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All Grown Up?

April 18, 2011

PreventionA Guest Blog by Michael Colletto, SOLD’s Communications Director

I’m not ordinarily one to comment on the behavior of celebrities, particularly ones from High School Musical, but Ashley Tisdale caught my attention today. She’s generated a few headlines lately for her recent nude photo shoot for Allure magazine. Whatever—she’s hardly the first young female star to peel her clothes off for a magazine to make some sort of misguided statement, and at least Tisdale had the good sense to seek wise counsel before consenting and asked her parents for permission. (Disturbingly, and for reasons I can’t quite fathom, they apparently supported their daughter’s decision to exhibit [her body] for the cameras.) But what really bothers me about Tisdale’s photo shoot is what she said about why she did it:

I’m 25, almost 26, but people think of me as much younger because I look young. Being in this shoot was me saying, “I’m not just the young girl everybody thinks I am. I’m actually a woman.”

I’m actually a woman? That’s the statement she’s making? If exploiting Michael in Thailandherself by posing nude for the titillation of strangers is what a young woman thinks she has to do in this country to prove she’s a woman, we’re sending kids some pretty messed-up messages about what it means to be a mature, self-respecting human.

I applaud initiatives like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s Real Men Don’t Buy Girls campaign—men need to get their heads on straight about how a mature, self-respecting man relates to girls and women. But stories like this make me think maybe America’s young women need a similar pep talk—real women don’t treat themselves like sex objects. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Note: The above statements are the personal views of Michael Colletto and not necessarily of The SOLD Project. Photo of Michael in Thailand by Daniel Showalter.

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