My friend Mimi recently shared this article with me. It’s a piece on the site Her.meneutics about the December issue of French Vogue that caused a huge uproar. As most December issues are, this one was dedicated to holiday gift giving, with a special section on selecting the right gifts for your loved ones. Doesn’t sound so controversial right? The problem was, many of the “gifts” were modeled by children of about six or seven years of age. This is an extreme example of the sexualization of children, certainly. But, I think we all need to ask ourselves if such a depiction of little girls is really that much different from those that are offered by clothing lines that are made specifically for children. For example, Beyoncé’s clothing line for children displays little girls in outfits that aren’t that different from those in French Vogue, expect that they’re the right sizes for the children.
Now, I love fashion. I think it can be a fun way to express your individuality and personality. What I oppose is the message that we’re sending to kids when the options we provide them with to express their individuality are all about sexuality. Come on, there are more original and smarter ways to express oneself than that! There are age appropriate clothing choices out there for children. Aside from t-shirts for girls that say “Future Trophy Wife” and for boys that say “Moms, lock the girls up,” there are options that allow our children to express themselves while remaining children. It’s time for us to let children be children, and to say no thank you to those who would push them out of childhood so soon. It’s not fashionable, it’s harmful.