Parents, organizations decide to fight back
I highly recommend that every older teen, and parents of teens, should read a
compelling book on this subject: A Return to Modesty, by Wendy Shalit. A separate point, which is not directly related to that book, is how
ironic it is that all the objectification/sexualization of women that is being
done in the name of "freedom of expression" is actually undoing all
the progress that has been made on granting equal rights and freedom for women.
We regulate cigarettes and alcohol in this country especially when it comes to
those who aren't of age. Why can't we regulate sexual ads and porn the same
way? Although one harms the physical body, the other harms the psyche. Both
Sexualizing or Sexualization means that kids know and act on what they think
know.In this case they know or think thay know about sex. In short
they know what we don't want them to know. I Internet displaces urban myth.I would keep my child out of the B & G Club for that reason. My Son
went twice got bored and spent more time at home. His sister was never
interested. I paid hoping he would waste my money and he did. At 14
I bought him a Bus Pass and a Cell and said bye. he still stayed mostly home. He
joined a good High School Drama Club. I sent him to keep an eye on his sister
after a wwhile she quit but he stayed for 4 years.Teenagers have a
lot of free will and some will do things others won't. Up bringing and Religion
have little to do with that. Teaching Self Respect does have a lot to do with
it. Kids want what they consider to be fun.Fun is different to
almost everyone. Still good kids regardless, situation is bad kids are not bad
till way latter on.
Sorry, quite = quit.
Eight pages and not a single mention of preparing oneself to be a wife and
mother. Being a mother is the most important thing a woman will do in her
lifetime. Trying to foster self-esteem and a wholesome image of oneself is just
empty rhetoric without reference to motherhood. Underlying the
sexualization of children is the disengagement of sex from reproduction.
Parents, schools, and public health officials do not talk about motherhood - the
natural consequence of sexual intercourse - but instead concentrate their
efforts on making sure that their girls are "safe" sex partners.
Pregnancy is treated like a venereal disease, not a woman's fulfillment. If we
devalue childbearing and motherhood we devalue our girls and you can't fight
that by monitoring TV.
Mom of six, Im not sure about Utah, but in WA it is regulated like tobacco and
alcohol. Pornographic magazines not only require 18 year age ID but also must
have the front covered on display or out of site at conveneinces stores so
patrons who do not want to see the images are not forced too. Stores that are
for primarily explicit materials will instantly ID anyone who walks in the door,
sleazy "gentlemens clubs" also ID everyone. I dont think its lack of
regulation, its the vast difference in opinion as to what constitutes
objectionable materials. The real question is where the line is between
objectionable material and unobjectionable is, for some its showing a midriff,
above the knees shorts/skirts or tank tops, others its nothing being worn at
all. Society as a whole seems to think its the latter, as thats what IS
regulated. Check it out, I think you'll find Utah regulates pornography quite
Being a man and a father of a daughter this subject has always been a pet peeve
of mine and why government allows children to be exploited by advertisers to
sell products and wrongful self esteem to girls and boys. I'm glad this is being
recognized as a serious problem and this mother is taking action. And I think she needs to target mothers that allows their children to act,
behave, and dress like sex objects. I know there is inherent genetic processes
developing in children for the sole purpose of attracting mates but children
must be trained to repress these emotions until they can better understand the
birds and the bees and life. Even some so galled G rated family
programing on television is misleading and exploiting children. I have seen many
mothers who approve of these young girls and training them to use sexuality to
exploit themselves for wrongful reasons.The way some young girls
dress and behave you can't tell a 20 year old from a 12 year old. If men ever
speak up on this subject they are given little credation or recognition in
helping to solve this exploiting of children.
I thought this was a decent article about the challenges parents face raising
kids in this time. The aspect about unintended consequences of deregulating toy
companies advertising was very interesting and how that leads to bullying. It's
interesting also to note that many schools now train children about
bullying--something that didn't happen when I was in school. Society
needs women to take a lead role in how they want to be defined. So many women
defer to what men want women to be, but men are pretty much conditioned to think
of women in the simplest ways possible. Even without the media, young men need
special training to learn simple matters like how if you like a girl you don't
insult her, or pull her pigtails... Women (and men who are willing to model good
behaviors) need to step up and face these negative stereotypes. Finally young girls receive a lot of negative messages about their
intelligence and need strong counter examples to the society's tendency to
making girls nothing but hysterical, screaming fans of Justin Beiber. Consider
if they were encouraged to be that excited about doing mathematics?
