August 15, 2010

Just What Every Toddler Needs to go With Those Heels: Skinny Jeans!

As if high heels, padded kiddie bikinis, thong underwear, stripper poles, and denim diapers weren’t enough, parents are now able to buy their toddler their own pair of skinny jeans.

Skinny jeans are just the latest item in a larger cumulative force that is turning babies, toddlers and children into miniature adults, in large part through overt sexualization.

Between the celebration of gyrating 7-year-olds, Baby Gaga‘s featured on Youtube, sexy toy makeovers, virgin waxing, glammed up toddlers in fashion advertising, and clothing with sexualized content such as “I’m a boob man,” “Lock up your daughters” or “Does this diaper make my butt look big? girls and boys are being harried into premature adulthood by corporate marketing forces seeking profit.

Cross-posted at Elephant Journal.

September 24, 2008

Sexy Girls, Sexual Boys…

…and it starts so early.  I’ve posted several items in the last few weeks exploring the early sexualization of younger and younger girls from heels for infants to stripper poles and “virgin” waxing.

Gender socialization is not a recent phenomenon. From color codes to silly head bands on bald baby girl heads, parents and society expect that clues about the infant’s anatomy will be provided through the use of various sign systems. Right or wrong, this has been around for quite some time and certainly lends itself to lengthy conversations and analysis.

What is more recent and more disturbing, in my opinion, is the blatant sexual socialization of younger and younger members of our society in line with the sexual expectations society dictates of heterosexual men and women.

Girls/women are sexy. Boys/men are sexual.

I’m almost 6 months pregnant and I am having a son.  As a budding feminist in my early twenties, I imagined myself raising an empowered daughter.  My best friend and I used to joke about the inevitable likelihood of giving birth to a son.  As expected, 15 years later, I have been given the task of raising a conscious feminist boy.

I spend a lot of time browsing the internet for baby gear. In doing so, I am sick and tired of running across crass sexual messages for infant boys proclaiming their sexual prowess long before they can hold up their own head. I mean, seriously?  Boob man?  Lock up your daughters?  You’d be hard to press to ever find a onesie for a girl reading: Penis gal!  Lock up your sons!

In either case, do we need to thrust these sexual/sexy messages on newborns?  I can’t help but recall a scene in The 40 Year-Old Virgin where one of the main characters puts his unborn son’s sonogram on a big screen TV and points out the large penis his boy is packing in utero.