author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
I get it, we all lived through fan culture, but there is something more here.
Memes have become a language of their own. Many people in the modern world can communicate through images alone. For example, if I attached an image of a fist next to a yellow sweater, we would all share the same understanding of my frustration. If I showed you an image of a red-haired girl on Dr. Phil, we would all loudly shout, “cash me ousside” in resounding union. Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Those who don’t know, Danielle Bregoli is a fourteen-year-old Internet sensation. After brutally embarrassing herself on Dr. Phil, the teenager took the world by storm with her ever quotable tirade. I could easily write an essay on why Danielle’s continued fame is both frustrating and embarrassing, but there is a glaring point I have to address first – the girl is fourteen.
My Instagram explore page is littered with various things: makeup tutorials, Star Wars videos, and social media gossip (look, I know, I’m only human) – trust me, there is no Internet celebrity more dramatic than her. I peruse the gossip, and from there, I investigate fan pages dedicated exclusively to Danielle herself. I get it, we all lived through fan culture, but there is something more here.
There are an endless slew of videos that detail how “thic” she is – these videos are of Danielle dancing, flaunting herself in front of the camera, so on, so forth. I have no problem with girls being proud of their bodies. Like, hell yeah, girl! Love yourself. I do, however, have a problem with adults throwing tongue and fire emojis at this young girl.
“She’s only fourteen,” many say. Yes, she is only fourteen. Only. This statement is used in awe that she is so developed and “attractive,” and let me just say: pedophilic culture isn’t cute. It will never be trendy.
Danielle being just fourteen and “thic” is not an accomplishment. One should not be awed by this fact, and one should not take this “achievement” as permission to ogle and objectify her. She is a child – a naïve one at that. I have no idea whether or not she will realize her many, many, many mistakes, but even if she doesn’t, she is not a sexual being. She should not be from some years to come.
If we promote the sexualization of Danielle, we allow the sexualization of all children. She may promote her own sexuality, but mind you, she is a child. We all did stupid shit as a child. I was still in my scene phase until I was thirteen.
I promise none of us were cognitively able or ready to take on sex by fourteen. At that point we should be making shitty Youtube channels we will come to regret, or stanning now irrelevant bands – listen, we all get our jollies from making fun of Danielle Bregoli, but let’s not be creepy. She’s a dumb-ass kid, but remember everyone, she’s exactly that: a kid.