An entire generation of young girls is being psychologically damaged by the onslaught of marketing tactics surrounding inappropriate “sexy” children’s fashions, toys, music, books and sexualized images in the media, and parents should be very concerned.
A controversial clothing company drew fire from parents after it began marketing padded bikini tops in its latest swimsuit line at abercrombie kids, the company's shop for boys and girls.
They might not even be in training bras yet, but for girls who shop at Abercrombie & Fitch, it's never too early for a padded swimsuit.
For those who aren't ready to be sporting breasts before puberty, the clothing store also offers lightly lined swimsuit tops.
But the multiple options aren't pacifying critics who say the company is sexualizing children and pushing them to grow up too quickly.
"You should be ashamed!" one commenter wrote on the company's website. "Remove the suits from the stores!"
"Shame on you for sexualizing small children," another added. "In a world where parents work hard to keep their children safe, you go and make little girls look like they have breasts? Perverts."
The sexualization of children and adolescents epidemic has been all over the news and across the internet, partly due to the recent announcement from Mattel, Inc and Nickelodeon that Dora the Explorer is going skank, but also because of the new Tattoo Barbie, Pregnant Barbie and other toys for children and clothes that are sexualizing girls and boys at a very young age.
CNN’s headline report “Dora the Explorer Going Skank, Moms Fear” quickly became a hot topic on various forums and social networking sites including Twitter, with users poking fun at upset moms and dads who fear their children are being targeted by media moguls and marketers to grow up faster than children should.
Sexualizing children is not funny and it’s not a joke, and if parents don’t start paying attention to what the American Psychological Association (APA) report found to be the growing trend to sexualize young girls and boys through video games, television shows, movies, music videos, song lyrics, magazines, clothing styles and toys, you’ll find yourself scratching your head wondering what happened to your little prince or princess well before they reach the teen years.
The definition of the sexualization of young girls or boys means to “make sexual in character or quality”, and sexualized images suggest “sexual availability to the exclusion of other personal characteristics and qualities”, which is inappropriate, obscene, and harmful for young children.
The abercrombie tops were originally marketed as "push up triangle" until bloggers began slamming them earlier this week, Racked.com pointed out.
While the company may be ducking fire for its latest questionably marketed clothing, over sexualizing tweens is not new ground for Abercrombie, which stirred up controversy when it started selling thongs to pint sized customers in 2002.
Last year, Primark, a major British clothing retailer sparked protests after it tried to market padded bikini tops for kids. It eventually pulled the tops after politicians, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, voiced concerns over the swimsuits.
In a culture in which the sexualization of childhood is big business and — mainstream mega-corporations such as Disney earn billions by marketing sexy products to children too young to understand their significance, is it any wonder that pedophiles feel emboldened to claim that they shouldn't be ostracized for wanting sex with children? On an Internet bulletin board, one self-avowed "girl lover" offered a critique of this week's New York Times series on pedophilia: "They fail, of course, to mention the hypocrisy of Hollywood selling little girls to millions of people in a highly sexualized way."
There are plenty of good reasons to worry about children and sex. But if we want to get to the heart of the problem, we should obsess a little less about whether the neighbor down the block is a dangerous pedophile — and we should worry a whole lot more about good old-fashioned capitalism, which is busy serving our children up to pedophiles on a corporate platter.
It is in the interest of people who believe in a sexual revolution, not only to smash the barriers that inhibit their own sexuality, but to shatter barriers that limit any sexuality. When one door opens, all doors open. Beyond the sexual, there is also a concerted campaign to marginalize the established family, encourage universal and communal childcare and increase the rights of the child and thus weaken the authority of the parent.
Yes, they will sell anything. Your health. Your future. Your child.