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?
- Anatomical Barbie: Little Girls, Look Away. (technabob.com)
- Mike Julianelle: We Need To Parent Our Sons AND Our Daughters (huffingtonpost.com)
- Fitness trainer jailed for sexually abusing teenage client (valleycentral.com)