Jailbait No More

The folks at TMZ took some heat recently for posting this photo of 17-year-old Kendall Jenner—star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, brand ambassador for Seventeen Magazine and one of the youngest of that publicity-hungry clan—along with the headline “Kendall Jenner 53 Days.” The text of the article read only “Until she turns 18. Not that we’re counting.”

The photo of Kendall Jenner raised both eyebrows and controversy (Instagram)

The photo of Kendall Jenner raised both eyebrows and controversy (Instagram)

That’s right, people. We as a society are so depraved that we are counting down to the exact moment this underage teen becomes a legal adult. Of course, this is no different from the times we did the same for the Olsen twins, Miley Cyrus—which I’m sure many of us now regret—and even Justin Bieber… and who gives a crap how old that kid is?

Needless to say, there were some pretty pissed off people responding to this questionable post in cyberspace. I read an article written by the mother of two young girls and she was absolutely appalled by TMZ’s decision to run it.

Is it right to count down until a girl becomes a woman? (Jeff Vespa/Getty Images)

Is it right to count down until a girl becomes a woman? (Jeff Vespa/Getty Images)

“Something just doesn’t feel quite right about the whole concept of a countdown for a young woman about to turn the age when she’s legally viewed as an adult,” Kelly Wallace of CNN Living wrote in her article Countdown for Kendall Jenner Turning 18: Gross or Fair Game? “Even a young woman like Jenner, who has spent much of her life on reality TV.”

On Wallace’s personal Facebook page, a woman named Dorothy Liu and mother to a 10-year-old girl offered this comment: “Maybe they are counting down the days until she is legally responsible for her decisions.” Other visitors called the TMZ post “perverted,” “disgusting” and “just plain wrong.”

One reader said that “to be glorifying it is just wrong and teaches the wrong idea to people who don’t have common sense.” Wallace herself expanded this idea by saying “these people” also lack morals and respect for women.

While I agree with many of these opinions and believe that some of what these people mentioned—if not all of them—could be at work here, I also believe people are overreacting. Yes, it’s in poor taste to focus on Jenner “coming of age” because we all know what’s at the root of this countdown: sex. Once she turns 18, Jenner is free to have sexual relations with anyone she chooses and, more importantly, people of any age can attempt to have sex with her.

Perverts all over the web likely drool as each day passes—somehow imagining they have a chance with this beautiful young woman or perhaps hoping she’ll go bat-shit crazy like Miley Cyrus and start showing her ass all over the Internet. Then you probably have some regular folks who would never consider Jenner in a negative or unlawful way, yet have spent the last few years jerking off to images of her on media sites—for the sake of this post only, I checked and there are ass shots and nip slips of this girl dating back several years. You know someone has been getting their “jollies” at her expense.

Photos like these were being posted of Jenner at age 15 (SugarSlam)

Photos like these were being posted of Jenner at age 15 (SugarSlam)

Now I’ll be the first to admit it: Kendall Jenner is a beautiful young lady. And even though I know how taboo it can be for a teenage girl—even a legal one—to date men who are significantly older, I can’t say with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t jump at the chance to at least meet her. Granted, I know nothing about her and never watched any of her family’s shows—aside from the clips I see on Entertainment Tonight or something—but she is attractive, rich and famous. And it never hurts to have friends in high places, right?

Nevertheless, I do think a countdown to Kendall Jenner’s sexual legality is rather tasteless—a countdown that started with “only 1,345 days left” would have been much worse—as well as unnecessarily incendiary, as evidenced from the online reactions to it.

Unnecessarily incendiary… try saying that three times fast.

Yes, a post like this may indicate a lack of morals or respect for women, but sadly those things have become so prevalent in our society that we have been desensitized to them. Toss in the openness that resulted from Internet globalization—the fact that everyone is so willing to share their darkest secrets and most inappropriate thoughts and opinions all over the web—and it should come as no surprise that people would focus on a young woman becoming legal.

This photo of Jenner at 16 is more tame than many (Hot Celebs)

This photo of Jenner at 16 is more tame than many (Hot Celebs)

I love my fellow humans and believe we are all brothers and sisters—from an evolutionary standpoint rather than religious one, of course—but some of you folks are straight-up freaky. And don’t be fooled: the rest of us know what you’re feeling because we have felt it before, too. We may not admit it—even if it was nothing more than a passing thought that never passed through our mind again—but we all know it’s true.

Inside us all are light and darkness; the difference is in knowing which one you should choose. Be good to each other.

Posted on September 20, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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