Nowadays children are deprived of their childhood through a unacceptable demand on the speed of growing up. Within advertisements, media consumption, magazines and fashion the generation of children today is used for the image of innocence and for the youth obsession of adults. This depiction of children on posters, in commercials etc., risks softening attitudes towards abuse’ and plays down sexual intentions towards kids.
Also many fashionable clothes have been designed in order to portray even 5 year´s old’s as sexy objects. Underwear with signs like “dive in”, push up bra´s and beauty competitions in the UK and USA are rather concerning. Kids with tons of make up, spray tanned, false lashes and faked teeth are sent on a catwalk to express themselves in front of a audience in sexy poses and to make a full performance.
New toys like the modern barbie is now moveable in all possible directions. If the normal barbie is now even to unspectacular, the new “Bratz”- dolls, with its over sized eyes and super sexy outfits, are available. Also these can be topped by the “monster high” dolls. That this leads to an unhealthy way of growing up, to wrong imaginations and to low self esteem, seems to be quite clear. What we should ask ourselves is what values we want to give to the next generation of children.
Either if you are pedagogue, teacher, parent or just a concerned person, this movement can just be stopped by people who don´t support it. Important steps for that is to make children aware of this topic, to look for conversations with them and clarify all questions they have, not to buy this “supersexy” toys, such as modern barbies, nor underwear that is made for adults and of course to give back childhood to our children.
This topic and also other ways of making our kids to little adults, we will discuss in the next W(e) DID workshop on Thursday the 13th of March.