In the Bindi v Caitlin Twitter war there’s only one winner
WHO IS the better role model for our teenage girls? A young girl who has dedicated her life to wildlife conservation, or one who bares her nipples on Twitter? I know who I’d pick. Give me Bindi Irwin over former Tomorrow When the War Began and Neighbours actor Caitlin Stasey any day.
A spat between the two has developed following Bindi’s suggestion that girls her age should wear less-revealing clothing.
This is what the 15-year-old said this week: “I look around at a lot of young girls that are my age and they’re always trying to dress older. Whether it’s wearing revealing clothes or hardly wearing any clothes at all, I feel really bad for them.
“A lot of times I want to grab these girls and say ‘Look... in 10 years you’ll regret this. Just dress like who you are. Don’t try so hard. A pair of jeans and a T-shirt is just as gorgeous and even makes you look classier’.” I totally agree. So why the attack from 24-year-old Caitlin, who was so incensed by Bindi’s comments that she wrote her an open letter on Twitter.
“In 10 years you’ll wish you stood beside your shared sex rather than be proud you belittled their choices and agency,” she wrote.
These days, you can’t criticise any young women of anything at all without being accused of being “sexist” or denying their “choices”.
What if the choices they are making are bad ones? What then?
For me, the issue is not so much about girls being free to wear what they want without the fear of being sexually attacked, but more about not walking down the street with their bums hanging out the bottom of their minis.
Bindi is not trying to make women who wear sexy clothes feel ashamed about it, but preaching a message about dignity and self-respect.
These are two things that young teens today seem to be lacking.
Walk down the street and you see girls in tight leggings and tiny crop tops who look as if they have forgotten to pop their skirts on. (When are they going to realise that leggings are not the same as pants?). Or you see girls in the city late at night wearing microminis and drunkenly stumbling around on huge heels.
It is natural that young girls will always try to dress older than they are, but never before have they had so many adult-style clothes to choose from.
Just look at some of the tween and girls clothing on offer, and you’ll see what I mean. Take Aussie brand Bardot, which is selling biker jackets, sequin mini skirts, and leopard skin tights for girls as young as three. For eight to 16-year-olds there are “trashed” denim shorts, zippered leather-look skirts and faux-fur vests.
So I think Bindi makes a fair point. In any case, Caitlin is hardly in a position to judge Bindi.
When you think how much Bindi has copped over the years, losing her father at a young age, and then growing up in the media spotlight, I think she’s doing very well.
Apart from a slightly alarming tendency to talk about her self in the first person (“Bindi Irwin is single,” she said in one interview), she seems to be pretty mature.
Unlike Bindi, who posts pictures of herself on Instagram reading a book while sitting in a tree, Caitlin has courted controversy recently by posting topless photos on Twitter.
Sure, it might be all for a good cause – as part of the #FreeTheNipple campaign promoting breastfeeding – but she has then objected when people have made negative comments about it.
Caitlin is hardly the “bizarre sexual raving lunatic” some have portrayed her as being, but she can hardly blame people for judging her by her own tweets.
Some of them are very sexually explicit and others are a bit bizarre. For instance, Caitlin might think it’s hip and progressive to tell her followers not to see their body as a “prison” and to “be dressed, be undressed, it is YOUR vessel” – but it’s not real life, is it?
I think her attack on Bindi – and those who have dared criticise her – was rude and wrong.
Give me Bindi and her wise words over tits on Twitter anyday. Blog with Susie at Susieobrien.com.au or follow her on Twitter @susieob