As a parent of two son's, one fresh out of college and one soon to be graduating
from high school I have applied a sure fire method for keeping my boys from
offensive influences....be a parent. The last thing we need is another
law, more government censorship (which will end up costing taxpayers) thrown
upon us. Try being a responsible parent instead, pay attention to what your
children read, listen to, watch on TV/computer and do not buy them the latest
fad clothing just because some singer/personality wears it. I never let my boys
wear the popular baggy, oversized, low hung pants, dye their hair, get
piercings, watch offensive things on TV or online. I instead read to them,
engaged in fun outdoor activities and encouraged them to pursue healthy
endeavors. My oldest son works in the computer industry and my youngest just
completed his first triathlon. If we as consumers and parents do not
allow our children to watch, buy, use products, services, encourage certain
types of marketing that are bad for our kids, they will go away as their market
share dies. Be a parent, don't expect the government to do it for you.
Although I see the wrong in some things, I really feel that some of this stuff
is way overblown. As DaveRL said, 1. Be a parentAnd as I say,2. Let your kids engage their free will (or
agency for you Mormons)That's it. Do your fair job, they're going
to do theirs. Don't scold them and destroy them over not following your rules
to the T. I'd rather have a daughter dressing that way and still coming home
every night than running away out of resentment. Let your kids be themselves
... just be a parent and guide them in the right direction. Sometimes .. you're
not right! Be ready for that!
"Momofsix" Perhaps a better way to keep filth out of the hands of
children is not state "regulation" but through organized citizen's
bocotts of businesses that sell this smut (even if they do cover the covers).
If a business is loosing customers because of thier irresponsible business
practices, they just miight stop selling this obscene filth. I know I'd join a
boycott. Also, I'd refuse to purchase products of companies that sponsor filthy
TV shows if I knew what these businesses were. Is there some kind of list of
these businesses? Over the last 30+ years, the grocery store I shop at the most
doesn't sell that stuff. They don't even sell beer. And they close on Sunday.
That's being a responsible part of the community.
Great article. Great points.Utah leads the world in plastic
surgery. Everyone go look in the mirror. Start liking what you see! Help your
kids like what they see in the mirror as well. Stop trying to "one
up" everyone else because you are so insecure.Good job Reagan
Advertising for helping get the word out. Keep it up. We all need to do what
we can to stop supporting companies who are promoting promiscuity. Cunning marketing is helping to lower the standards even more. Stop listening
to their lies. The power is within you.
I have two young daughters - 7 and 4. I want them to grow up knowing that they
are beautiful, not because they dress for sex, but because I tell them they are
every day - and how they are so talented and so helpful, so wonderful. What was
said earlier is true, more laws do little to help. Parents need to be parents
and not "buds". They need to guide their children, not control them.
They need to demonstrate through their own actions that life is simply about
getting paid or getting laid (forgive my language). But children need to know
that they are children of a loving heavenly father and that alone makes them of
great worth, which should only be magnified by the love we give them. A child
should never have to debase themselves to get attention or to feel wanted or
Thank you to Collins for writing about this incredibly important subject! I am
Lexie Kite, quoted in the story alongside my sister, Lindsay. There are so many
ways to fight back against these harmful, so normalized ideals, and this is not
a hopeless fight. For more ways to get on board right here in Utah or across the
world, our Beauty Redefined website linked in Part 1 of this piece is a great
start. Our Beauty Redefined billboard campaign began in Northern Utah but is
going much further and there are so many more ways to take back beauty and
healthy sexuality for females everywhere under our "How Girls and Women Can
Take Back Beauty" and "How Boys and Men Can Help Take Back
LValfre, Freewill requires an understanding of responsibility and consequences.
Two things children have yet to learn how to handle. Letting them run free is
the worst idea without giving them the guidelines and guardrails that will help
them make healthy choices.
"There are so many ways to fight back against these harmful, so normalized
ideals"Ummm ... native's have walked around 'mostly naked' for
thousands of years. Are you saying they're being harmful to themselves and
their society? Let's be real here .... these modest ways are YOUR beliefs.
They're not harming anybody by showing a little more. Summers are hot! So what
if someone wears a 2 piece bathing suit. You're blowing things WAY out of
proportion. Young ones being pressed sexually? Not for it. Not
for them being one of many wives at 14 years of age either! But deciding for
them what is and isn't appropriate is absurd. You think God's looking down on
Native Americans or Africans for not covering their shoulders? Please. Just
some more man-made nonsense.
It is nice to see that people fear for their children and want to maintain their
innocence. My concern is that when people like Muslims cover their hair in a
sign of modesty they are labeled extremists, or why when a country like france
bans conservative measures it is championed as "saving" women.
