Our society says it's ok. We tell girls that the only way they will be seen as valuable is when they are "wanted." The sexualization of girls far too early is a problem. It's not cute."
Our society says it's ok. We tell girls that the only way they will be seen as valuable is when they are "wanted." The sexualization of girls far too early is a problem. It's not cute. It's harmful and leaves lasting scars that our daughters carry for life.
About six years ago the APA (American Psychological Association) released a report called "The Sexualization of Girls." It's a pretty heavy duty, comprehensive(not light reading) study that presented evidence that the because our girls are dealing with a deluge of sexualized images trying to sell everything from hamburgers (shame on you, Hardee's) to Halloween costumes, we are dealing with increased levels of depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders.
It often begins with something appearing as innocent as a "cute" Halloween costume. As a society, we are asking our daughters to get older at younger and younger ages. Scary.
As parents, we've got to fight the constant inundation that our daughters are faced with. We have to allow them to be young and innocent as long as possible. To allow them to dress as sexy, (young and innocent) girls is doing a great deal of damage.
Would you allow your daughter at 16 to wear the sexy costume that she's wearing at 6? If not, then you shouldn't be allowing it now. This referee costume is the perfect example. It may appear "cute" at 6 but at 16, you're definitely sending a different kind of message dressed in that. (Side note: how many refs have you seen dressed in short skirts?)
The "Monster High" line of costumes that Wal-Mart is currently selling like hotcakes again, leaves a young girl appearing far older and embracing her sexuality at an age that she is not nearly ready to do so.
If my daughter wanted to be Red Riding Hood, she wouldn't have a super short skirt and her breasts (or in the cast of most kids, non breasts) accentuated by a bustier. Come on, parents. Really?! Dads, tell your daughters that they are precious and valued beyond measure. Parents, talk to your daughters about ways to highlight her strengths or personality traits. Helping her to think like this will produce a healthier self-esteem down the road.
Diane Levin in her book, "So Sexy So Soon" says that “These costumes set girls up to be looked at as objects by men, and also lead them to see themselves as objects to be ogled. Yet every year costumes are getting sluttier.”
Parents, our daughters are not objects.
They need to be protected.
This is a battle worth fighting.
Be willing to say "no."
The way your daughter will view herself five years down the road will change her life. There's nothing "cute" about eating disorders, depression, and the results of low self-esteem are literally life changing.
Dads, I really believe that you are the ones who will be the agents of change in your homes in areas such as these. Stand up to the pressure of society to have your daughters constantly worried about the way she looks, often desiring to appear older. Remind her that you treasure her for WHO SHE IS, not what she looks like. She's not an object to be ogled.