Everybody’s talking about Amber Cole. She’s got her own Twitter hashtag — a couple of them, actually — and Facebook’s been buzzing with shared YouTube links to thoughtful, fiery, and some just plain ol’ ignorant comments about her. It’s been a couple of days since video footage of the 14-year-old girl went viral, capturing her giving a boy oral sex outside of school while she was surrounded by a band of enthralled onlookers.
Even still shots of the notorious flick are hard to look at. So far, the fallout has included a rumored suicide threat from her, a barrage of judgments, name-calling, and insults from her peers, and more reason to sit your daughter down and refresh that abstinence pep talk you gave her quite some time ago.
I haven’t seen the actual video. I really don’t want or need to. I’ve known enough Amber Coles in my lifetime, and everybody and their cousin can piece together what happens when you get that one girl who doesn’t think very highly of herself alone in a compromising position with a horny guy. It’s been happening for longer than you or I have been around, that’s for sure. Only difference now is it can be recorded, searched, and shared with just a few mouse clicks. I know plenty of grown women who should be saying a steady string of silent hallelujahs because they went through their loosey goose teen years before the birth of the digital age.
One thing’s for sure: the Amber Cole fiasco is a testament to just how quickly news and gossip can spread between the 18-and-under set. Kids everywhere are talking about her, proving that cyberbullying gets its wings before some of us older folks even know about the situation.
Seeing pictures of her down on her knees servicing a very smug and very makes-me-want-to-slap-the-smile-off-his-trifling-little-face boy turned my stomach. She just doesn’t realize how hard she played herself out. Word around the 'net is he’s her recently ex-boyfriend and, in a last ditch ploy to win him back, she did the dirty deed. At that age, I guess you’re too young and unlearned to know that the way to win a man’s heart is not through his zipper.
Folks are focusing on the video recording part and that’s bad, largely because it time stamps this mistake in her life and avails it as the dummy move that’ll never die. When someone searches for her name five years from now, this mess will pop into the results list. Also deeply troubling is the fact that there was quite obviously not enough supervision on school grounds if two students were able to slink away for a porn romp. I’m sure they’ll face some sort of well-deserved penalty. But the bigger issue at hand is that the child was giving out BJs in the first place.
I’ve noticed that young women in general — and alas, not just teenagers — have a gross lack of respect for themselves. It’s gotten worse since you and I were kids. There’s almost a desperation for attention from the opposite sex and a definitive willingness to one-up the next girl in an effort to snag a guy. The competition plays itself out in how smutty they can be: how much flesh they can expose in their clothes (or lack thereof), how suggestively they can walk, talk, and dance.
And it’s funny: inasmuch as girls like Amber claim Nicki Minaj and Trina and Kim Kardashian as their role models, their own empowerment comes almost solely from their sexuality and their ability to make money with it. You figure out what to call that for yourself.
So it’s no wonder that boys can drop the ol’ “gimme some head or else” ultimatum because some of our girls are so conflicted about what makes a healthy relationship and so low on self-esteem that they’ll do whatever it takes to get and keep a man. I don’t want to jump to conclusions about the child’s home life. Maybe she has a mother somewhere out there freaking out because her daughter has basically pimped herself for the world to see, albeit unknowingly if she didn’t realize cameras were rolling.
Even girls who come from solid homes with active fathers and conscientious mamas get caught doing really stupid things like this. I can only pray that her mom is making the changes she needs to make to ensure that this is the last time this girl ever pulls a stunt like this, seen or unseen.
Who’s more at fault for viral scandals: the person performing the act or the person recording it?
Image via woodleywonderworks/Flickr