I’ll go as a slut

Posted on: 10/29/14 10:25 AM | by Jonathan McKee

subway-slutty-costumeRemember when Halloween costumes were as simple as a cowboy hat and boots, or a sheet with holes poked in it? Today it’s not that simple. And if you’re a female the pressure is on… the burden to be sexy.

Mean Girls said it years ago, and today’s teens know it to be true. Halloween is the one time a year where girls have an excuse to dress like sluts.

Last night NBC’s brand new show Marry Me jested about this reality when Dennah and Annie discussed what costumes they’d wear this year:

Dennah: I’d love some feedback on my costume. Two years ago I went as a slutty nurse and then last year I was a slutty judge. But this year I’m just going to cut out the middleman and go as a slut.

Continue reading “I’ll go as a slut” »

Young People and Selfies

Posted on: 03/12/14 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

teen-girls-selfieSmile!

“Aren’t we cute?”

Within seconds the selfie pic is posted to Instagram, and Tweeted to her 326 followers. Just another emblematic snapshot from the life of today’s teen.

Five years ago we didn’t even know the word “selfie.” Fast forward to the end of 2013 and it was declared “word of the year.”

What’s the fascination teens have with selfies? Does this desire to snap pics in everyday life make them narcissistic?

When most people hear “selfie,” they probably think of a Continue reading “Young People and Selfies” »

Selfie

Posted on: 01/29/14 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Dove-Real-Beauty-SelfieDove does it again, delivering another eye-opening piece about women’s self image, and providing a great opportunity to talk with our young girls about their insecurities (prompting me to write this discussion you can use with their video, with small group questions, scripture and a wrap up).

You might remember Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches,” where a forensic artist was asked to draw sketches of women based on their own descriptions. Or you might remember their “Evolution” video where a woman sits down and is bombarded by people applying make up and hair… and then Photoshop… to attempt to measure up to the world’s definition of beauty. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has had enough of the world’s unattainable definition of beauty.

Dove just released another video, this time about the selfie Continue reading “Selfie” »

Happy Birthday… Here’s Your Boob Job

Posted on: 01/8/14 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

free-boob-jobIn a world where our young girls seem to struggle with self-image more than ever before, what is the greatest thing we can do to boost their confidence?

How about the gift of cosmetic surgery for their 18th birthday?

“Happy birthday sweetie… let me fix that for you.”

That’s what Orange County cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Niccole did for his daughters when they were as young as age 10. He fixed his daughter Charm’s protruding belly button at 10, then gave Brittani new boobs at 18, followed by a new nose three years later. Now both sisters have had their Continue reading “Happy Birthday… Here’s Your Boob Job” »

Building a Girl’s Self-image

Posted on: 12/4/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday my 16-year-old daughter Ashley was lying in front of the fireplace doing homework. Not knowing her mother and I were both gazing at her, she lightly brushed her hair aside with her forefinger.

Her mom couldn’t resist. “Ashley, you are beautiful.”

Ashley looked up at her with skepticism and chuckled. “Yeah… right!”

Sadly, in a world bombarded with unattainable images of what beauty should be, I don’t know many teen girls who truly think they’re beautiful.

Why is beauty the one characteristic that seems to trump all others? How about wisdom? How about integrity?

As a father of two teenaged daughters, and a guy who keeps up on youth culture for his job, I’m always on the lookout for good advice about raising confident kids. This year I fell upon Continue reading “Building a Girl’s Self-image” »

A Heart for the Unnoticed

Posted on: 11/20/13 10:43 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The-Way-Way-BackDo you notice that kid who seems to disappear under the radar?

In the shadow of a tragic teen suicide, and a weekend training youth workers to notice and connect with teenagers, I was pleasantly surprised by a film that, interestingly enough, has also slipped under the radar. This movie tugged at my heart for young people in a unique way and is no doubt the best film I’ve seen in literally years now.

The 2013 gem of a film is titled The Way Way Back, with Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and Toni Collette, to name a few. This brilliantly written story introduces an awkwardly shy 14-year-old teen named Duncan whose single mom (Collette) has started dating an unfortunate choice in a boyfriend (Carell). The mismatched bunch go on summer vacation to a beach cabin where Duncan tries his best to escape each day. Duncan finds community in an unlikely place, the Water Wiz Water Park managed by Owen, a free spirited man who befriends Duncan.

This film captured the essence of parenting and youth ministry, specifically three elements Continue reading “A Heart for the Unnoticed” »

R.I.P. baby sister

Posted on: 11/18/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

type“I just love being straight up ignored when ever I need you.”

It was the last thing she posted on her Facebook page. Then she went to her high school the next day and hung herself in the school bathroom.

That was last Friday.

Saturday, the day after this tragic suicide, I spoke at an event in the town where this occurred. Many of the youth workers knew kids from the school; they showed me this young lady’s Facebook page.

Some of the posts contained ‘text speak’ like “lawl sike” (basically saying, “just kidding”). But was she kidding? Continue reading “R.I.P. baby sister” »

Happy Slutty Halloween

Posted on: 10/28/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

mean-girls-Halloween-slut“In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it.”   -Cady, Mean Girls

Maybe it’s because I’ve been on shopping excursions with my two teenage girls…

Maybe it’s because I know America’s growing obsession with sex in entertainment, like so many movies this fall

Maybe it’s because I’ve read this entire report from the American Psychological Association (APA) about the negative effects of the “sexualization” of our young girls… Continue reading “Happy Slutty Halloween” »

Teen Social Media Hookup Culture Unveiled

Posted on: 10/3/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

My Twitter followers saw me link an article Tuesday morning I described as the most accurate article I’ve ever read about today’s social media hookup culture. It’s a day later, and I stand my ground.

Don’t misinterpret my words: I’m not saying the activities described in this article are what every kid is doing “on Facebook” (Omegle? Probably so), but I would say that I observe the ripple effect from this subculture rocking Continue reading “Teen Social Media Hookup Culture Unveiled” »

Evolution of the Bikini

Posted on: 07/10/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

How do most guys respond when they see a woman in a bikini?

That’s what a group of men at Princeton sought to discover. In their study they showed men photographs of scantily clad women and observed brain activity.

“They are responding to these photographs as if they were responding to objects.”

This is just a snippet of the research clothing designer Jessica Rey shares in this fascinating little YouTube video about the history of the bikini:

This video probably provokes polar responses from audiences, cheers from one end and sneers from the other (the teenage side of the audience). And that’s what I like about it. It’s heated topics like this that Continue reading “Evolution of the Bikini” »