Monday, January 14, 2008

Sugar and spice and everything sexy

It's no secret that little girls today are exposed to sexual imagery much sooner and on a much greater scale than any other generation. From television to magazines to ads on the side of the bus, it's next to impossible to shield our girls from the flood of images that tell them that how they look, dress, and move is important…and what they think, say or feel is not.

Don’t believe it? Check this out.

"So what!" You may be saying. "I can shield my daughter from those types of images to some extent. And I can teach her that she is worth more than the sum of her parts."

Bravo, Mama! And indeed, it seems that many mothers are becoming more aware of the effects of this type of imagery on their little girls. Effects that, according to last year's APA report on the Sexualization of Girls, can include low self-esteem, eating disorders and depression.

But it's one thing for mothers to step up and say "I'm not going to let my child fall victim to this." That's certainly a positive. But what would really be wonderful (and absolutely, jaw-droppingly amazing!) is if the companies who are sending out these types of messages would step up and be more responsible in their advertising.

Of course this won't happen. Pre-teen girls are the most lucrative market to come along in years. The last thing on marketer's minds is the well-being of their bread and butter. Especially when selling thongs, padded bras, and v-string panties to them is so easy...and so much more fun.

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