Spend any significant amount of time on the Internet, and you're bound to encounter some old-fashioned misogyny. But even by those dubious standards, a poll that revealed Internet users think Selena Gomez is boyfriend Justin Bieber's "best accessory" is particularly heinous. And we wonder why teenage girls in America still suffer from low self-esteem, become victims of domestic abuse, and end up pregnant at 16?
Maybe because the Internet is full of real people who still believe a teenage girl is like a scarf or some feathers you can wind up in your hair to look au courant. Let's break this one down, folks. Selena Gomez is a successful TV and movie star and Gold-certified recording artist. She's much more than Bieber's girlfriend. But that's not why this survey is loathsome.
Selena Gomez is a teenage girl. She's a human being. That alone is enough reason she shouldn't be marginalized and cast as mere trappings of the fabulous life for the Biebs.
Take away the Disney Channel show, the DVD out in two weeks, and the hit songs, and she's a lot like ... our daughters. Parents, don't we have enough to worry about when our girls start dating without worrying that they'll be marked as arm candy?
Oh, so that's a stretch? Because what happens between Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber is their business? Folks, 54 percent of people in this survey said she was "just" this much more important than his PET SNAKE! It's a statement on society.
If this survey doesn't bother you, perhaps you're OK with the fact that 2 in every 10 teen girls are victims of domestic violence, in which they're controlled by their male partner and allowed to feel like they're "less" than him? And you're OK, perhaps, that scientists have found teen girls who suffer low self-esteem often throw themselves into romantic relationships to fill the void, giving their boyfriend power over their self-worth? And what's more, the same scientists say that can be linked to teen pregnancy rates in America?
Still think it's not a statement on girls in general and something parents need to worry about? If the '50s era thinking can tear down a girl who is on top of the charts and the world like Selena Gomez and treat her like she's as worthless as a pair of gloves, they can do it to your daughter too.
If Selena Gomez is Justin Bieber's accessory, what does that make your daughter?
Image by Jeanne Sager