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Saturday, 17 April 2010

Goodbye to Girlhood

“As Pop Culture Targets Ever Younger Girls, Psychologists Worry About a Premature Focus on Sex and Appearance.”- A quote from the Washington Post back in 2007. Today in Great Britain we read of padded bras being sold by Primark to seven year old girls. Perhaps they have done us a favour. The outcry has been such that they have been withdrawn from sale and highlighted a sickening trade.

The Scotsman reported that several other stores including Next, Tammy, Tesco and Peacocks were selling similar items and that Primark was also stocking underwear aimed at young girls bearing the slogan "You've scored".

From yesterday’s Guardian, “Retailers came under increased pressure today to take sexualised clothing for young girls off their shelves, after it emerged that shoes for eight-year-olds with three-inch heels were being sold on the high street. A survey by the Guardian found an array of items available in major chains, from a T-shirt for a three-year-old bearing the slogan "Future WAG" to a top for a toddler with a pink bikini appliquéd on the front.”

From the Mail OnLine, “Young girls are being targeted with a shocking array of overtly sexual clothing and accessories by High Street stores. Products on offer include a 'first make-up' kit for five year-olds, high heels for three-year-olds, and T-shirts that boast 'future footballer's wife' for a two-year-old.” Even “Marks & Spencer offers a particularly skimpy green wave bikini with a halterneck top, string ties and high leg briefs for girls of six and up. All of these bikinis are very close to the product that Primark has decided to remove from shelves, but for the fact they do not have padding.”

From The Guardian Magazine, “Twenty-five years ago, children wanted to be teachers, bankers, doctors. Now they want to be celebrities.” The tragedy is that many parents are already trapped in the same culture. As a “mum of 2, in a quiet room” commented on the Mail article,Just because these items are on sale does not mean that anyone who will be 'shocked' or 'horrified' by them has to buy them. I wish that some people would just lighten up a bit.

Penny Nicholls of the Children’s Society sums up the problem admirably when she said “There is a big distinction between children dressing up for fun and retailers producing items of clothing that target children and encourage premature sexualisation.” But who are worse? The sick retailers who put profit before the wellbeing of children or the people who buy this rubbish in dumbed down Britain?

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