Read Spirituality & Self Love

The End of Slut Shaming

I recently posted a picture on Instagram of my three-year-old daughter in a white bikini by the pool. A gorgeous, innocent picture. In the summer months my children live in swimsuits. We live in Las Vegas where temperatures are routinely in the triple digits so, being fully covered up is just not an option. Business casual here is a swimsuit! My point is that this time of year you are going to see a ton of photos of children enjoying the season in swimsuits.

Well, in a “Celebrities: They’re Just Like Us!” moment I recently saw a picture that Jessica Simpson had posted of her five-year-old daughter, Max, playing on her scooter.

She was wearing a very cute rainbow bikini and was posing with her hand on her hip. I thought it was a cute photo because my Sigourney often poses with her hand on her hip. It’s her signature pose. However, at no time did it ever cross my mind that the photo was inappropriate.

So, imagine my surprise when I read some of the comments listed below the photo in which people expressed their dismay:

Sorry, but she is too young to be posing like that…all the time in the world to be a grown up.

Would never let my young daughter act like that! But, I guess her mother acts the same way so not her fault.

That is way too much skin for a kid! Also, why is she in a bikini riding a scooter?

Is she trying to attract pedophiles?

This is just a snippet of the actual comments that were left regarding a photo of a child. Oh, and by the way, these were comments left by women. The Cult of Women Shaming is hard at work. I am disappointed because it is solid proof that we have cultivated a culture that screams at women, “Don’t be confident! Don’t wear that! Don’t show your body!” If anyone can look at a picture of a child playing, enjoying the warm weather, and just being a kid and make that something sexual or dirty let’s shame them! We cannot continue to tell our daughters or our sons for that matter that a woman is beautiful no matter her shape and then in the next breath dictate what they should wear.

While I was initially angry with the comments that were posted regarding this picture just as quickly I felt sadness. The atmosphere of “slut shaming” and “victim blaming” is alive and well. I am incensed that anyone could even attempt to insinuate that a mother would be “trying to attract pedophiles”! The message is that women should hide their bodies, not be sexual beings, and are ultimately responsible for others perception of them. That if a woman is assaulted it is because of the way that they are dressed or carry themselves. That if their dress is too short, their bikini too small, or they show too much cleavage that they should expect to attract negative attention.

As many of you know, this is an issue that I am extremely passionate about and I am so happy to see that it is becoming a conversation. Amber Rose, whom some of you may know as a personality and contestant from “Dancing with the Stars” organizes a march every year in Los Angeles called, “The Slut Walk Festival.” This event is dedicated to ending shaming of any kind. This gathering allows groups from all walks of life to come together in a safe space. The fact that these types of events are taking place are encouraging to me. This has become a movement and I am doing my part to make certain that it does not lose its momentum.

It is our responsibility to end this culture that has given a pass to those that justify their words or even worse their actions by blaming someone else’s choice of clothing. We can teach our daughters AND our sons that this behavior needs to end! So, here it is my call to all of us stop the “Slut shaming!” Celebrate our children’s confidence! Collectively we can end this cycle and cultivate love and respect for others!

About the author

Diedre Barksdale-Garcia

Host of the "Let's Just NOT..." Podcast

Diedre is known for sharing relatable and funny stories about Life, Mommyhood, Marriage, Relationships and SEX! She has helped so many women find balance in the most un-balanced times, become more confident in who they are and challenge the motherhood taboos.

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3 Comments

  • I am sooo fucking over slut shaming!!! It’s so refreshing to see yourself and others standing up to it.
    I had a friend (we are no longer friends lol) but she used to slut shame everything I put my daughter in and then when my daughter started dancing calisthenics my god did she go to town on me for allowing my child to wear makeup and sequinned crops and shorts… which to me was part of the costume and act and my daughter really enjoyed dancing and performing.
    Let’s just NOT slut shame people!!
    Kristy x

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