Monday, August 22, 2011

sexualizing children

This is a really cool optical illusion. But what is more interesting is that, depending on your age, you might see something different. Children, who don't have a frame of reference for sexuality, usually just see the dolphins. Adults, though, see a couple in an embrace.

It would seem that this is not good enough for us in this fine country and we need to make sure kids see the sexual pose as well.

Go to any store selling clothes. Go to your local WalMart. Look in the section where they display women's undergarments. What do you see? Hello Kitty. I even found a pair of rhumba panties (you know, those cute drawers we put on baby girls with the ruffels across the butt?) in MY SIZE!!! WalMart - at least in my neck of the woods - is not so bad in the little girls' department, but they do sell padded bras in a size my 5 year old granddaughter will be able to wear in about a year. Look at some of the online offerings for some of the major brands. I could, if I should lose my mind in the next hour or so, buy that same 5 year old granddaughter a cute lacy thong. I can also find shorts or yoga pants for her with attention-grabbing words written across the seat.

Who needs to be looking at a 5 year old's butt?

But look the other way. Look at what women have to choose from. On a recent A.N.T. Farm (Disney) episode, the principal of the school wanted her portrait painted by one of the students. What did she wear? A white oxford cloth shirt tied at her waist, a short red plaid skirt, knee high white stockings and mary janes. If you clicked on the link, you know she is no school girl.

Rhumba panties. Cartoon character jammies. Who is the child and who is the adult.

And more importantly, what does this do to our view of the sexuality of a woman?

Little girls are encouraged to become sexual beings (can this be real?) while grown women are encourage - nay, it is demanded that they not age. The message seems to be that a woman's sexual peak is during her very young years and she needs to get all the mileage out of it she can.

So what do we do? How does a sane society respond? We can recognize that businesses are "in it" to make money. Period. If some idiot will buy a padded bra for a seven year old, I'm happy to take that $50 off your hands. That's a good place to start. And maybe we can refuse to purchase that stuff for our little girls. Maybe we can also start telling our daughters, our granddaughters, our nieces or any other little girl in our life, not just that she's beautiful but that she's smart. Maybe strong. Or athletic. Or funny. Anything else that she can DO is better to compliment her on rather than on how she looks. Even an ability to put cool outfits together is a skill we can praise rather than looks. Maybe that will start a trend with girls seeing themselves in in that light.

What are some ways we can combat this? The APA article is good reading for anyone interested.

I've linked a few articles at the bottom of this post for further reading.

watch this video for a great idea of how women are sexualized as little girls Katy Perry video
little girls' lingere
goodbye to girlhood
consuming kids
APA report

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