HawkyoI think you misunderstood what LValfre was trying to express
(in an admittedly condescending way). Simply put, "teach correct principles
and let them govern themselves." Obviously, as parents, we need
to take into account not only the age, but also the maturity of each child when
deciding how much responsibility they are ready for. This doesn't mean that we
control our children, but rather that we guide and parent them.I do
think, however, that consumers have more power than they realize. My money will
not support a company (such as A &C) which is clearly using exploitative
images in their advertising.
@Hawkyo"LValfre, Freewill requires an understanding of
responsibility and consequences. Two things children have yet to learn how to
handle. Letting them run free is the worst idea without giving them the
guidelines and guardrails that will help them make healthy choices."I agree with you Hawkyo. They need to be guided along the right path.
What I disagree with is what is that path. There are MANY paths to raising your
children. Modesty, sometimes to a ridiculous degree, is out of hand in my
opinion. What's wrong with a tank-top in the hot summer? Why should the
shoulders be covered when it's blistering outside? Undergarments? I'm sorry
but some things are just completely illogical and have no bearing on raising a
kid correctly. What happened to putting on our bathing suits (more exposing
than ANY clothing line) and playing on the slip and slide all day with the other
Re: LValfre | 8:30 a.m. Sept. 19, 2011 Good parents teach their
children values and then lead by example. Children who chose to listen to the
wise council of loving parent are more apt to miss out on all the fun that comes
with teen pregnancy and all the thrills and chills associated with the numerous
and varied sexually transmitted diseases that are available just for the asking.
My opinion is that if we're waiting until our children are teenagers to
"have the talk" it's way too late. Self-worth starts the moment a
child is conceived by parents who are active in loving, teaching, preparing,
training, disciplining, and loving it. My wife and I just spent a
week out of town, leaving our 16 yo and 13 yo daughters at home on their own.
We were entirely unconcerned about them because they are able to cook, clean,
and care for themselves and more importantly make wise choices because of years
of preparation preceding this week of our absence. With flying colors, our
daughters demonstrated that our trust in them is well founded. It is clear to
me by the way they behave -- the choices they make -- that my daughters
understand that their self-worth is not dependent on anyone else (including me)
but entirely founded on the life they live.
There are also consequences for a parent being too strict.
I agree sensible middle, im a perfect example lol. First two years of college
were not only an eye opener, my parents focused so much on avoiding
places/things that would cause temptation, they never even thought to teach me
more about what to do if these situations arise, in their minds it wasnt about
dealing with the real world, it was to avoid it. However, it wasnt only
unrealistic, but also a dangerous way to parent.
@LexieK:"...there are so many more ways to take back beauty and
healthy sexuality for females..."What, pray tell, is 'healthy
sexuality for females?'
@Miss Piggie: "Healthy sexuality for females" would be any sexual
choices that are made on girls'/women's own informed terms - not based on
unhealthy and objectifying pressure from outside forces seeking to make money
off sexual ideals. When girls and women internalize media's objectified ideals
that encourage women to see themselves from an outsider's perspective (as parts
to be enjoyed, not free-thinking, contributing humans), that's when unhealthy
choices are made - sexually, health-wise or otherwise. Young girls who
self-objectify are shown to have decreased sexual assertiveness (including the
ability to say no) and a variety of other unfortunate effects. I hope that
answers your question.
LexieK, I still don't get it. Are you saying that girls'/women's "parts to
be enjoyed" are supposed to not be enjoyed except under conditions laid
down by someone other than those who would make money off the situation? Is that
supposed to be what makes girls better people?I think what's going
on here is, mothers (and others such as you and your sister) are saying
"don't look at our daughters' parts except if/when we say you can. And if
we want you to look at our daughters we will let you know and perhaps even dress
them for such eventuality. But in the mean time keep your eyes averted."Look, LexieK, girls like to be looked at. It's their nature. God make
them that way. What you and others are trying to do is make them feel guilty
over it. Or, perhaps turn them into some sort of zombies so they kill the
@ulvegaard - I think you have hit on one of the major reasons why these trends
take hold. A lot of kids do not believe that they have any "worth"
beyond their sexuality - they don't believe they have "beauty" beyond
the sexuality.Kudos to Lindsay (and Lexi) for tackling this problem.
