In this chapter Sales discusses the idea of natural beauty and how social media has exploited the exact opposite, outraging select girls into “taking breaks” or deleting all social media from their life much like the eighteen year old Essena O’Neill. O’Neill spoke out about how being Instafamous had not made her any happier than she had been despite her previous beliefs otherwise and when she chose to delete her social media it had created negative backlash upon her. Sales continues in interviews with homeless teen Daisy who states her bliss in her social media free life as she is not concerned with “fake” people on social media. By “fake” people Daisy means girls who post selfies not showing their natural beauty mostly to appeal to boys. These same boys are told to be disrespectful towards girls and sexualize them in further interviews when Sales approaches the topic of “rape culture.”
This chapter primarily focuses on rape culture and teen views on prevention and whose to blame. In the interviews Sales covers both sides which state that girls are to blame due to excessive drinking habits and provocative dress, while others say that males are responsible and should have self control. Towards the end of the chapter views on rape culture blame both males and females as in most situations females are taken advantage of due to previous sexual behaviors and males take advantage of females due to their lack of self control, which is seen in previous interviews. Relationships are briefly covered as the main view of relationships are negative and are described as mostly fake or staged for attention. Although Eve takes a different stance which her interview ends the chapter by her saying “Everyone wants love, and no one wants to admit it.”
A situation that takes place in chapter six “Eighteen” is with Essena O’Neill. O’Neill essentially quit social media to exploit that her online persona was fake and not her true self. As a response to this multiple people with mass amounts of followers have called her “fake” as if she attempted to put on a stunt to gain more followers and self promote even more. This ironic situation is very similar to that of what had happened in the United States during the red scare, McCarthyism. During this time a junior senator had set out to fight against communists in the United States and as a result he violated the right of the fifth amendment. His so called intentions were to help America band together to fight communism when the result was exploiting it instead.
Also in the sixth chapter Sales illustrates a scene of a spring break beach party in which a group of males film a female, Peyton, becoming sick and vomiting on the sand. In response to the group of males recording, multiple friends of Peyton ordered them to stop which they refused to. The actions of these boys closely relate to the ones often complained about by victims of rape, they simply fail to realize that “No” means “No.” The friends asked them respect Peyton’s privacy which they refused due to their own self interest, much like what happens when females say “no” to sexual interaction with a male and he refuses to comply. This behavior is commonly seen as problematic and a “gateway behavior.”
I particularly took note of the story about Daisy and her life as a happy homeless girl. She flaunts her happiness due to her disconnect from social media despite her circumstances. I believe that she had given herself the ability to not care about her appearance or social status when she could no longer compare herself to others on social media, a sort of blissful ignorance. I hope most girls take into account the positive affects of limited their use of social media platforms.
A passage which confused me was one interaction Sales had between a group of intoxicated girls wearing revealing attire on Halloween. They had been calling themselves “sluts” in a proud manner, but when a group of males passed by and agreed that they were indeed “sluts” they seemed less enthusiastic. I have heard of mob mentality but could this only apply within certain genders or communities? I wonder if their sudden resent to be referred to as “sluts” by the opposite gender is tied to insecurities which may have lead to the heavy drinking in the first place.
Sales once again uses slang in her text, often in her last chapter “Nineteen” such as:
“MAP”: (n.) acronym, Mouth Ass Pussy, used when a female offers three orifices of her body for a male to enter.
“DTF”: (n.) acronym, Down To Fuck?, used mostly by males when messaging females for sexual interaction.
“Swipe right”: (v.) a phrase used to describe your acceptance of something. The term was originally a reference to the Tinder app. On Tinder, swiping right means you approve of a male/female after judging them by a few picture and a short bio. “Swipe right” can be used anytime you make a good choice or approve of something.
“Ten Stats”: (n.) term meaning the amount of females that have sexually int
eracting with one male is in the double digits.
“Eiffel Tower”: When two males have sexual intercourse with a female and high five.