The Sexualisation of Children
We all know that as they grow up, kids are desperate to be older than they are, to be allowed to do certain things, wear certain things, go to certain places – whether that be going to town with their friends, wearing makeup, drinking alcohol, and all sorts of things in between. It’s a natural part of growing up.
What isn’t natural is parents sexualising their children. I see this happening more and more often these days and it worries me. And it makes me cross. It happens in all sorts of ways, but a growing trend seems to be in clothing with slogans on which suggest things I really don’t want to think about in relation to children.
Who in their right mind buys clothes for their young daughter with slogans such as “jailbait”, “WAG in training”, “sexy”, “porn star in training” and the like? Why would you? As well as these ridiculous slogans, there’s completely inappropriate underwear available for children too. Why does a seven year old need a padded bra or thongs? Currently on sale in Matalan’s children range is a selection of padded bras and New Look also have a range of padded bras for sale in their Kids and Teen range. Arguably, these could be said to be for teens, but in Matalan they feature in the 3-13 years range. Why does even a 13 year old need a padded bra?
There has been a growing trend over the last few years for teenage girls, and younger, to wear clothes with the Playboy logo on them, to have Playboy pencil cases and other accessories bearing the logo. Lovely. And what does that logo stand for? Is it just a cute little bunny? No, it stands for the PLayboy Bunny, the woman – one of many – who aspires to be a plaything for a rich old man. Is that what we want for our daughters?
It seems that society has decided that no-one needs a childhood anymore. When did it become OK to stop our children being children? Young girls do not need to wear lipstick, nail varnish or other makeup. I know it might be fun to have their nail painted for a special occasion, but primary school aged girls don’t need to wear makeup on a regular basis.
Or am I just being a prude? Should I want nothing more for my daughter than for her to be a WAG? Should I teach her to value her worth in terms of her ability to be sexually attractive?
We are doing our children a serious dis-service by encouraing, wishing, allowing them to grow up before their time. Never again will they be as carefree as they are in childhood and we should not be in a hurry to urge them into the next phase of life.
As a society, we bay for the blood of anyone who commits a sexual crime which involves children. Why then, do we allow shops to sell, and our children to wear clothes with any amount of sexual suggestion?
We should be more careful of the messages we give our children. Describing them as “sexy”, encouraging them to wiggle their bottoms at people, dressing them in inappropriate clothing (all of which I have seen done) is selling them short.