Today, when I was perusing my twitter feed, I saw a link to a story about “loungerie” for little girls. The story had some pictures, and I was so horrified that I don’t even want to link to them. Needless to say, these pictures featured little girls in full makeup, and pearls, and one had a little girl lounging on a chaise lounge wearing a top knotted up high on her chest and a pair of pink panties. I don’t know about you, but in my eyes, this is completely inappropriate. By publishing pictures like this and styling children like they are grown women, I really wonder what messages we are sending to our little girls, the next generation.
What happened to allowing kids to be kids? It is one thing to get “dressed up” in Mommy’s clothes and shoes, and an entirely different thing to be photographed scantily clad and posted in magazines and on websites around the world. How do we expect little girls to accept themselves for who and what they are when at the age of 4, we are already encouraging them to wear lingerie? The whole thing completely disgusts me.
On another note, I recently participated in a free community event with my dance studio. The studio was one of the sponsors of the event, and it was a free evening in the park filled with music, food and entertainment. As I mentioned in my last post, my studio teaches aerial arts, including pole, and there was a pole set up for demonstration purposes, as well as a hoop and some silks. The demos were completely tasteful acts of athleticism and artistry, and everyone seemed to be completely enchanted by the display. Then, a couple of days later, a photo surfaced on Facebook, with the comment about how inappropriate it was for a pole performance to have happened at a family event. There was NOTHING sexual about the performance, it was just a show of strength moves and vertical gymnastics. A debate ensued, in which people spoke about how children should never be exposed to these sorts of things, because they were too sexual. My favourite part of the picture was the little girls in the background watching the performance with awe and admiration on their faces.
Children don’t need to be taught what to do on a pole. That is why they are found in playgrounds. Remember the fireman’s pole? Kids just naturally want to climb and spin and slide on poles. They don’t know anything different, and we, as the adults, as society as a whole, are the ones who teach them different. Why can’t they be allowed to have their innocence? They don’t need to know that some people who use poles are also taking off their clothes. As it turns out, a lot of people who are pole artists are NOT doing anything of the sort. We really need to let go of our own predjudices and see things for what they are, in this case, a fantastic sport that has world cup competitions and is nothing more than another form of gymnastics.
WE as a society are the ones who seem to be quick to sexualize our kids. WE are the ones who can change that. And I really believe that unless we do, our kids are going to be in trouble.