The Washington Post has a troubling article today called “Goodbye to Girlhood” highlighting the nauseating trend of younger and younger girls being taught to be “sexy” with their bodies, their clothes, and their attitudes. Some of the more jarring quotes from the article:
Ten-year-old girls can slide their low-cut jeans over “eye-candy” panties. French maid costumes, garter belt included, are available in preteen sizes. Barbie now comes in a “bling-bling” style, replete with halter top and go-go boots. And it’s not unusual for girls under 12 to sing, “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”
“Throughout U.S. culture, and particularly in mainstream media, women and girls are depicted in a sexualizing manner,” declares the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, in a report issued Monday. The report authors, who reviewed dozens of studies, say such images are found in virtually every medium, from TV shows to magazines and from music videos to the Internet.
…in 2003, tweens — that highly coveted marketing segment ranging from 7 to 12 — spent $1.6 million on thong underwear, Time magazine reported.
Here is the link to the APA’s report.
Reading the article and report leave me angry and dumbfounded – angry because it feels like true evil is stalking our kids and no one is really paying much attention to it. What name does this evil go by? Jesus called it mammon – greed, avarice, the seeking of material gain. Mammon seems to rule our culture – we have to sell more and more stuff to more and more people (especially kids) so that companies can reap greater and greater profits. Where does it end? Apparently it doesn’t end by selling thongs to 7-year-old girls.
I feel ill and I feel grateful. I feel ill because this is going on all around me. And selfishly, I feel grateful because my girls aren’t part of it. Thank God – truly – that my 11-year-old and 9-year-old care most about their birds and dogs and breeding rodents. Ok, the ‘rodents’ are actually rats but they are kind of cute white and black hooded and dumbo rats – high-class rats. That once made me squeamish. No more.
Sometimes, like now, the realization hits me that this is far too much to pray for in our world. At the top of the list is the wrenching poverty and disease that controls billions. Theirs is a poverty of want. But also on the list are things like the sexualization of our children. That is a poverty of riches. Jesus, please, please protect your children.