The sexualization of teenage girls

I'm a barbie girl, in a barbie world

So many curves! So much hair! All that leg!

It’s been happening for decades, and it starts really young. Girls have been playing with va-va-voom Barbies since before I was a little girl. Then came Bratz. Tinkerbell makeup. Hannah Montana….and MILEY (that one’s NSFW, friends).

As the mom of a teenage girl myself, I’ve got this heavy on my mind. My young teen is just entering high school. My imagination is running wild…hence this post.

The sexualization of our girls is starting so early, they don’t know what to do with it, and parents aren’t prepared to teach them. Furthermore, when a young girl displays “sexy” behavior, they become bait for, well, perverts. Perverts who don’t know how (or don’t want to) draw the line between a grown woman and a little girl. They’d rather take advantage of an opportunity.

I’ve been the girl who was taken advantage of, though it hasn’t happened often & was pretty minor when compared to the experiences of others. A restaurant manager at my place of employment would kiss my neck and stroke my torso while my skin crawled. A boss at my first “grown-up” job told me that my skirts were too short, adding “I mean, I would think you looked really hot at the clubs.” As I blushed ashamedly.

Here’s the thing. I was poorly equipped to deal with this kind of gross attention as a young woman (late teens/early 20s). How are we equipping our teenagers and even preteens for that same attention?

Babies

Toddler in the airport this morning randomly squawked while her mom wrestled with an inordinate amount of travel/baby gear. (I swear, they had enough gear for 13 babies.)

Mom says:

What’s wrong?

Baby:

My bottom hurts

Mom:

Did you poop?

Baby (quickly looks back at her booty):

Nope! (then squawks again loudly)

Mom:

OK. I will fix it. First let me fold this stroller.

Sometimes I miss having a baby in the house, others I don’t. This scenario made me feel both all at once. Babies are like having a little drunk man in the house 24/7. Both the good and the bad parts.