This is an 11 Year Old Girl - Yes, Really
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This is an 11 Year Old Girl - Yes, Really

Pedophilia and Sexualization in the Entertainment Industry Hurts Everyone

This is an 11 Year Old Girl - Yes, Really

I just about gagged when I came across a post online talking about one of Brazil's latest singers and recent child sensations, Gabriella Abreu Severino, known to the world by her pseudonym, Melody.

Melody is 11 going on 12, born in February 2007. According to her father, who claims to be her sole parent, she always wanted to be a singer when she was a kid – as if she's not still a kid. She began to gain traction on Youtube in 2015, at the age of 8, when she sang a few songs her dad had written in falsetto, as well as doing parodies.

In 2016, she came out with a statement that she would focus on music seriously now, and would sing "the truth".

My research on her is quite limited given that much of the information written on her is in Portuguese, but from what I can gather, since the beginning of 2018, she became a popular icon and released some new singles. In that year, her branding on the internet has shifted.

A selfie of Melody taken from her Instagram, @melodyoficial3

We could spend this whole article discussing the fact that an 8 year old can become internet famous, even start a career, with the power of Youtube and other popular forms of social media (*cough cough* Tik Tok *cough cough*), but this is a case study on how Melody, an 11-year old, has become hypersexualized within the past year, and the role our popular media has played in it.

Melody does not shy away from posting on Instagram, the page is jam-packed with photos - it took a LOT of scrolling to get to 2017, when I believe she was still just a young girl who seemed to have the luck and connections for her dreams. However, currently, her Instagram looks like that of a 20-year old hopeful celebrity or mistress. There are cleavage and butt shots, lots of high heels and mini skirts, and extreme makeup with bedroom eyes in almost every photo. These photos are not included on this post due to my discomfort with the sexualization of a pre-teen, but if you visit her Instagram, @melodyoficial3, you can get the evidence yourself.

If I showed any of the photos from Melody's instagram to someone my age, college-aged, they'd probably say she's gorgeous, hot. Tumblr user @lethal-cuddles mentioned that idly scrolling past her image he was interested and then he read the caption that said she is 11, causing him to "want to puke".

I'd say most people say that someone becomes a teenager when they're 13 or 14. The legal age of consent is typically around 16, and in many American states, that only applies if the partner in question is under 18. Essentially in the Western world, you're not considered an adult until you are 16 or 18.

The vast majority of adults are not interested in someone who is underage (certainly not someone who looks it) because, bluntly put, the vast majority of adults are not pedophiles – a statement made a bit more difficult to put forth given the current state of affairs across the nation in the #MeToo era.

I have read a number of stories in this era of men (rarely women and enby folk) bemoaning their new sex offender statuses, claiming that the girl lied about her age or that they simply believed their partner was their age. For example, recently popular rapper 6ix9ine received a lot of backlash in addition to his fame when it was revealed he had been charged in 2015 with the use of a child in a sexual performance – a 13-year old girl. He, again, claimed he was unaware of her age, supported by other tidbits of evidence.

This isn't an epidemic of foolish men, though, or of lying women. It's about pedophilic grooming and the sexualization of women from a young age in the entertainment industry.

Women are sexualized in the entertainment industry so much that it's essentially an epidemic. It's part of the reason why they aren't respected in the workspace, why so many stories came out of Hollywood from #MeToo. Sex sells, and with the fact that men typically have more directorial and writing power, as well as a higher paygrade, women are typically objectified and sexualized in their roles. This has been the case in Hollywood for the century it's been around – most classic movies use women as objects or as a method to further emotional depth for the male character. When a movie does the bare minimum to reverse that, it's praised.

That's Hollywood, the cornerstone of culture for the 20th century, obviously the basis for the 21st century.

But the cornerstone for us isn't Hollywood – it's the internet, and to be completely honest, specifically Youtube and social media.

With Youtube and social media is brought new extents of content consumption never seen before, celebrification (yes I did just make that word up) on a mass scale, and the opening up of opportunity to many more people. But that opportunity comes with greater influence, as well as a greater pressure. If these Youtubers or Instagrammers can do it, then why can't you? Additionally, there is a need for instant gratification, resulting in a lot more augmented experiences, images, videos, and art.

In this world, we're taught that there is no waiting, at least not if you're privileged.

On the role of the young girls being raised, that means that grooming starts young, and that the pressure to conform to a sexualized representation of the female form is enforced in a much more "expedient" manner. Body growth, vocal growth, and mental growth are all ignored as being important as children are slipped into push-up bras, leggings made to shape your butt, high heels, and the most complex makeup mankind has seen (I said it, makeup artists today are geniuses).

At first it might be fun! Young girls are taught that the best thing in life is to be pretty and admired. The more privileged you are, the more fun it will be at first, with fancy clothes, new hair, waxed eyebrows, a personal trainer maybe.

But her voice will begin to change soon, which will make her confused and question herself. She probably doesn't feel beautiful unless she's being sexualized, covered in makeup. She probably is confused by a lot of the men in her life, made uncomfortable consistently or confused. She's going to grow up and not be sure what happened or who she is or how to feel good about herself, most likely used and abused throughout her young years.

And the thing is, it's not a one off thing. The more girls who are pressured into this, the more girls are going to believe they are SUPPOSED to look like this, that they are underdeveloped or somehow wrong if they don't follow in this mold as soon as possible. And this will be even more extreme than ever before, due to the reach and immediacy of social media and Youtube.

Not to say of course that her body or appearance is in any way wrong! My point is though that children should be allowed to develop at their own pace, and that their bodies should not be augmented or objectified for someone else's benefit.

The problem with Youtube and Instagram is that not only does it present a picture perfect, flawless image of who the world believes is everyone's next role model, due to the accessibility of social media, it's believed that everyone can (and should) achieve it. That's not the case, and should not be the case.

And finally, beyond just her being pushed to limits of not recognizing herself and of putting greater pressure on even younger girls, there's the fact that all of this is to the benefit of pedophilic people, of adults (mainly men) who are making more and more women raised to believe that their role is as sexual objects, that their only success can be found through sexualization.

Let her enjoy her childhood and figure out what she actually wants, what she looks like and who she is. The most recent photo I found of her without makeup or body adjusting garments is below.

Taken from Melody's instagram, @melodyoficial3

She looks genuinely happy, and she looks 11. Why can't she be left that way?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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