Girls are being oversexualized by the media and by clothing companies, but we’re too politically correct to accuse these companies of oversexualizing our daughters for a profit. It is not acceptable to exploit the youth of our innocent children by turning them into sexual beings. We have a moral responsibility to our own daughters to choose age-appropriate clothing for them, but we can also object to the trend that encourages younger girls to buy and wear clothes that would be too revealing or too provocative even for much older girls.
Stephanie Papas, a blogger, says that some clothing stores like Gymboree and target tend to manufacture more appropriate clothes for girls which resulted in girls at the top of the age group decline to wear the clothes because they looked juvenile. Sarah Murnen, a social psychologist who was interviewed for the article disputes a claim about sexualized clothing, saying that even though parents might have viewed the clothing as sexual, the children themselves did not.
I think clothing for little girls is definitely sexualized. In a study done by time magazine, 30% of clothing that is manufactured and advertised to young girls has “sexualized characteristics”. Sexualized clothing is considered anything revealing that emphasizes a specific body part, has a suggestive saying written on it, or looks like something a mature woman would wear. Women are sexual beings, young girls are not. But the propaganda perpetuated from this new trend could make mature men see these girls in a light they should not be in.
Target, one of the largest retail brands for children, was considered one of the biggest offenders as well as Abercrombie Kids. One blogger called out target saying that their clothing for her young daughter was significantly shorter and smaller than at other retailers. The problem this blogger had with the Target clothing was that because their clothes were significantly shorter than other brands, she felt as though the shorter clothes were objectifying her daughter into being seen as “sexy” compared to longer lengthed clothing representing childhood. This blog gained attention and support on the internet as many mothers began sharing and weighing in on what is considered a growing problem. The growing problem is very complex. It is the whole full circle effect of these clothes being marketed for little girls, consumers buying the clothes for their children, this trend growing, and therefore, squeezing out more modest options due to the fact they are no longer in demand. Sarah Murnen, a professor of psychology at Kenyon College, along with her team of researchers found that on only 15 online stores in the united states there was a total of 5,666 items of girls clothing that were classified as sexualized. Murnen concluded that wearing the clothing could possibly contribute to the development of self-esteem issues and other psychological problems. Self-esteem issues due to short clothing can stem from the fact that girls do not like the way they look, and therefore use this short clothing as a way to get attention to make themselves feel better.
“Study: 30% of Young Girls’ Clothing Is ‘Sexualized’ | TIME.com.” NewsFeed Study 30 of Young Girls Clothing Is Sexualized Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.
Taylor, Dr. Jim. “The Disturbing Sexualization of Really Young Girls.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.