Skip to comments.Hyper-sexualized society sets kids up for failure
Posted on 07/08/2011 9:29:34 PM PDT by TheDingoAteMyBaby
Children are so sexualized in our society that it seemed plausible a mother would give her sevenyear-old daughter Botox injections to give her an advantage at baby beauty pageants.
The story, which went viral last month, turned out to be a hoax.
But it's not a stretch to imagine it happening. Watch a few minutes of Toddlers and Tiaras - the reality show on cable TV about these pageants - or even its ads.
Toddlers and preschoolers strut like strippers and smile like pros. They are made-up, hair-sprayed, spray-tanned, shaved and waxed. It's a pedophile's paradise.
Last week, a British mom known as the Human Barbie gave her sevenyear-old a voucher for breast augmentation for her birthday. The poor little thing's sixth birthday present was pole dancing lessons.
If this early sexualization were limited to that small, bizarre sliver of society, we could all just sigh or tut-tut and get back to what we were doing. But it's not.
Spa parties are now the rage among the tween-set and younger.
Abercrombie and Fitch sells a "pushup bikini bra top" for girls as young as seven. After concern about it went viral, it was rebranded as a "triangle top." But the retailer didn't pull it from the catalogue, just as nine years ago complaints didn't stop the company from selling little girls' thong underwear despite complaints when it introduced them.
No one is yet selling toddlers' highheels even though they have been a favourite of celebrity baby Suri Cruise since she was three. For now, her superstar father Tom Cruise and actress mom Katie Holmes have Suri's heels custom made, although earlier this week they denied reports that her shoe collection is worth $150,000.
Little girls' desires mirror what they see and much of it is a bit appalling. Whether fish, fowl, toys or humans, one in four female characters was scantily clad in children's films released in the United States from 2006 to 2009. One in five was nude, according to research done by professor Stacy Smith of the University of Southern California.
"As a culture, we sell them out and expose them to all kinds of things and then we say, 'It's terrible, it's horrible,' " says Audrey Brashich, a Vancouverbased journalist and former teen model.
She believes the "intense modern obsession with appearance" began in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the advent of supermodels.
"Everybody knew the women only by their first names and simply because of their appearance," says Brashich, author of All Made Up: A girl's guide to seeing through celebrity hype and celebrating real beauty.
"Before there were [female] movie stars and entertainers who were beautiful, but also talented. But they didn't seep into the culture the way supermodels did."
Supermodels were part of a re-invention of celebrity. The silent beauties were photographed everywhere and their images pervaded global culture. It seems more than coincidence that their appearance followed hard on the heels of second-wave feminism.
Supermodels cleared the way for women like the Kardashians to become famous just by showing up.
Now, good genes or a good team of plastic surgeons, stylists and estheticians make fame seem so attainable that even celebrity makers are celebrities themselves, on reality TV shows like America's Next Top Model.
"What we've got going on is so toxic and so troubled that we've created this big mess for girls when it comes to self-esteem," says Brashich.
Most will never be thin enough or rich enough to achieve the supermodel standard and, in trying, they often forgo opportunities to play sports, study and feel comfortable with the bodies they were blessed with.
But it's little better for boys, says Brashich, who has two sons.
They are exposed to an increasingly narrow definition of feminine beauty through mainstream media, computer games (which mix sex and violence) and sports marketing which exploits the female form (as the Whitecaps soccer team did recently with the image of a spray-painted woman in its advertisements).
There is no quick fix, no instantreplacement role models, no easy ban to make this all go away. But something needs to be done because if their dreams of fame don't pan out, both girls and boys are being set up for failure.
Dennis Prager had a similar column
IMO this all stems back from the 60’s when it became popular to talk about sex and that it needed to be “out in the open” instead of “repressed”. The problem today is that things are too open and its nigh-impossible to avoid being barraged with sex, nothing is private or off-limits anymore.
Can't have naked fish.
Yep, and now we’ve got female teachers who don’t seem to know it’s wrong to seduce teenage boys, teens who think they need sex-change operations, and pre-teens with breast augmentations...
That “do your own thing” philosophy sure seems to be working out swell, doesn’t it?
“She believes the “intense modern obsession with appearance” began in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the advent of supermodels.
“Everybody knew the women only by their first names and simply because of their appearance”
Oh, it started much earlier. My impressionable years were the ‘60’s, and girls were reading Seventeen Magazine (which was geared toward college girls) even before they themselves were teenagers.
One-name supermodels existed even then. Remember Twiggy?
Good article, though, and all too true.
The rare times we do venture into a mall she always says look at those moms & their mini me daughters....what is wrong with them? I wonder about that too. Little girls with hair streaked liked mommy & dressed to match. Yuk! Girls 11 yrs old wearing white shorts up to their behinds is not cute. It is dangerous. Children deserve to be children not mini me's!
you’re right, it was the 60’s that changed everything - and, mostly, NOT for the better.
You could mention Marilyn Monroe if you want to go even further back in time. I think she was the first woman to grace Playboy magazine in the early 1950s.
If you find a chance, go to a library, especially at a university and look through the yearbooks. All it takes is ten of them, 1960-1969. While all look nice and polished in 1960, by 1967-68 it is the women who change first, and by 1969 there is full blown rebellion in the appearance of the students. These are now the grandparents of today’s children.
But it's not a stretch to imagine it happening.
So the writer is writing about something that didn't happen, and opining on what could have been?
If this is journalism, sign me up. I can get drunk and spout drivel. I have witnesses, here on FR.
“I think she was the first woman to grace Playboy magazine in the early 1950s.”
Well, yes, but we were talking about little girls’ role models, and they didn’t read Playboy (I’m pretty sure :-)
Don’t be too hard on Tom and Katie. Little Suri probably browbeat them until she wore them down. I really don’t think the high heels were their idea.
She probably just wanted to be more like Daddy.
“It’s a pedophile’s paradise.”
Sure sounds like it, but Ya better not say it again.
The Regime is not amused by mere Christianity and its finger waving, judgmental moralists.
After all, if it was good enough for MadMo and his followers, etc., etc., ad nauseam.
I don’t think the problem begins with supermodels...Have you seen the kids shows that are on? It’s hard to find any that don’t revolve around crushes and hormones...Even Phineas and Ferb, one of my favorites, has a constant backstory of girls chasing boys.
Haven’t seen Phineas and Ferb, but as a mother, I recall horrid love notes from 7th grade girls to boys in their class over 35 years ago. In my time, admittedly sometime during the last Ice Age, it was there, but more subtle, if 11-12 year old girls are capable of being subtle.
Girls have always had crushes.
I have seen this first hand several times. It's heart-breaking. It's as if the girl, or young woman, is brain washed and beyond reprogramming.
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