From what we hear, American girls are among the most ­privileged and successful girls in the world.But tell that to a 13-year-old who gets called a slut and feels she can’t walk into a school classroom because everybody will be staring at her, texting about her on their phones. Why are they complicit in this potentially very self-­undermining aspect of social­media culture? Everything’s about the likes.” If building a social-media presence is similar to building a brand, then it makes a twisted kind of sense that girls—­exposed from the earliest age to sexualized images, and encouraged by their parents’ own obsession with self-promotion—are promoting their online selves with sex.

Today, with smartphones and social media, we all have in our hands the means to broadcast our pride and joy to the world.

And we are cultivating our children’s online selves from birth—or even before, in utero.

And one of the easiest ways to get that validation is by looking hot. So it should come as no surprise that in this atmosphere, with the new technology available, sexting and sharing nudes have replaced other forms of intimacy.

And it’s girls—our daughters, granddaughters and nieces—who are most at risk in this online environment, which blends age-old sexism with a new notion of sexual liberation through being provocative.

Girls who post provocative pictures often suffer slut shaming on- and offline.

Girls are more often targeted in cyberbullying attacks that focus on their sexuality.“They want to look hot,” said Cassy, not looking up from her phone. “Their daughters look hot and they want to look like their daughters,” Maggie said.“They think they’re the Real Housewives.” The reluctance of baby boomers and Gen X-ers to grow old is not lost on girls.As the girls visited their social-­media accounts, opening their Snapchats and liking and commenting on the Instagram posts of their friends, a parade of mothers and daughters drifted past, all dressed almost identically.There were teenage girls in booty shorts and cleavage-­baring tops, and mothers wearing almost exactly the same things, except with heels and bling.“I think it’s just to get attention,” explains Lily, a 14-year-old in Garden City, N. In so doing, they’re also following the example of the most successful social-­media celebrities.