Monday, September 19, 2011

Sexualization in Society

These two articles from the Deseret News were just too good to pass up.  Kudos to the Deseret News for publishing them.

The end of innocence: The cost of sexualizing kids

A few quotes from both articles:

"As a society, we know more about women who look good than we know about women who do good," (first article).

(The rest are from the 2nd article.)

While saying no is a natural parental instincts, he says the optimal approach is to help their child understand why a certain TV show or piece of clothing is not OK. "You'd be surprised at how reasonable children can be when rules are accompanied by an explanation," he says. "Children are always learning. If they're not learning from their mothers or fathers, they are going to learn from other sources."


Jenny Wykstra, a registered nurse from West Jordan, has figured out a way to help guide her three children without just saying something is bad or wrong.

She watches TV with her teens, 15, 14 and 13. And she pays attention to what they are looking at on the computer. When something sets off the alarm bells in her brain — and it happens a lot — she asks them questions.
"Wow, check out that girl's outfit. What do you think of it?"

She's genuinely interested, she says. But she's also guiding them through a process of analyzing things critically. "What do you think they're trying to sell?" she asks when a model runs her fingers through her luxurious hair for a shampoo commercial. "Is it just shampoo?"


Levin traces the introduction of the "sexualized childhood" to the mid-1980s deregulation of TV ads for children by the Federal Communications Commission, which allowed development of toys directly related to programming.


"What's going on here in 21st Century America is a war of values," wrote Annie Fox, a Cornell graduate who has written several books on teens. "On one side, parents doing their best to raise healthy young adults. And what are we up against? The marketing might of multi-billion dollar corporations. You probably don't need anyone to tell you who's winning."


"One girl told me [dressing provocatively] made her feel wanted," Evert says. "I told her, 'What are you hoping for — to be gawked at or to be loved? What do you want to be wanted for? If a guy really cares, he should want you for more than your body parts. I always tell the girls 'You will never convince boys of your dignity until you convince yourself.' "


On Aug. 31, 1,600 people used the Internet to protest a shirt being sold on JC Penney's website. The $10 shirt was emblazoned with "I'm Too Pretty to Do Homework, So My Brother Has to Do It for Me." The ad copy with it said, "Who has time for homework when there's a new Justin Bieber album out? She'll love this tee that's just as cute and sassy as she is."

Within four hours of the launch of an online petition drive by, JC Penny yanked the shirt off its shelves, overwhelmed by the response.


And of course, there were several quotes/references to the Kite sisters from Beauty Redefined!  Go girls!