Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Educator, Author

Material Girl or World Changer?

Melissa Wardy recently posted this link on her Pigtail Pals site. The article is focused on the way that products are now heavily marketed to “tween” girls. That means ages 8-12. Madonna and her daughter have come out with a new line of clothing just for this age range, the name of the line….. Material Girl.

The pictures in this post feature some of the clothing in the line, which, at least as pictured, are clearly not appropriate for tween girls. In the Nightline video linked above, you’ll see that even at stores found in your local mall, like Forever 21, there are options that are very scanty and sexualized. Girls at ever younger ages are being told that it’s “cute” to show their mid-riffs, wear lingerie inspired clothing, and be “sexy.”

One day I was talking to a 10-year-old, and she used the word “sexy” to describe an outfit in a positive way. I asked her what she thought that word meant. You know what she said? “It means the same thing as ‘cute,’ right?” Wrong!! The teen and tween aged girls that we love need to understand that they are beautiful, amazing people in their own right. They don’t have to flaunt their bodies or their sexuality to be powerful and valuable. We all need to stand together and say no to this trend of sexualization. We need to empower the girls in our lives to say no too. As they support each other, as they make healthy choices together, they will become a force to be reckoned with. No, they are not Material Girls, they are Transforming Girls, World Changing Girls! They can make this world a better place, let’s help them do it.

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