Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Pornogrification of Our Children

I know that I've resisted this trend with my daughter, and other, more erudite writers than myself have taken on this subject with much more tact or humor than I have, but I'm beginning to notice images about women and young girls on TV more and more that are disturbing.

First, tweens and elementary school girls: (K-6)
Don't turn my six-year old into a skank! - That's what this section should be called. Check this video out from Good Morning America:

via (click on link to activate). This is a lame embedded video.

I've read parts of Celia Rivenbark's book and had a great laugh but also cringed at some of the more truth to power moments when she nailed the permissive parents for giving in to their daughters who wanted to dress like a hoochie momma. I highly recommend this book, and no, I'm not getting paid for this endorsement.

I saw this article on Salon's Broadsheet page this morning about HSM panties with the logo "Dive In" emblazoned on the front. Didn't anyone in the Disney production or marketing process say, "WHOA! Hold on a minute here! Do we want little girls wearing panties that say 'DIVE IN!" on them?" Apparently not.

MSNBC covers one more story in the long list of the decline of world civilization: when is it a good time to allow your daughter to get a bikini wax? I kid you not. Mothers are bringing their daughters in to have their eyebrows, legs, bikini lines, upper lips (and even one, the young girl's back). In the case of the girl's back, the girl didn't have a problem with her back hair but the mom did. One salon in NYC that perform these waxings will give discounts to girls 8 years and up b/c their "virgin hair" can be removed permanently removed, thereby fewer waxing visits in the long run. Short term pain, long term gain. To be fair, this is just one salon in NYC, but their owner did tell an interviewer from the New York Post that waxing should begin in 1st grade.

There's also a new book out there called So Sexy, So Soon by Diane Levin and Jean Kilbourne. I'm very familiar with Kilbourne's work, especially Killing Us Softly, a video series that we have used in our 10th grade English classrooms to discuss the toxic effects of advertising on women's self image and what it can do to men's expectations for beauty/sex/friendship and everything else. In essence, advertising infantilizes and objectifies women - something many thinking people already know.

More later. Duty calls.

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