Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

What effect today's pop culture is having on little girls

8 May 2012Now, I'm no prude, and I don't know if this is a sign that I'm getting old or not, but I have to agree with an article in the Telegraph that I read this morning about children dressing too provocatively for their age.

According to Australian University studies, researcher Lesley-Anne Ey, discovered that due to the raunchy, adult themes and content surrounding today's pop music world, children, most concerning, little girls, are beginning to mimic their idols' behaviour, dress sense and dance moves.

Why they needed a University study to determine this is unclear, because all you need to do is look around at your children, your niece's, children's friends, at the dance moves being performed in school concerts these days, and you will see inappropriate, adult behaviour from little girls as young as three going on everywhere.

Some say that the stores are to blame for selling age inappropriate clothing for young girls, some think it's due to the production of sexualised music video clips and song lyrics, and others are simply blaming the parents for not monitoring their children more closely. I say, it's a combination of all three aspects.

For example, I know two families; both have girls around the same age. One lot grew up in a lower income, single parent environment, where the children were a lot freer to do and watch what they wanted. The other lot grew up in a slightly better environment economically, where both parents are happily married, and the children were strictly monitored, having rules enforced on them, about what they were and weren't allowed to watch on television.

Now both families' girls are growing up beautifully, with great personalities and big hearts, but out of the older girls, the one who had a more relaxed environment, has grown up to look and act much older than the girl from the more restrictive family. Though neither is out dating or doing drugs, if you had photos of each girl side by side, one would clearly look their age, while the other could pass for a young woman, much older than her years. Discussions are also very different between the two, where one knows quite a lot about adult topics, the other is rightly so, still very naïve and innocent.

It is hard to keep children away from television, especially if you've got more than one child to look after, but with the types of music videos that are being released nowadays, it's no surprise children are acting so inappropriately for their ages; bumping and grinding to songs about sex and drinking. If you wouldn't let your child watch a 15+ rated movie or television show, then they shouldn't be allowed to watch music videos that contain similar content.

But this blame shouldn't all be placed on the parents'; the music industry should take some responsibility too. Maybe video clips should be rated, and raunchier ones only shown late at night? They bleep out words such as gun and ass, so they should do the same for the actual film clips as well, or have artists make two versions of the clip: one for daytime with a general rating, and one for night time with a 15+ rating.

Some of the music videos that are currently around are extremely raunchy. Especially when you compare them to the pop music that was around when I was growing up, like Vanessa Williams, Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benetar and Blondie. Their film clips were only about big hair, big perms, bright make-up, cheesy storylines and even tackier dance moves, but it was all innocent and non-threatening.

As for clothes being too provocative and grown up, this is a touchy subject for me. As my regular followers know, I stand at only 3 feet tall, so finding clothes to fit a 3 foot tall, 27 year old woman, is pretty challenging. After all, there is no extra chest room in children's clothes, so I usually have to buy ladies tops, which fit a little bit too loosely on me. Luckily though, I'm handy with a sewing machine!

I do love the clothes and shoes that are available at the moment though. Because they are so grown up looking, I can shop in the kids department, find most things that fit me right, and I don't look like I've been vomited on by a pink fairy.

If ratings came in on clothing, and children only had the choice to dress like little children, I will be in trouble! But, from a parental point of view, I do agree that I wouldn't want my child wearing some of the things I see kids walking around in these days. They can be too sexualised. And it leaves girls open to unknowingly attracting the wrong type of male attention. They are too young to realise what the potential dangers are, so if you do choose to buy the adorable, grown up looking clothes for your five year old, maybe put a normal top, or leggings, underneath, so less skin is shown. Then we'd all win. But, I would completely understand if parents overturned the decision for clothing companies to manufacture adult looking children's clothes.

To view the story from The Daily Telegraph, click here: http

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