There must be people buying it. I mean, they wouldn’t be selling it if someone—no, a whole host of people, were buying it. Someone thinks it’s cute to dress their little girls up like their own portable “mini-me” replete with toddler bras, heavy make-up, and high heels. Is it time to get a grip? Anyone? Anyone?
Now I must come clean here—I had the Super Girl underroos when I was about 5 years old. I loved them. I was so excited to wear the Super Girl “bra” top which was really just a half undershirt—but I was smitten. Yup—100% stretch polyester. Those were the days.
I didn’t feel sexualized. I felt like Super Girl. Transporting myself in my own private “phone booth” and while other people didn’t know it- I was Super Girl underneath it all. It was fun. It was play. Who didn’t want to look like Super Girl?
I also played in my mother’s make-up. I had a whole bag of it. I remember sitting my friend Jennifer on the make up “chair” in the bathroom (toilet) and covering her face with gobs of the stuff. What would start out as an attempt to do something “pretty” or “beautiful” always ended up looking like a deranged clown– on purpose. Mom definitely didn’t let us leave the house that way. It was fun. It was play. Who doesn’t like to play with make-up?
Oh…and the shoes. Mom had a lot of them and yes, I did try them on! I think she was always relieved that I blew through her shoe size when I got older otherwise she may have only been left with a pair of bowling shoes. Actually…she didn’t have bowling shoes.
So, does this make me conflicted? Actually, not too much. I think there is a difference between playing dress up and dressing like an adult. There’s a difference between wanting to be like a superhero and getting padded bras for a 6 year old so she can feel more “grown-up.” There’s a difference between playing with make-up in your bathroom and walking out the door (other than to trick or treat) when you’re 4 years old. And there is certainly a difference between trying on your mother’s shoes and clunking around the house and going to a party dressed like a Sesame Street Walker.
Girls are feeling the pressure to grow up too fast too soon. Research certainly backs that up. From Bratz, to Disney Princesses, to Barbie to Lolita-like thongs for 2nd graders, many products have received some fire for their contribution. Where do we draw the line? Has it already been crossed?
But I would like to hear from you. Do you think girls are being sexualized with the heavy “adult” slant used to market to them? Or is it just the same old thing we did—updated for today? Do you think girls are growing up too fast—with 6 year olds acting like tweens—or are people in a dither over nothing?