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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site encourages users to post photos of themselves and ask for others' opinions about how they look. Unlike sites oriented toward making fun of people, this site seems genuinely focused on helping people make fashion choices, though there's certainly an element of self-promotion and voyeurism inherent in the site. Parents will want to discuss with teen users how to protect their privacy while using the site, plus how to deal with possible criticisms about their appearance. To post comments or upload a picture to the site, users must register and be at least 13; however, there's no age verification, so it's easy to skirt the filter.
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Is it any good?
Created by a fashion fan whose husband didn't want to offer outfit advice, FASHISM lets registered users upload snapshots of clothing, hairdos, and accessories for other users to comment on. You can also click through the looks other users have posted and rate them -- or just rate comments that other users have made.
Because posted comments appear instantly, foul language, spam, and all kinds of mean barbs could find their way onto Fashism -- however, most comments are tame (and fairly supportive). There are, of course, some harsh comments. If girls are self-confident enough to handle hearing that their dress looks "kinda slutty," they may enjoy getting frank input on their ensemble. However, fashionistas who are a bit more sensitive -- particularly younger girls -- may walk away from the experience feeling more grim than glam.
Online interaction: Registered users rate others' outfits or makeup choices, and the comments are generally supportive or straightforward. Buttons let you rate user comments as snarky or helpful, and you can block users from posting on your photos.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what potentially good -- and not good -- things could happen if you ask people you don't know to rate a photo of yourself? What other ways could you determine whether or not you like an outfit or hairstyle? Check out some Digital Camera Dos and Don'ts.
What kind of comments can you post about photos on the site that could be constructive? What kind of things are not so helpful or nice to say? Check out our Rules of the Road for online use.
For kids who love fashion
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