As I’m sure you’ve noticed, young girls and women are wearing more revealing clothing in an attempt to look sexy at earlier ages than ever before. Though the bellybutton-look from the nineties remains covered by longer, layered tops, preteens and teens are finding other ways to showcase their bodies with darker makeup, low-cut tops and shorter skirts. Looking slutty, unfortunately, is officially in style.
With the media horror over the news that Miley Cyrus’ 9-year-old sister, Noah, was launching a lingerie line for kids (that turned out to be false) after she was seen wearing fishnets and patent leather platforms, we must look at how our society is encouraging young girls and women to dress this way — and why we are allowing it to happen.
Many feel that the pervasiveness of porn culture and sex slogans has led to an explosion of pressure on women and girls to be more overtly sexual — making femininity more of a performance with influences from the bedroom (Heidi Montag’s 10 plastic surgeries are an exaggerated example of this trend). A new study by Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, a clinical psychologist at London Metropolitan University suggests that the problem lies in the availability of porn to preteens and teens, along with the overuse of sex slogans in advertisements.
Dr. Papadopoulos said: “It is a drip, drip effect. Look at porn stars, and look how an average girl now looks. It’s seeped into every day: fake breasts, fuck-me shoes … We are hypersexualising girls, telling them that their desirability relies on being desired. They want to please at any cost.”
This study was released about the same time as Diesel launched their new “Be Stupid” campaign that I’ve seen papered on the subway and walls of buildings across the city. Kids can see nipples on their way to school — and it’s not for the Nature Channel. One particular ad, (shown above) shocks and disgusts me every time I see it — not only does the ad promote exposing one’s self in public, it also suggests that women who look and act that way are hot.
If you look at every single ad in the campaign, women are made out to be sexual objects who should “Be Stupid,” to deserve attention and be considered beautiful. The slogan also says, “Be Stupid. Smart listens to the head. Stupid listens to the heart,” telling women that smarts do not equal with fun. This overwhelming need for women to be sexy and pretty with less of an emphasis on intelligence, individuality, modesty and character also leads to men think this is how women should be, thus, perpetuating the cycle of women wanting to fulfill that role.
How does this affect young girls’ value of who they are as people? The proof is in the lip plump.
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- Lads’ magazines ‘should be restricted’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Girls and boys being sexualised at early age, report warns (telegraph.co.uk)
- Ban lads’ magazines to prevent “pornification” of society, says report (newstatesman.com)
- Fiona Bruce says sexualisation of young girls is her ‘biggest concern’ (telegraph.co.uk)