It's Time We Stop Pretending Hyper-Sexualization Of Children Isn't An Issue, It Is

It's Time We Stop Pretending Hyper-Sexualization Of Children Isn't An Issue, It Is

It pisses me off when people prey on children. And it pisses me off, even more, when no one wants to notice it.

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I think it's time for society to take a truth pill. Although it will be hard to swallow, we'll all be better off in the end.

As each day goes by, more and more people want to ignore, discredit, and refute obvious societal problems. For example, systemic racism and gender inequality. No matter how much statistical evidence there is of racial groups being unfairly targeted in judicial and economic spheres or how many statistics they read about the gender pay gap or high prevalence of rape on college campuses, they can't seem to accept the truth.

Society is harming specific groups of people, and our lack of action against this harm is only working to fuel it.

Of course, the prevalence of those issues is far and wide. They are so overbearing that they demand our attention. Other issues, which are on a much smaller scale, are easy to overlook, or completely disregard in general. One issue that has been heavily on my mind lately is the hyper-sexualization of kids. It pisses me off when people prey on children. And it pisses me off, even more, when no one wants to notice it.

Over the years, there has been a change in how children are perceived and represented in the media. The first example that comes to mind is beauty pageants. I can't completely advocate against them since I did them as a kid and teenager. But I do have to call out when I see that young girls are steadily being pushed to

1) Wear more revealing clothing and act more provocatively and

2) Market themselves based solely on their body and appearance, which does nothing more than cause them to view themselves as objects.

Right off the bat, you can tell that these little girls are wearing more makeup and showing more skin than necessary. I hear the same tired argument over and over again — "Children showing skin isn't sexual!" which is a somewhat fair point. Most people don't feel sexual attraction to children, no matter what they're wearing (and the ones that do are not accepted by any means), but the problem isn't whether or not their bodies are sexual by nature.

The problem is that these children are put into positions where they can be victimized and preyed upon.

Yes, a pedophile might still see a young girl as sexually attractive even if she was wearing a burqa, but imagine how much worse it gets when she is wearing a lace bra, panties, and angel wings. Whether we want to admit it or not, certain fashion choices emit a different aura. The aura may not be accurate to the situation, but that doesn't change how it's perceived. When a model poses for Sports Illustrated, does she wear a turtleneck and cargo pants? No, she wears the tiniest bikini that she can find.

When little girls are wearing outfits made for grown women, how else is it supposed to be perceived?

A lot of women that I've heard from like to say that children's fashion choices shouldn't be policed just because there are sick people out there. They liken it to a woman "asking for rape" based on her fashion choices. But the difference is that as adults, we have responsibility for our children and the children in our community. I don't see how it is productive to push little girls into growing up too fast and emulating grown women. The difference between a little girl and an adult woman is that one is a sexually mature creature, while the other is not. Why do we think that we can allow the same fashion choices and behaviors for an adolescent girl and an older woman, and not expect sexual associations to be made?

And when that happens, not only are young girls more at risk of exploitation, but they are tricked into seeing themselves as sexual creatures.

Letting our young girls wear skimpy clothing, drench themselves in makeup, and gyrate to the latest hip-hop hits sends a terrible message to them. A young girl doesn't need to show off her body or obsess about her beauty. She needs to be encouraged to focus on things that matter, like her education, fostering kindness, and making worthwhile connections with the people in her life.

Now, I'm not saying that girls can't be in dance groups, can't dress up, or can't participate in beauty pageants — I'm saying that when they do these activities, it needs to be age-appropriate.

When we allow young girls to grow up too fast and feel as though they can dress and act like women, we are damaging their self-perception before they even have a chance to reach maturity. Right off the bat, they are told that their physical appearance is important and that it can bring them attention and praise. Not only that, but it makes them feel a false sense of maturity, which can push them into committing acts they most definitely are not ready to handle. Look at all of the "musical.ly girls" who are becoming famous: they are around the ages of 13, 14 and 15, and already they are over-sexualized and know that they can use their body to get attention.

We cannot idly stand by and condone this behavior. No matter which way you spin it, young girls will also be harmed by this.

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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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17 Things Girls Should Be Able To Wear Without Being Shamed

I'll show skin and wear bold makeup whether you like it or not.

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In this day and age, it proves almost impossible to do and wear certain things without being judged. As a girl, I have often refrained from buying certain articles of clothing or wearing my makeup a certain way because I know I will inevitably be judged for it.

