Celebrities who post sexualised selfies on social media are doing serious damage to young fans, a leading psychologist has claimed.
Stars such as Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Rita Ora and Beyoncé often share pictures of themselves in sultry poses or skimpy outfits with their millions of Twitter and Instagram followers.
But TV psychologist Tanya Byron, 49, said such images teach girls worrying lessons about sexuality and beauty – and have led her to think “feminism is dead”.
The former presenter of parenting show The House of Tiny Tearaways claimed there had been a 70 percent rise in self-harming children going to hospital emergency rooms over the last three years. She put this down to depression and eating disorders fuelled by impossible beauty standards on social media.
Speaking at the Vogue Festival in London, mother-of-two Dr Byron said: “As much as we say, ‘It’s brains not breasts’, there is that pressure. You look at these young women [celebrities] who are posing in a way that is so overtly sexual and these [followers] are kind of minors. These are under-16-year-olds.”
She did not specifically name any stars, but added: “There are celebrities who are ‘selfie-ing’ every five minutes in their pants and their bras… It feels like the feminism my mom was involved in in the 1960s, it’s dead now.”