Today the girls and I were out and about with a friend and her kids. As we were talking about the joys and challenges of kids, it came up that things have changed so much for kids today compared to when we were growing up. Life is a lot more complicated and harder for them in many ways. Granted, we side-step a lot of this because we home school, but we still see it.
As we were discussing why this sort of change came about, my friend brought up how incredibly sexualized our children are made out to be today. Examples included an ad. featuring young teens for a birth control pill that put having sex on the same level as going swimming, biking, shopping, etc. Other things like sales of thong underwear - for 8 yr olds! - and parenting magazines with articles about the latest "hot" new look for kindergardeners.
As we were talking, a woman walked by (wearing a low-cut tunic sweater, pants and CFM boots) with her daughter, who looked to be perhaps 5 yrs old. The kid was wearing a Playboy bunny t-shirt.
I suppose I should be glad the kid was in comfortable, otherwise ordinary clothes. Far better than the poor kids dressed up in crop tops, low riders and heels. But Playboy???? I don't know what was more shocking to me - that there even was such a thing as a child's t-shirt with the Playboy logo on it, or that any sane parent would have their kid wearing one. I mean, at that age, you can't say that the kid begged Mama for it. When they're that young, they really don't care. It's Mom and Dad that's dressing them.
One of the complaints Eldest has about finding clothes is that clothes for kids her age are, at best trendy pap or, at worst totally obscene. Where did anyone get the idea that dressing kids like porn stars was a good thing? And why do parents buy this stuff?
Yeah, sure, when the kids are older, they're often buying their own things. There's also the fact that this crap is aggressively marketed to them. Ultimately, though, it's up to the parents, and sometimes telling your kids "no" is exactly what they need to hear.
Or better still, some of these parents need to stop dressing their pre-schoolers as if they were dollish extensions of themselves.