A video was released recently from the SPARK Summit, one that I was so moved by. Please take a few minutes to watch it here before you read the rest of this post:
People: This is so important. If I could type this entire post in all caps, I would, because the words are screaming in my head as I frantically type.
The over-sexualization of girls in this country is in crisis. It's a big fucking deal. I'm so tired of hearing, “It's just the way it is nowadays” or “It's standard. There's nothing we can do about what's on TV”.
That– is a bunch of shit.
This is unacceptable. We defend our young children against bullies when we see it happening in the park. We make sure they are safe by wearing helmets, we take them to the dentist and to the doctor when they need it. But, every day they are bombarded with sexual messages and imagery that is detrimental to their future.
Now, this isn't a post about shielding our daughters from anything that has to do with sex. Not at all. I for one did not grow up in a house where it was openly discussed. I didn't even feel comfortable talking to my mom about birth control when the time came that I needed it. My own son is now 3 years old and I've already told him it's okay to touch his own body how he wants. However, I digress. I do believe girls should be able to learn about sex at an appropriate age. But, an 8 year old girl that is being targeted by the media to look up to teen pop stars, that even sees the commercials for reality shows where women are continually objectified, that girl does not have the emotional capacity to digest these messages appropriately. The girls that are being marketed to are children.
I'm not asking you to boycott TV. I'm not asking you to stage a protest outside of E! Entertainment TV. I'm just asking you to understand the messages our young girls are having shoved down their throats. The garbage given to them is hurting their self-esteem, self-image and self-worth, hence what I said earlier, It's a big fucking deal!
If anyone says these media messages are harmless seriously has their head up their ass. This is more than just sexual imagery. This is a crisis that needs to be fixed.
My daughter turned one year old last month. I will not sit by and say nothing as she is grows up and is exposed to media messages that try tell her she is only worth something if she is sexy, beautiful, stupid and puts out. Over. My. Dead. Body.
Our little girls need us to be aware of this. Please understand this. Start talking about it. Start noticing it. Start talking to your daughters about it. Ask them what they think of what they are seeing. Ask them how it makes them feel. Ask them if they think it makes them feel that need to look or act a certain way. Even if they say no, at least you have put a bug in their ear. And ask them again later. These girls are our future. They need us to shake a fist at the media empire that is making millions off our girls failing self-esteem and to say we will not stand for this any longer.
It's about time.
For more information I urge you to read the Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. Click here.