Happy Friday, Dear Readers!
Having a friendly little debate seemed to work well last week, so let's try it again. I really hope some parents will chime in for this topic, as I don't have children and therefore don't have the level of experience with this topic that those with kids (especially daughters) will.
Last week, a CNN contributor by the name of LZ Granderson raised hell when he wrote an article blaming parents for dressing their young daughters like "tramps". If you haven't already read the article, you can do so here: http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/04/19/granderson.children.dress/index.html
Understandably, parents--and particularly mothers--were incensed at the finger of blame that was being pointed at them. You can read some typical reactions here: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2011/04/this-is-so-worst-thing-youre-going-to_19.html
Now, I do think some of the stones being thrown at Granderson are unnecessary. I don't think he's a pedophile, and I don't think he's really going to break his son's legs. He was being provocative and inflammatory to prove his point--a point that pissed a lot of people off.
Since I don't have children, I'm not around them enough to see much evidence of this disturbing trend. The school groups that come into the museum where I work tend to be dressed appropriately, from what I've seen. The cute little girls look like cute little girls. But I have experienced how difficult it is to find clothes that deviate from what is currently in fashion. If you don't want to wear jeans that make you look like a plumber, you have just one other option...the so-called "Mom" jeans, and who wants to wear those? So you buy the low-rise, butt crack be damned! If it's that difficult for grown women to find options, I can easily believe it's just as challenging for parents shopping for their kids.
Toddlers wearing bikinis isn't new. Any old photo I look at from the seventies had little girls in two-piece bathing suits, but no one thought it was provocative then--it was cute. And midriff-baring isn't new, either--I remember receiving several "crop tops" for my thirteenth birthday, and they weren't considered sleazy. My mother didn't have a problem with them.
What do you think, Dear Readers? Is this a problem? Are our daughters being "sexualized" too young? If so, is it the fault of the parents or the manufacturers?