today’s girls are called slores [slutty whores in modern day girl speak] who are thinspired [thinspiration boards on pinterest] and who have developed major instacurity from viewing and posting selfies constantly on instagram. some of them become victims of cyberbullying or are cyberbullyers themselves. they are all hijinked at some point.
the growing generation of female voyeurs on instagram and elsewhere are causing girls to become more and more obsessive about their looks. thus the reason for selfies!
sadly, the only benefactors from making little girls obsess with their looks are the multibillion-dollar beauty & diet industries. these industries get them young, objectify them, and sexualise them. girls are made to believe that they are what they own and how they look. they’re made to know that their value is strictly dependent on external approval. industries peddle unattainable ideals of beauty to ensure they are forever hooked, addicted to a never-ending cycle of consumerism as they try to look like the photoshopped girl in the magazine or the doll with the pin sized waistline.
the impact is significant: eating disorders are increasing all over the world and impacting girls that are still in pre-school and high-profile institutions are concerned with the effects of this rising sexualization.
dr. Jennifer Shewmaker defines sexualization as treating other people and oneself as an object of desire, with their value primarily from sex appeal and physical attractiveness. when someone is repeatedly sexualized, they begin to think of and treat their own body as an object of other people’s desires, called self-objectification. self objectification is the price paid by young girls as they enter their teen years. they’re pressured to follow the values and behaviors of celebrities like Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, discarding professions that do not fit in with the stereotype, abandoning influential futures in STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), showing lack of interest for leadership roles etc.
sexualization is NOT about healthy sexual development! all people are sexual beings and have desires and thoughts that are a natural part of development.
i remember reading about a father’s concern in nytimes last year on 2013/05/12 in “A Line Between Sweet and Skimpy” in which he expressed the shock of his 8yr old daughters wearing provocatively drooped clothes, offering peekaboos of their bodies. this father had always told his girls that it didn’t matter what they wore, but who they are, until he saw them dressed pole-dancerly. one of the girls even threw back at him “but i thought you didn’t care about what we wear!” henceforth, the father changed his lines.
some specialists attribute this sexualization of young girls to the pornification of culture or the easy availability of pornography on the internet which has made its way into styles and popular culture, with their offerings of push-up bras and leather mini skirts for first to fifth graders.
sarah murnen, professor psychology at Kenyon College, evaluated 5666 items of girl’s clothing on 15 popular websites to determine whether they were ‘childlike’, ‘sexualizing’ or ‘adultlike’ and found 29.4 % of the items had sexualizing characteristics. she found that the percentage of provocative clothing in girls’ magazines has more than doubled since 1971.
the problem doesn’t however stop at young girl’s age. when adults look at girls dressed in sexualized clothing they take them less seriously and teachers assume they’re less intelligent, says murnen. but girls are not prepared to withstand sophisticated efforts by corps which prey on girls’ desire to be popular says psychologist joyce mcfadden.
the american psychologist association grew so alarmed with the objectification of girls in popular culture that in 2005 it set up a task force with the hope of bringing attention to marketers and media to be more reflective about the kinds of girls they were presenting: http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx
the sexualization of young girls has become increasingly thorny and will only grew worse with more and more sophisticated technology. adults have to teach these young girls that it’s the size of their heart that matters, not waist line. empower them from within and teach them that passions & achievements matter most at a certain age, otherwise time’s up and the arrow of time has sped away! teach them to be leaders, not followers and not pressure them to “grow up too fast” – to become adults (or adult-like) before they have the cognitive function to think through their choices.