I’m going to plop a theory on the table of life this morning. I will warn you: it’s a bit feministic so feel free to shield your children’s ears. I feel young girls are being injected by what I like to call slow-pedophilication. I look around these days and see that pedophilia has become acceptable, even chic, right under our noses. It isn’t called pedophilia because that word is too uncouth. It’s called flirty, sassy or redneckognize. Under this guise of “cuteness” has come a whole lotta disturbing images. From the looks of things, young boys and girls are the hottest commodity this side of slice bread, and always have been: from Nabokov to Polanski to a conference held in 2011 seeking to normalize pedophile, young people are sought after not only because of their youth, but mostly because of their naivety.
Hollywood and Madison Avenue are close bedfellows in this. Simply turn on TV or thumb through a magazine and you see it. In fact, a recent study found that girls as young as 6 consider themselves sex objects and want to be sexy. “Psychologists named clothing as a factor that encourages these youngsters to objectify themselves. This research was particularly disturbing given that “almost a third of girls’ clothing for sale at 15 major retailers [had] sexualizing characteristics.”
Mostly recently, actress Elizabeth Hurley caught fire for designing a line of girl’s bikinis which look like adult bikinis, strings and all. One design that’s held together by a ring is specifically for “girls [ages 8-13] who want to look grown up.”Grown up for who? The 44 year-old man next store? Look, I’m not saying that girl’s shouldn’t wear bikinis, I’m just saying that little girls, half-naked on a beach, is an invitation for trouble. After all, pedophile is another word for sex abuse, don’t you know?
Jen M.L., a mother of two who blogs at “People I Want To Punch In The Throat” agrees on that front. In a HuffPost blog, Jen says she is “horrified” by clothing selections when she takes her 4-year-old daughter shopping. She recounts a specific Easter shopping trip when “there were several dresses that looked like they should come with a complimentary pole and hooker heels!” But, Jen doesn’t blame the industry entirely. She also writes that consumers — parents specifically — should stop buying and supporting the production of such items. “If we’d just stop buying this misogynistic whore-wear maybe companies would stop trying to sell it to us.”
I’ve met victims of sex abuse. They suffer the worst kind of fate and spend years battling all sorts of problems like drug addiction, eating disorders and abusive relationships. The fallout is seen in their every day lives; they don’t value themselves because they’ve been objectified at a young age. This objectification spills over into adulthood and leaves many of these men and women scarred for life.
When it comes to young girls, instead of teaching them to love and value themselves, as themselves, we make them sexy for prying eyes with less than savory intentions. Moms, why are dressing your daughters this way and catering to criminals? What lives inside you that makes you project this image onto your daughter? How has your self-esteem been affected? The bar you’re setting is as low as the shirt your daughter is wearing. Believe me when I say she’ll thank you for making her smart – and resent you for making her sexy, especially if she becomes victimized. Step out of your comfort zone and start thinking independently. Being sexualized at a young age is not cute, – it’s exploitive. It’s sending a scary message: take advantage of me, I’m okay with that.
Dressing up to be sexy for someone begs the question of why? Why do you have to be sexy for someone other than yourself? This is an attitude of true sexiness because it projects a feeling of confidence and personal power, two qualities a pedophile can’t stand. Remember pedophiles pray on children because they lack the power within themselves to have normal, healthy, adult relationships. They need control over someone to feel in control. Their intentions have nothing to do with the feelings of the individuals they harm. Think about it: the beauty of a child is its innocence. To rob that innocence because someone selfishly wants to “get off” is an abomination. It’s also the direction we’re headed unless we step up and make a change. To me, that change begins with ourselves. As adults we must set the tone and show our sons and daughters how to be powerful, confident and protective of their sexuality; teach them how to lead with their minds not with their bodies. After all, knowing who you are and what you want – not what others expect you to be – is the ultimate definition of sexy.
Okay, I’ve stepped off my soapbox now. Let me know what you think about today’s topic. Let’s get a real discussion going before the Feds show up at my door and cart me away for being a feminist (which I might add has become a dirtier word than pedophile – just saying). You’ll notice I didn’t even make mention of Toddler’s and Tiaras…that’s a WHOLE other topic for another time.