When you look at stars and what made them become so influential in the media, for most women you see a realization of sexuality. From stars like Miley Cyrus to Kim Kardashian, many popular feminine figures went through a phase in which they were overly sexual in order to gain attention. Many involved sex tapes (Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton) while others involved sexual displays (Miley Cyrus). Although they did gain attention for these acts, most of this was negative and spurred a debate on their controversial acts. When being informed of these famous people’s actions, most people find that their displays of sexuality were not socially acceptable.
The assigned article titled “What I’m Reading: Sex, Teens, and Social Media” by Sasha Belenky really interested me not only with it’s content regarding social media, but also its broader reference to the “hook-up” culture that we addressed in class. The article touches on numerous topics in its content but is consistent on its emphasis on teenagers and this evolving generation and how sex is evolving with it. The article highlights on the impact of social media and how that has been a major vehicle to the changes in sexual norms or expectations.
The article quotes many young teenage girls about their use of social media and most respond with a consistent idea that social media allows for information, pictures, or rumors to be passed around more readily and more often. Because of how easy and rapid it is, the more frequent it seems that teenagers consider taking nude pictures or “sexting.” The more ways it is possible to evolve sex, the more it seems to change and grow. The article also talks about how with all these tools and technology, a “hook-up” culture has evolved. A young girl from L.A. is quoted saying, “We don’t date. We just hook up.” Another teenage girl from New York is quoted saying, “Oral is, like, the new kissing.” The article captures the essence of this generations “hook-up” culture. The article describes this technology as “robbing America’s youth of meaningful, loving relationships” and claims that this culture is “devoid of emotional intimacy.”
I find this article beneficial in terms of its focus on the “hook-up culture” by attempting to define or describe it in terms of how it has evolved with this use of social media and the advanced technology of this generation. A limitation that I feel that the article has is that it does focus much on how social media might be impacting the “hook-up culture” in its juicy and exposing nature. I personally think that the mere essence of social media is to let the world know exactly what you are doing, thinking, eating, wearing, and more. Privacy and mystery seem to be valued much less in our culture than in previous cultures. I feel as though this is something to pay attention to closely because I find it connected to the promiscuity and “forwardness” in regards to sexual experiences of our generation in the eyes of society.
A connection that I made with this article was to another assignment and video from class when we discussed “hook-up culture.” The video of Miley Cyrus’s response to her and Robin Thicke’s VMA performance on the Ellen Show sparked my mind as I read this article because the article itself actually includes a piece about this performance. The article, as well as the video watched in class reveals Miley’s frustration with the negative attention the performance received nationwide. The performance was progressive in its sexual and exposed nature but she claims that it is America that is “so weird about what they think is right and wrong.” She also points out the double standard that exists in our society in reference to the fact that Robin Thicke was not criticized as harshly as Miley was, even though he was an equal part of the risqué performance. The video we analyzed and this article touch upon the influence of media in our generation in that it simply provides for this type of performance to be broadcasted and given attention publicly. It also is an example of how morality in performances and its relation to sex is evolving in this generation and through media like the Ellen Show, we as a nation are trying to make sense of it and grow with it to determine what is or is going to be acceptable or not.
An example that I find relevant to this reading or discussion topic is an image or that I found on my Twitter newsfeed.
This image is not an obvious image that indicates “hook-up culture” but I found it to be personally related to the phenomenon. This image was posted by Common Girl, an account on Twitter, with the caption, “If only times were still like this.” The image shows three pictures that represent a past generation. The pictures above project passion and romance in a way that is not overly sexual. A girl is clothed in a sweater and skirt that appears to be the girlfriend of the boy she is embracing after he played in a football game. It is sweet and affectionate and implies a loving relationship. Another picture in this tweet is the image in the upper-right-hand corner that shows a girl and boy that appear to be dating while the girl sits on the boys lap and he kisses her on the cheek romantically. All of these images suggest a more modest public expression of intimacy and in my opinion appear to represent a more sincere relationship. I think that this relates to the “hook-up culture” discussion because it represents an emphasis on relationships and interest in each other while the “hook-up culture” of this generation is seen as one that has evolved with more stress put on sex and lack of interest in the building of genuine relationships. I find the caption to the image to be indicative of the awareness we have of this change in sex culture from past years. The fact that the twitter user acknowledges this shift in our generation is important because I think it reinforces the casualness of sex that is growing to define our generation in the ways that these readings and this article points out.
A question I would surely ask the reader to ask him or herself would be whether or not you consider this “hook-culture” to be a “real” thing of this generation? Also, if so, are you comfortable with it or think it is something that is beneficial to you personally or our society as a whole?
Do you think that social media is something that has caused this shift in sexual norms or has maybe this shift just become more apparent through the use of and/or social media?
We all want to have control over our bodies and how we conduct ourselves sexually; the people with whom we engage in sexual activity, the time, place, acts, etc. Continue reading
Niley: Nick Jonas and Miley Cyrus, aka the couple in 2008.
Within the past few years, Miley Cyrus has proven that she is no longer little Hannah Montana through her new music, “twerking,” and various interviews. The backlash and criticism she has received is endless: many of her fans and adults don’t approve of her embracing her sexuality and owning her body, especially after the 2013 VMAs. On the other hand, Nick Jonas, one third of the band “The Jonas Brothers,” has not, escaped his good childhood reputation… until now.
[Insert cliché “Boom! Pregnant” quote here] Continue reading
In a world where we are trying to question social institutions and not let ourselves be limited by stereotypes, are we really going to let ourselves be defined by our virgin status?