I think you will score more points with these girls on a peer to peer basis
than many adults (outside of parents) will.Oh and to all you dads
commenting on this story - bless you. An involved, loving father is a big piece
of the puzzle. Contrary to what the feminists think....Cindy
@LexieK["Healthy sexuality for females" would be any sexual
choices that are made on girls'/women's own informed terms ]Completely agree. @Miss Piggie"Are you saying that
girls'/women's "parts to be enjoyed" are supposed to not be enjoyed
except under conditions laid down by someone other than those who would make
money off the situation?" Well...yeah, i mean... shouldn't the
woman be the one in control of that?"girls like to be looked
at"They would definitely have some qualifying statements and
preferences for that. Despite being a guy I find this notion offensive towards
women."God make them that way. What you and others are trying
to do is make them feel guilty over it."Someone who says that
healthy sexuality for women involves women making decisions on their own
informed terms is way different than campaigns that are guilt-based.
The last time I drove through Salt Lake, I was flabbergasted at all the
billboards advertising plastic surgery. Perhaps Reagan Billboards could help out
a little bit more with positive messages getting out?
Miss Piggy said "Look, LexieK, girls like to be looked at. It's their
nature. God make them that way. What you and others are trying to do is make
them feel guilty over it. Or, perhaps turn them into some sort of zombies so
they kill the God-given drive."Many of us believe that the
"God-given drive" is something more refined and uplifting than
warrants just anyone objectifying us for their own satisfaction. That God-given
drive is what allows us to be close to our husbands and to create new life. It
allows us to share something with the man who really loves us. That God-given
drive is not to be beaten out of us, but saved for someone who actually deserves
it.In their hearts women (young and old) want to be cherished more
than they want to be "looked at". Sadly, this article proves that the
message young girls are getting is that to be cherished you have to dress
yourself in a way that encourages you to be "looked at" by anyone for
@Jeanie b.:"Many of us believe that the "God-given
drive" is something more refined and uplifting than warrants just anyone
objectifying us for their own satisfaction."Then perhaps you
need to don a berqua. That would put a stop to objectification. Or, perhaps
just stay indoors away from public view."That God-given drive
is what allows us to be close to our husbands and to create new life."You first need to get a husband before you can (or should) create new
life."It allows us to share something with the man who really
loves us."You'll not get a man who really loves you with hidden
femininity."That God-given drive is not to be beaten out of us,
but saved for someone who actually deserves it.No one is beating it
out of you. Your conduct is your choice."In their hearts women
(young and old) want to be cherished more than they want to be 'looked
at.'"If you want cherish be advised that it does not grow on
trees. And if you're expecting it without some measure of viewable femininity,
I say good luck.
For Miss Piggie: Sure, it's nice to have someone say you look nice. But for me,
it will happen on my terms, and I think that's what is being said. To encourage
a meat-market mentality in a preschool-age girl, where the idea is to dress and
perform for the boys, is not a way to teach her to be a woman. If she is to
develop as a whole person, she needs to be emotionally, intellectually,
spiritually, and physically as fit as she can be. She has to be true to who she
is, not a playground to the boy who makes the most noise or asks her out first.
She isn't being raised to become someone's playground, she's being raised to be
a person with abitlities, sensitivities, and, should she find a man worthy to
share her love and life, perhaps a mother of children. But that is not because
she chose to be a walking advertisement of her charms. It is because she waited
to share them with one of her own choosing.
Miss Piggy-There is a big difference in femininity and dressing like
a sexual object, which is the whole point of this article.No one is
asking girls not to be feminine unless their idea of femininity is to parade
female body parts and act like you were created for one thing only.You took my point too far.BTW - I personally do not wear a burqua,
I have found a man that cherishes me and appreciates my femininity, and I have
created life with him. It's a beautiful, feminine, womanly thing.
"You'll not get a man who really loves you with hidden femininity."Then why is it I tend to ask out women who don't care about the latest
fashions, tend to wear more modest clothes than average, and don't spend half an
hour or more a day putting makeup on? In fact wouldn't that be the fastest way
to figure out if a man really loves you?
A wonderful article that doesn't just whine about oversexualization of kids.
The authors intelligently described some smart ways to adjust the way we raise
our children.Unfortunately, from my experience, I expect 99% of the
parents who read this article will not have the courage or ability to have
intelligent conversations with their kids. Parents can only fight the media
onslaught by having constant, open, comfortable, intelligent conversations about
sexuality, and that makes conservative parents uncomfortable, so this will be
reduced to parents telling their daughters it's immodest to have their shoulders
We men are probably the most guilty in having created this problem. Women
follow our eyes. The next time we walk into a room and our eyes are drawn to
the skin instead of the eyes, we have just proven our guilt again.My
challenge: The next time we approach a group of women, wait until we have
talked to each of them. Then turn to the one that possessed the most admirable
traits of the ideal person and give her our attention, regardless of superficial
appearance.We are so shallow and predictable. Let's grow up.
