No, this is not an X rated post. This is about some disturbing trends in tween-ville that I find disturbing and that I think you should know about so you can join me in my rage:
1. Pole dancing classes for kids. For real. There is a studio in BC that is getting some serious attention for offering a pole dancing class for children. There is a child as young as five that is registered to take part. If I weren’t so scared of inappropriate sexual innuendo I would make a joke about gagging! The woman offering the classes maintains that this class is all about upper body fitness and flexibility and that it has nothing to do with teaching sexually provocative moves. Sure, except that the apparatus you are using to teach the class is meant for naked women to climb up and down on, showing their naughty bits and it is usually covered in vaseline. In reading up on this I discovered that there are actually pole dancing competitions in Russia where children as young as 7 are allowed to take part. Really?
2. Lingerie stores offering clothing for tween girls. Again, for real. Places like Victoria’s Secret and La Senza both have clothing lines for young girls. The line from VS is called Pink. Does anyone else think ‘vagina’ when they hear that? I really don’t think it is a good idea for 11 year olds to be buying off-the-shoulder t-shirts next to a mannequin wearing a g-string and garter belts. This sends a mixed message don’t you think? Like, “hey, buy this other stuff and wear it to entice boys and be sexy”. This is not something young girls should feel compelled and/or pressured to do.
3. Blow job parties and sex bracelets. These are real things. Kids as young as 11 and 12 are attending BJ parties in basements where the boy who has the most colours of lipstick on his pre-pubescent junk wins. Sex bracelets (my term) are those old jelly bracelets we used to wear in the 90s but now they are color coded to indicate which type of sexual favor you have given to boys. Kids are talking in code with their jewelry and they are talking dirty!
5. Online sex chatting.
6. Bratz dolls. I freaking hate those things.
I could go on. My point is that I am afraid for my daughters as they grow up in this increasingly scary world. I believe that kids should stay kids as long as possible because once they see and learn about certain things they can never un-see and unlearn them. We are in a world that sends such mixed messages: Be a strong and independent woman or girl but trade on your looks and sexual prowess in order to be desirable. Be attractive – this is a must, but make sure you are offended if someone comments on your looks. Have a perfect body but don’t put too much emphasis on it. Flaunt your body. Don’t flaunt your body. How are my girls supposed to navigate all these conflicting messages and believe me when I say that they is perfect just the way they are? How are they supposed to believe that in order to have friends and be popular they doesn’t have to flash their boobs online or be bitchy to other girls? I strongly believe that I will be a present parent who instills good values, is strict, fair and a good role model. I am lucky enough to be well-equipped and informed about all the risks out there. I know lots of amazing parents who still found their kids facing incredible challenges with body image, confidence and sexual maturity. I was one of those kids, and my parents were and are incredible. What chance do I have?
This all makes me very pissed. It makes me angry about ulterior motives of big business, shady marketing and companies with no moral compass and social conscience. I shouldn’t have to be shielding my children from land mines like this as they grows up. What makes me more incredulous is the fact that there are a lot of people out there walking around thinking that things like pole dancing for kids and clothes from lingerie stores are no big deal and they are just for fun. They really believe that these things are innocuous and harmless. They believe the bullcrap that is fed to them. Now THAT is scary. I do not believe that BS and my kids will not be signing up for classes.
Girls have it tough and struggles start at a very young age. They don’t need any more ridiculous things to avoid and be wary of. Just stop people! Just stop! Play my little ponies, have tea parties, play a sport, go play outside (in sensible clothes), spend time with your families and just be KIDS!