Articles for the College Magazine

These are a collection of articles that I have written for my college magazine. I would love to hear your opinions on the topics that I have expressed! CC is appreciated.

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1. Premature Sexuality in Young Girls - Is the media to blame?

 

Take a look through time and you will find that it wasn't just the hem lines that shortened. The females who wore them did too. Compare high school students over a period of a couple of decades and you will find that the age of Umpa Lumpas is getting younger each passing year. Twelve year olds with badly back-combed hair, hot pants and unnatural orange skin... is becoming socially acceptable.

A quick flick through a “tweenage” magazine will bombard you with images of early teenage (or, in some cases, younger) models pulling provocative poses with a full face of make-up. For as long as there have been female models and actresses there have been their tiny carbon copies, but it is not their childish innocence that is being promoted nowadays; they are being made up to emulate grown women. Photographs of Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, a 10 year old model, have caused controversy world wide. Last year, a photo of the model lying on a fur rug wearing make-up, a skin tight dress and leopard print stilettos was published within the pages of French Vogue.

Many popular retailers on the High Street are being criticised for stocking 3.5 inch heels for size one feet, padded bikini tops for seven year old girls and slogans on t-shirts that say 'future WAG' with a '3 years' label attached. Retailers have come under increased pressure to remove items that can be deemed as over sexualised.

What are the factors that play a part in the premature sexualisation of girls? Many blame the media for printing photographs of heavily photo-shopped models, actresses and the like and it is easy to understand why. Although most girls are able to interpret the media that they are exposed to and understand that the images are not realistic, they still feel inadequate and pressurised to look like the impossibly beautiful women. These infeasible goals empower young girls to have eating disorders, body dis-morphia and depression. Children are also exposed to sexually explicit dance routines in pop music videos and even though they are oblivious to the potential implications, they imitate the highly sexual and therefore inappropriate dance routines. So parents are completely innocent, right?

The answer to that is no, parents are not completely blameless. Many parents are guilty of either having too tight a rein on their child whilst others struggle to keep hold of the rein. It is difficult to find a happy median where by both parent and child can trust each other thoroughly. Parents who are very strict are often bewildered on how their little darling has managed to escape from their clutches and is now 'acting out'. On the contrary, parents who lack control are either: a) oblivious to the explicit material that their child has access to, b) are aware but don't know how to deal with the behaviour or c) they really don't care about what their child gets up to. Then you get the parents who plaster their baby's body with fake tan and glue eyelashes to their newly opened eyes and enter them in beauty pageants. But that is a freak anomaly in society. Or is it?

Society, it seems, is growing immune to the problems associated with the sexualisation of children and has normalised it. No longer is it shocking to see an three year old swear or a ten year old moan about how her developing body is “fat”. Little girls are being groomed into passively accepting their place as objects in our increasingly sexualised culture. Unrealistic portrayals of life and the body do nothing but damage their emotional well-being.

 

 

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