Perhaps my top is too revealing, my jeans are too ripped, or my makeup is too bold. In my opinion, we shouldn't judge people for the way they express themselves. We should learn to love others, and through that, learn to love ourselves. More often than not, I find that I am not confident enough to wear the clothes I want because I know people will have negative things to say.

Worse enough, sometimes I'm not confident enough to even buy the clothes I want, I just stare longingly at them while leaving the store empty-handed.

Here is a list of things that girls are unable to wear without being judged, a concept that needs to change.

1. Makeup.

It blows my mind that the different things people have to say when it comes to a girl's makeup. It switches from how this girl is wearing "too much makeup," to how that girl "looks like a slut for wearing red lipstick," and even how another girl "looks ugly without makeup." There is is literally no win-win situation. We're judged for wearing makeup and we're judged for not wearing makeup. Well, guess what? If I want to do a smokey eye, I will. If I want to wear red lipstick, I will. If I want to do full face makeup, I will.

2. Crop top.

Just because I'm showing my stomach doesn't mean that I'm a "slut." Who cares if I'm showing a little skin? If I love myself and my body and I want to show it off, I will. It's not my fault that people can't handle the fact my shoulders and my stomach are showing at the same time.

3. Spandex.

While I am not one of those girls, I've seen many people wear spandex to the gym or even just out at the grocery store. Just because they are tighter and more form-fitting, they aren't scandalous. Most girls pair spandex with a large t-shirt anyway. They're comfortable and cute. If you don't like them, just don't look at me. Simple enough.

4. Bikinis.

There are so many mixed views on bikinis. Most of the stigmas revolve around how they're too scandalous due to the fact that many of them, depending on the style, may show off too much skin. I think it's important to state that I should be able to show off as much skin as I want and not have to worry about being looked at in the wrong way. Why punish girls for wearing bikinis rather than creeps who are in the wrong for staring?

5. Heels.

Guess what. Heels are sexy. Heels are fun. Heels are empowering. In my case, I'm a 4'11, 90 pound girl. Sometimes I need some 4 inch heels in my life. But regardless of how tall or short a girl may be, she has the right to wear the kind of shoes she wants to.

6. Leggings.

Believe it or not, girls don't wear leggings because it might make their butt look good. They're great to wear when going to the gym, going to class, or even just lounging around. I wear leggings because they're comfortable AND they make my butt look good.

7. Hoops.

It blows my mind that there are negative connotations around hoop earrings. The jewelry that I wear on my ears should not be considered promiscuous. They're stylish and they're fun, let us girls live.

8. Sweats. 

First, we were judged for being too promiscuous. Now, we're being judged for looking too much like bums and not trying harder when it comes to my appearance. Believe it or not, I don't have to dress up and look cute every single second of every single day. Sometimes a girl needs to break and she just wants to be comfortable.

9. Thongs.

I can't believe I have to put underwear on here. A girl's underwear is... sacred. The general public typically doesn't see a girl's underwear, unless it was some random fluke.

10.  Push-up bra. 

Coming from a girl with small boobs... sometimes we just want a little "push" if you will. While I may not have big boobs, sometimes I'm in the mood to make my girl's look nice, and in all honesty, there is no harm in that.

11.  Bra.

I want to mention that I don't mean that girls are judged for wearing a bra, it's more that they get judged if their bra strap is showing. Sometimes it's really hard to pair the right bra with the type of shirt you're wearing. In the grand scheme of things. one bra strap is not going to ruin anyone's life.

12.  No bra.

You won't believe the comments I hear people make when girls decide to go bra-less. If you're a boy/man, you have no right to make any statements about girls wearing bras. Bras are uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes just unnecessary.

13.  Jean shorts. 

Sometimes I get uncomfortable wearing jean shorts out. It mostly stems from the fact that someone might think my shorts are too short, even if they're not. While it may be hard to believe, most girls don't buy super small, tight, and short short... they're uncomfortable and give the worst wedgies.

14.  Dress/skirts with a slit down the leg. 

I've said it before and I've said it again... women can wear clothes that make them feel sexy. It doesn't make them a "slut" just because it shows a couple of inches of bare thigh.

15.  Low-cut tops. 

Every now and then, we have to let the girls out. It doesn't matter if you do it because that's your style or because you want to feel sexy. Girls should be able to wear what they want without being judged or talked about behind their backs.

16.  Sheer tops. 

A see-through top everyone once in a while isn't going to do any harm. Bras are incredibly expensive and sometimes you just want to show them off.

17.  Ripped jeans.

Ripped jeans are the new trend. They're super cute and in my opinion, they're much more comfortable than regular jeans. Just because they're ripped and show traces of my leg here and there, doesn't mean it's scandalous.

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