In "Sexy Baby" film, navigating our porn- and social-media-filled world

A few weeks ago I blogged about a study documenting the dearth of useful information about genital plastic surgery available on line. The study noted that women seeking such information aren’t generally provided with a clear picture of what genital cosmetic surgery entails and the risks it poses.

Soon after the blog appeared I heard from a p.r. person representing a documentary film called Sexy Baby, which features a 22-year-old kindergarten teacher who is seeking an expensive surgery called labiaplasty to make her genitals look smaller, like those of a porn star. Where'd she get such an idea? From a boyfriend who watched lots of porn.

In addition to tracking Laura as she pursues her surgery, Sexy Baby introduces us to Nakita, a former adult film star, trying to live a normal life (while still making a living teaching pole dancing) and Winnifred, a 12-year-old New York City resident whose parents are working hard to raise her right despite the constant barrage of sexual imagery and messages she’s exposed to in everyday life. The three might not appear to have much in common at first. But as the film progresses we see them all navigating a world in which pornography, pop culture and social media converge to exert enormous, sometimes frightening, influence.

Early in the film -- which was made by former Miami Herald journalists Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus -- Winnifred comments that her generation is the first to have to contend with all the dicey, sometimes frightening issues posed by the proliferation of porn and the ubiquitous presence of social media in people's lives. “"We are the pioneers," she says.

Sexy Baby has its broadcast premier tonight (Friday, Dec. 7) at 10 p.m. on Showtime. You can also get it through iTunes and Movies on Demand. It’s got its share of disturbing, even raunchy, images, but it’s a riveting piece of work.

You can watch the trailer here and visit the film’s Web site here.

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