I don’t have daughters, but I have a seven year old grand-daughter. Half the time I don’t answer when I hear the word, “Grandma” because obviously, that can’t be me. I don’t bake, I have a bad habit of swearing (I’m trying to get over it, really), I eat popcorn for dinner if I feel like it and in my head I’m still 30. But apparently the Grandma gene is in me somewhere and I’m on the hunt every Christmas for practical things, like boots, jackets, hats, pajamas and school clothes. It never ceases to amaze me that the clothes for tiny little girls look like miniature versions of something you’d see on a pole dancer.
I’m not sure where the discussion with Dr. Durham will go with regard to the media’s culpability, but I do know that product is marketed and sold to buyers and if people weren’t buying tiny stripper outfits, makeup, nail polish and cell phones for children, nobody would be selling them.
There are two problems I have with the way little girls appear to be marketed and sold to, and this trend isn’t altogether new.
The first is the sexualization of children. Enough said about that. Clearly, it’s hard enough to be a child without the confusion of being in an adult’s costume.
The second is simply the superficiality and the consumerism of raising girls to believe that they have to be pretty and skinny, above all else. When I shop for toys for my granddaughter, I have to sift through all of the dolls, toys and games that are plastered with photos of Hannah Montana and High School Musical. I am the relative who (naturally) stocks the kids with books, but little girls don’t want to read about little girls. They want to read about big girls.
Why isn’t there a role model who is smart, who cares about the environment, who cares about other people and who cares about animals? Isn’t there a character who is trying to find a cure for cancer, solve world hunger or spread peace on earth?
The good news is that I know that not all little girls are like this. I read about kids (mostly here) who want to save the tigers and who recycle and who are kind to other children and it makes me glad that I know all of you. Thanks to those of you who take such care to raise your sons and daughters to have a real sense of who they are of their true worth.
Now don’t forget to stop at Ello’s tomorrow…