know, she’s asking to go get waxed and have a consultation for a nose job because Nash Grier told her she’s not the kind of girl boys want. This is so. Messed. Up.
Maybe Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier, and J.C. Caylen should have to ask permission before they log on.