STUMBLING over my old blog, I came across this post that I really enjoyed researching and writing about. Hence, I’ve decided to bring it you you lovely people, although I guess it may be a little outdated now, still a thought-provoking topic…
A French report titled ‘Against hyper-sexualisation, a new fight for equality‘ is calling for a ban of under-age models after a contentious shoot in VOGUE, depicting a 10-year-old French girl in somewhat provocative clothing, and inappropriate make-up for a child her age.
An increase in the production of children’s lingerie, padded bras, mini sizes of adults clothing and high heels for young girls are on the rise, and it poses the question of whether or not this is just another phenomenon, popular in social discourse, of sexualising young girls.
Thylane Loubry Blondeau, the 10-year-old who featured in the photoshoot is seen to be using lipstick, most obviously not for children, and posing provocatively in ladies clothing and shoes.
“The Vogue cover sparked controversy in the US before igniting debate back in France; where 84 per cent of French found the photos demeaning, one poll found” (The Telegraph)
The author of the report and senator, Chantal Jouanno, mentions reverting back to school uniforms in primary schools to combat rivalry regarding clothing, and banning of the use of under-age children under the age of 16 from appearing as ‘the face’ of any further advertising campaigns.
This is in the hope to avoid any psychological damage, created by the media and their social discourse on appearance and what is ‘deemed’ attractive. Jouanno also comments that ‘this precocious sexualisation’ can be irreversible and even cause mental disorders, including anorexia.
“Today, children are shaping their identities on declining gender equality and the return of stereotypes slipped into music videos, toys and reality TV.” (Jouanno)
The government report, published on Monday, criticised the marketing of padded bras for eight year olds, thong underwear, make-up kits, and leggy dolls, all aimed at pre-pubescent girls under the age of 12.” (The Telegraph)
The ‘hyper-sexualisation’ of young girls has been an on-going topic of discussion. Pageants specifically for young girls have been popular, especially in the US, for decades, and their popularity and attraction doesn’t appear to be stopping. Toddlers and Tiaras (http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/toddlers-tiaras) is a reality TV show that follows the story of families who choose to enter their children into these shows.
With spray-tanning, hours in hair and make-up, and near provocative clothing, these girls, sometimes as young as three, are dolled up for the ultimate pageantry display.
Are the parents who dress up their children for such occasions really just grasping for the childhood they didn’t have? Or are they actually trying to satisfy the need for congratulations and attention through the exploitation of their children.
As an older sister of two young girls, aged seven and five, I feel very strongly about the apparently increasing ‘sex-ing up’ of children. I have no issues with sharing my make-up with them occasionally, bit of lipstick here, blusher there, but to dress them up and parade them in clothes and make-up totally inappropriate for their age group is just irresponsible.
Like there wasn’t enough pressure on young girls of todays’ society to conform to the ideal of ‘beautiful’ as depicted by the media! Do we really need to introduce the idea of competing using beauty to such young children?
To continue this, I feel will not only create a further stigma for young girls regarding appearance, but reinforce ideas of gender inequalities the objectification of women.