Thank Heaven for Little Girls

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In a scene from the movie Mean Girls, an eight-year old girl pulls up her shirt while dancing in front of the television watching a commercial for Girls Gone Wild.

Girls get this message repeatedly: What matters is how “hot” they look. It plays on TV and across the Internet. You hear it in song lyrics and music videos. You see it in movies, electronic games, and clothing stores. It’s a constant, powerful message.

Fortunately as a result of pressure, Hasbro has canceled plans to produce a line of fashion dolls modeled on the pop act the Pussycat Dolls after parents objected to the group’s racy image.

Hasbro saw the Dolls series as a line that would fit in with — and compete against — the Bratz fashion dolls from MGA Entertainment. But an advocacy group, Dads and Daughters, recently mounted a letter-writing campaign pressing the company to shelve the Dolls line.

SEXUALIZATION OF GIRLS IS LINKED TO COMMON MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN GIRLS AND WOMEN—EATING DISORDERS, LOW SELF-ESTEEM, AND DEPRESSION; AN APA TASK FORCE REPORTS

Psychologists call for replacing sexualized images of girls in media and advertising with positive ones

A report of the American Psychological Association (APA) found evidence that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harmful to girls’ self-image and healthy development.

“The consequences of the sexualization of girls in media today are very real and are likely to be a negative influence on girls’ healthy development,” says Eileen L. Zurbriggen, PhD, chair of the APA Task Force and associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “We have ample evidence to conclude that sexualization has negative effects in a variety of domains, including cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, and healthy sexual development.”

As parents, you can teach girls to value themselves for who they are, rather than how they look. You can teach boys to value girls as friends, sisters, and girlfriends, rather than as sexual objects. And, much like the Dads & Daughters organization, you can advocate for change with manufacturers and media producers.

Our little girls have a right to be little.

Tina Nocera is the founder of Parental Wisdom, a patented parenting website.

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1 Comment »

  1. yeah right kids must have the proper learnig but start with parents first.

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