The number of advertisements, magazines, music videos and fashion products targeting kids and teenagers is appearing more than ever on the media these days. They use children as models, dress them up with stunning outfits, make them look gorgeous and teach them adult poses. And boom, this is what we have:
Of course, who doesn’t want to be beautiful, to be gorgeous, to be sexy? Who doesn’t want to be praised? Nobody. Especially girls. That’s a normal needs. Therefore, they copy what they found in the magazines or the Internet and dress just like them. Short skirts, triangle bikini or slim fit dress are all attractive. Wearing these things could make them look mature and be admired by many fellows.
But the matter is children are absorbing and misunderstanding about their bodies, gender roles and sexuality because of the distorted messages from the media. And sex education for kids is still somewhat of a taboo. In fact, there are not many parents can handle this delicately. Furthermore, sadly, children prefer to take advice from the media and friends rather than from parents, because they believe that it’s right and more unprejudiced. It’s called the ”adultification” of children, where sexualising messages combine with the commercialisation of childhood to constrict the childhood years.
”I’d hate to be a kid now, because we’re all inundated with so much information about sexuality coming at us from everywhere – the media, the advertising billboards, just everywhere – and it must be so confusing for them,” the 60-year-old told Ireland’s Catholic Herald.
If this situation keep continuing, I’m afraid that the definition of the word “childhood” will completely change. It’s time the media and the corporates thought again about their roles and the impact of inappropriate images on children. And one more thing I’d like to mention is the role of parents. Most of them immediately blame for the media when there’s something happens that forget they should be the ones to guide their children. It’s better to keep their children home instead of taking them to the Bangerz concert then criticize Miley Cyrus while already being announced that the show is 18+.
- Squires, W2013, “Sex sells but we’re paying the price”, The Age
- Reist, M2012, “Sex sells, but we’re selling out our children”, The Sydney morning herald