To "John C. C. | 12:25 p.m." are men guilt of the creating the problem
or are women guilty of creating the problem. Think of it this way, if you
walked into a room and everybody was wearing conservative black suits, except 1
person was wearing a neon yellow suit. Would you take notice of that person?In other words, if a person dresses to be noticed, and gets the
attention they desire, who's fault is it that the attention was given?
It's not just teens, society has been juvenilizing women for decades. We wonder
why there are so many child predators, well just look at how a significant
percentage of adult women dress.But hey, designers wouldn't make the
stuff if it didn't sell. This is the free market at work. Don't like it? Blame
@Jeanie b.: "There is a big difference in femininity and dressing like a
sexual object, which is the whole point of this article."Try
flattening all your natural feminine curves and shaving your head and see how
many dates you get. You might catch some weirdo's eye.------------------------@atl134: "Then why is it I tend to
ask out women who don't care about the latest fashions..."It's
not fashion per se. If she wore a burqua or baggy dirty overalls to a junior
prom as your date, I would have to think you would be scratching your head as
she meets you at her door saying to yourself... Huh? What gives? What's with
this gal?"In fact wouldn't that be the fastest way to figure
out if a man really loves you?"Perhaps, but most would be
sitting home sobbing in her room asking herself what's wrong with me that I
can't seem to get any dates?If you want to be thought of by males as
feminine, you must not only act feminine but dress feminine as well.
To RedShirt,Female eyes would be attracted to the neon yellow in
shock, not desire. You'll notice that we don't have a problem with neon yellow
suits lately. Most women are less superficial than most men. They
are tuned to emotional attraction more than physical. Men would greatly improve
their marriages, not just lead the way to modesty, by learning this from women.
To "John C. C. | 5:35 a.m." nice avoidance of the question.What you are saying is that you recongnize the fact that the women who
provocatively are doing so because they WANT the attention. Then, when given
the attention, and objectification that comes with it, they cry foul. They have
received exactly what they were seeking, and that was attention.So,
here is the chicken and egg question. Did society tell women that they needed
to dress provocatively to get a man, or did women dress provocatively to get a
man before it became socially acceptable?
I'm only 29, so I can remember being a teenager, but I don't remember girls that
young acting and dressing the way they do now. A lot of people don't know that
the concept of "teenager" wasn't even invented until after WW2, and
this "tween" concept was invented about ten years ago. The fact is,
children are children. For some reason, our society has decided to create a
space in the course of life (tween, teen, college age), where people are
supposed to have increasing liberty to do as they please, like an adult, yet
somehow still have their parents to bail them out of trouble. I look at people
my age (around 30), and it is obvious to see the effects of a liberal childhood;
those who were unrestrained generally have far more problems, than those such as
myself who grew up in restrained households.
This was a good article. Lots of good information. There are some things that
caused me concern. First was the fact that children have to be told some things
are wrong. Just plain wrong. No for the sake of no and let the child learn on
their own goes along way If you do this they will learn in their teens why
certain things are wrong and shouldn't be tried. Second is that most
of the girls who wear sexy clothes and do sexy things when very young typically
don't have fathers in the home. Or they don't have fathers that tell them and
their mothers its not right to wear those clothes. Again when a child is younger
than about 12 they don't have the ablity to reason the same way as an adult.
Just say no, its not right to a 8 year old girl when she wants to wear revealing
clothes will be remembered when she's 15. I could go on about
statistics that show that less than half of our children are being raised
without a father in the home and in some areas of our society its over 70
percent. Good disipline works.
from the point where any child's hormones begin to pull sway and influence their
interpersonal relationships, there will always be some profiteering ad man,
somewhere, seeking to exploit that tenuous balance between ultra easy
sex-feel-good and the strict obedience to expected (and productive) behavior.
parents have their own inner demons, wishywashyness and social constraints they
have managed with to get as far as they have, but adding these outside
influences to their offspring, adds yet more demands upon their resolve and
compassionate understanding of the childs 'newly arising' sexual development.
legislating every last iota of behavior is totalitarian and reeks of complete
loss of free individual will. it is the ultimate UN American activity.sex is always with us, every day, its part of what the human animal is, if
only because it is our only means of survival across eons of time. its the bad
short term decisions that become long term emotional issues that tumble
alongside our lives as we seek to find a better way for all to live, without
exploiting each other for some cheap coinage and imaginary values. the simple familial relationship stuff, love, caring, compassion and sharing
that builds the trust and safety of wholesomme lives. Exploiting
children is rampant, it has become one of the biggest marketing pushes in the
last 20 years. It is insidious and interferes with economic and psychological
cost. the ad men are out-communicating the parents, they know how to
smooth talk your children better than you will ever realize.