Friday, May 25 , 2018, 8:56 am | Partly Cloudy 59º


Louise Palanker: Sexually Harassed Online, Longing for Fame, Mother-Daughter Battle Over Clothes

Question from Martina

Hey Weezy. I’m really scared of something that happened last night. I was being sexually harassed online. It started when the guy asked for a selfie, which was completely normal, so I thought no biggie, OK.

So I sent it to him and then he said he’d Photoshop it into nudes and post them to my school site if I didn’t do exactly as he told me to do. I didn’t believe him at first, because he was obviously a stranger who didn’t know where I live. But then he said where I live and said, again, to do exactly as he told me or he’d post them.

I was so scared. He made me send him pictures of me in my bra and underwear and made me take a video of me taking my bra off. I called the cops. I’m so scared. I don’t want to get in trouble. I want to join the Air Force.


I have to start by saying very clearly ... While you are underage, do not send ANY PHOTO OR ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ANY STRANGER EVER.

You qualified his asking for a selfie as being “completely normal.” It shouldn’t be. This goes right back to the "Don’t talk to strangers" warning that we all got from our parents.

It’s chillingly ironic that parents today are extremely protective regarding where their children can go by themselves, and yet these same parents may have no idea where that kid is going in her own room, online. You should have reported this person the moment he threatened you and attempted to intimidate and coerce you.

This concludes the preachy portion of my answer. You will have no problem joining the Air Force. You are a child victim and you are not the person who should be in trouble.

Please be VERY, VERY careful online. The Internet is life itself. Most people are good. Some people are varying shades of bad. Screen cap his threatening messages and work with the police. I am so sorry this has happened but learn from it.

All kids and all parents really need to watch this:

(Coby Persin video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Theo

Hey, Weezy, I’m 14 years old and I want to be an actor when I grow up. It seems really fun and it would be beneficial to me because I’m a bit shy.

I used to go to plays a lot when I was younger, and I loved watching them, seeing how they did things, etc. I’d love to be famous, though. Even though I’m shy and would probably get occasionally tired of having my face shown everywhere if I was famous, I think it wouldn’t bug me too much and it’d be worth it. I don’t think it would be too hard for me, just because of the sort of person I am.

I know at high school next year there are drama classes. Should I take them? What are you usually expected to do, though? I want to have a career when I get older that is fun and rewarding to me.

I figured that because you produced a movie you might know a few things about it. Thank you Weezy! :)


Fame should never be your primary goal. Fame and money and prestige and power ... these are all byproducts that may or may not accompany your pursuit of your passion and your purpose.

Of course, these rewards can be very enticing, but they are also distracting and potentially dangerous. They will require a clear head and strong values so that they can be handled with  the respect and responsibility they demand.

Your primary mission should always be the work itself. The art and the craft must pull you into acting and similar creative pursuits for every reason. One of which is that you will be performing for free while you otherwise support yourself.

This is how you will need to live while you learn and grow in your field. Actors are resourceful and resilient people, and the variety of jobs they work as they move themselves into careers as actors may serve to inform the variety of roles they will go on to play.

But the reality is that because acting is so competitive, most actors will never make their living in that field. They may give it their all and their paths will still need to take them elsewhere. This is a long and complicated conversation so let’s start with here and now for you.

YES, you should take drama classes. It’s very impressive that as a shy kid you intuitively know you need an activity that will pull you out of yourself. It will. Also, studying drama and performing in high school productions will also teach you just how much of a role acting will play in YOUR life.

I can’t tell you what you should expect from these classes because their are so many techniques and beliefs and styles when it comes to teaching this craft. I can tell you that through your studies your sense of what is possible for you will grow and expand.

Go into this for the pure sake of doing something you love. 14 is an age for dreaming. Dream big. By the time you are ready to apply to colleges you will have a stronger sense of whether this could be your career.

Right now, go do this and give it your all.

Everyone starts somewhere. Watch these very successful actors in some of their first ever auditions:

( video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Martina

My parents threw out my clothes. My mom doesn’t like the way my tighter tops look on me. I wear them under sweaters and sweatshirts so she threw them out, along with my favorite tops that are more low cut. She only left what she got me for Christmas (tops), so I threw them all out!

She always compares me to my friends and it’s so annoying. She’s even been throwing fits about how the shirts I wear with leggings aren’t long enough, and she’ll probably throw more stuff out soon, probably my leggings.

She thinks everything I wear is “too revealing.” What should I do? Should I throw more stuff out that doesn’t “fit” in my opinion?

All the stuff she threw out was because she thought it was all too tight, and it seriously fit! She got mad at me for wearing a v-neck tee the other day. It didn’t show ANYTHING. I was wearing a freaking tank top under it.

If I throw out all the clothes she wants me to wear, do you think I’ll get new clothes? My mom is a push-over but I don’t know if she’ll back down on this, though.


OK, this is not a war. Stop treating it like one. Your mother is concerned, worried, exasperated and exhausted. Don’t take advantage of that. It’s not fair or kind or remotely productive.

Your mom knows more about what could go wrong than you do. She is reacting to parts of life that you have yet to experience. She knows the way boys and, yes, even men look at young girls who present themselves in certain ways and she just does not want that for you. That’s all. This is frustrating for you but her intention is to protect you.

She wants you to be well and safe. You want to express your personal sense of style. The two goals do not need to be mutually exclusive. You two DO need to learn how to work together. Throwing out the clothing that your parents gave you for Christmas is not an acceptable way for you to plead your case. In fact it’s petulant and immature.

Instead, sit with your mom and have an honest and real conversation about this. Ask her why she is uncomfortable with the way you dress. If she says, “It’s too tight,” then ask, “And so what do you worry about?” Let her talk. Just listen. Then say, “Can we spend a little time and plan a wardrobe that works for both of us?”

Remember that you are your mother’s responsibility until you are a legal adult. She’s doing her job. You may not agree with the choices she is making, but she is concerned that her daughter is receiving the wrong kind of attention. The kind that will put you in danger.

That is at the root of all of this. Stop rolling your eyes and trashing perfectly good clothing. Go back to the store with your mom and exchange it. Select things that you both think are cute and appropriate. You will have your entire adult life to dress the way you please.

                                                                 •        •        •

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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