Pink is raising concerns about the sexualization of teen stars on the internet — and finger-pointing their moms and dads.
“How many kids like Piper Rockelle are being exploited by their parents?” Pink wrote on Twitter. “And at what point do the rest of us say … ‘this isn’t okay for a 13 yr old to be posing in a bikini whilst her MOTHER takes the photo?!?!”
Piper Rockelle, a singer and dancer who celebrated her 14th birthday earlier this month, boasts more than 8 million subscribers on YouTube. In her bio, Rockelle describes her channel as a place to view "crazy challenges," including boyfriend challenges, crush challenges and 24-hour challenges. The eighth-grader has a hard time believing that Pink has been tuning in.
“I don’t think Pink has ever seen one of my YouTube videos because if she did, she’d see it’s just my friends and me having fun and acting like ourselves,” Rockelle told TODAY Parents. “The content we make is the kind of stuff anyone can watch.”
Rockelle also addressed Pink’s comments about her swimsuit photos on Instagram.
“There’s nothing wrong with being in a bikini,” Rockelle said. “Why do we shame people for that? Pictures of teenagers in bikinis having fun are not sexual. They’re only sexual if you view us that way.”
Rockelle noted that Pink was 14 when she earned a spot in the all-female group Basic Instinct.
“Why was it OK for her to follow her dreams but not OK for me to follow mine?” Rockelle asked.
Piper’s mom, Tiffany Rockelle, told TODAY Parents she is simply nurturing her daughter’s ambitions.
“Since Piper was a child, she has had a strong love of performing and she has always had a dream,” Tiffany revealed. “So long as Piper wants to do this and it’s her passion, I’m here for her to follow that dream and protect her.”
But on Twitter, many people agree with Pink.
“The problem is the tone of the pictures. Piper is just 14. The poses in the photos are suggestive and are sending a very wrong message,” wrote one person.
Added another, “Admittedly some of those pics are a bit much for a young person (14) and I’m pretty open minded. But shaming won’t fix it. The whole social media industry needs to change the way we look at young people and what we accept.”