Wednesday, October 17 , 2018, 6:07 am | Fair 50º


Louise Palanker: Addicted to Selfies, When Boys Want to Have Sex, 5-Foot-1 Model

Question from Meg

I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. Like going through my old selfies on Instagram, I’m remembering those moments and it makes me sad. I feel like I’m not the same and I don’t like it.

I don’t know how to explain it ... But I feel weird ... Is it because I’m growing up or unhappy with my life? I feel like I was happier then.

I have a boyfriend now and he makes me happy, but I just don’t know. I don’t feel the same ... What do I do?


I honestly believe that taking a lot of selfies causes an unhealthy obsession with self. It teaches you to base your happiness on how you and others are judging your appearance.

What if, instead of looking at selfies right now, you were reading through old diary entries? Wouldn’t that allow you to better understand yourself and how much you’ve grown and evolved?

Why don’t you try an experiment? Spend the next month taking no selfies. Instead, train your camera out into the world. What do you see? What moments can you capture? Who is interesting? What is beautiful? Who, beyond your phone, needs your smile?

Let’s launch a campaign. #GetOutsideYourselfie.

Six Signs You Are Addicted to Selfies from Taryn Southern:

(Taryn Southern video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Ashley

I have a quick question! How do you know when boys want to have sex with you?!?!


That may be a quick question to ask but the answer can fill libraries. Human sexuality is a really big topic. I am a little bit concerned by the way you have phrased your question.

If you are, say, 10 years old and just learning about what happens between men and women, then I totally get the question and your confusion surrounding this topic. If you are a teenager, then your asking this questions indicates that you are missing a key point, which is this: An emotional bond between you and a romantic interest should be firmly in place before two people consider sexual intimacy.

That bond will be forged through conversation, and those talks will help both of you know when and if sex will be a part of your relationship.

YOU will always be one half of any couple that includes you, and so no matter what the boy wants, if YOU don’t want sex there will be no sex.

Many boys may try to have sex with a girl they do not really know that well. This can sometimes happen at a party where people feel freer about “coupling up” with relative strangers. (Alcohol will often lower inhibitions. The more sober you remain, the safer you will be.)

It can also happen on a date before you really know the guy that well. It can happen while hanging out or taking a walk with a group of people.

If and when you encounter this type of situation, it will be abundantly clear that the guy wants physical intimacy. He will be pulling you close and kissing you, and his hands will do some serious roaming. If that is not what you want, stop him and move away from him. Things can go too far too fast if the girl is too shy about saying no and moving herself away from the boy.

A cue that is often misinterpreted by boys and girls is when the girl says no to sex but wants to return to kissing. Boys tend to find this very confusing and may continue moving things in the direction of sex.

If things get to a point where you are feeling uncomfortable and you need to stop him, you should just halt everything, stand up, walk away and say, “I really like you, but this is as far as I’m willing to go.”

If that boy disappears the next day then all he wanted was sex. If he is there and talking and interested and trying to understand you and your relationship, then he is a gem. He heard you and he respects you.

Continue down the path toward getting to know each other.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Carrie

I’m 5-foot-1. Can I be a model? Also I’m only 15 but hope to pursue modeling.


I do think that you need to be tall to be a model. Ultimately, this may be good news for you because although I don’t know much about modeling, I know enough to have a negative opinion of it.

I think it is an occupation that values only how you look. Modeling will ignore your soul while it feeds on your appearance. A perfectly healthy, lovely, underage girl can walk into a modeling office and be told to go home and lose 20 pounds.

This is not an OK request of a child whose mind and body are still developing. Modeling invites and encourages underage girls to become obsessed with their looks and their weight.

The preoccupation with weight loss opens a door to eating disorders and drug addiction. Strung-out models are not all that hungry and they are entirely vulnerable to sexual exploitation. The modeling industry is a magnet for creepers. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Being “too short” for modeling may be the greatest thing that ever happened to you. If you are interested in fashion and photography, what else can you do that will be less about your body and face being a commodity and more about you being creative and interesting as a human being?

Here is more cautionary news about the fashion industry from The Young Turks:

(The Young Turks video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara​. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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