Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sexualization of Young Girls Round-up and Twitter Party

There has been such a rash of horrible advertising lately!  I have talked about the sexualization of young girls before in my posts about Candies ads and Abercrombie & Fitch marketing push-up bikinis to pre-teens. What exactly is sexualization?  The American Psychological Association Task Force defines sexualization as (I'm simplifying the language here):
  1. valuing a person only for their sex appeal and sexual behaviors,
  2. imposing the standard of sexy=attractive on someone,
  3. sexually objectifying a person--meaning that the person is seen only as something to gratify someone else's sexual desires,
  4. inappropriately imposing sexuality on someone (for example, implying sexuality or sexual behaviors before they are mature enough to understand sexual activity).
Sexualizing young girls can lead to depression, eating disorders, and low self esteem.  For more discussion on the sexualization of young girls, check out this awesome twitterview (interview on Twitter) or this news article.

Grown women can be sexualized in advertising, but even worse, young girls can be sexualized in advertising and by marketing inappropriate products to them.

If I were to post on these atrocities as they happen, my blog would only be about terrible advertising and products.  Seriously.  I'd never get to post on other worthwhile topics! However, this issue is definitely worthy of discussion! It's important for women to understand this issue because we are responsible for creating a better future for the women of tomorrow.  Here's a round-up of recent examples sexualizing young girls.

Photo courtesy of Jezebel
By now you have probably heard all the hubbub surrounding 10-year-old model Thylane Blondeau.  She has modeled as if she were an adult woman, including sexual poses.  Blurring the lines between girlhood and womanhood is one way to sexualize young girls.  They have adult roles placed on them, and those who view the photos without a critical eye begin associating young girls with adult behaviors, including sexuality.  I hate seeing pictures that make me see young girls as a pedophile would! (Speaking of blurring the lines between girls and women, Brazilian waxes bring up the same "ugh" feelings.  Why should women go through a lot of pain to look like a little girl?  Why is looking like a little girl sexy?  I'm not judging anyone who chooses to get Brazilian waxes.  I just want to bring awareness to issues that we accept as normal, even though they could degrade women as a whole.)

Another example of sexualizing young girls comes in the form of lingerie for 4-year-olds.  Thank you France for taking the issue of sexualizing young girls to a despicable new level.  Check out this video discussing the issue.   

We may think France is crazy for making a line of lingerie for little girls, but we're not too far behind as TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras demonstrates.  I think make-up is excessive for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds (and even older), but that's the least of it, believe me!  I'm talking fake boobs and gyrating hips.  IMO, 3-4-year-olds should not be wearing fake boobs to dress up as Dolly Parton or dressing and dancing like a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader!  These are examples of sexualization in that they imply that the girls' value is in her sexuality, that the only way to be attractive is to be sexy, and it's again blurring the lines between girlhood and womanhood. Can we please stop?

And if you want just plain sexism for little girls, try on this t-shirt that JC Penney tried to sell before they took if off the market due to the swarm of outcries.  Check out this great tee designed in response by Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals.

Twitter Party

Now that you're up to date on the sexualization of young girls, join us for a chat on twitter where we will be discussing these issues and answering questions.  Joining me in leading the discussion will be some fabulous women experts Audrey Brashich, Dr. Robyn Silverman, Nancy Gruver, and Melissa Wardy.

When: Thursday Sept. 8th at 9pm EST/8pm CST

How do you join us?
1. Sign up on Twitter.  It's fast and it's free!
2. Follow the panelists: @BeABetterWoman, @AudreyBrashich, @DrRobyn, @PigtailPals, @Nancy_Newmoon.
3. Use the hashtag #SaveGirlhood to follow the discussion.
4. You can also follow us on our very own Custom Tweetgrid!

We will also be giving away a few party favors, courtesy of Melissa Wardy and Audrey Brashich.  Come join us!  You won't want to miss this!

What do you think of these examples of sexualizing young girls?  And more importantly, will you be attending the Twitter discussion of sexualization to make your voice heard???


  1. I'm so glad you're writing about this. I've got an 11-y.o. and and 8-y.o. and I'm pleased to have you and other supporters to help me protect my girls and let them stay children as long as possible.

  2. I'm glad you're with us on this! I hope to see you at the #savegirlhood chat tomorrow night!


Design by Designer Blogs