So, one of my good friends teaches at a middle school. Last week, she was telling me that she often sees students in the hallway who are sporting thongs. And by thongs, I do not mean shoes. Combined with the popular low rise jeans among the adolescent sect, and, well, you know what you got a whole lot of going on in those hallways. Pair that little story with this unbelievable article that details not just eyebrow waxes for eight year olds but bikini waxes, and, well, I am a little speechless and a LOT bothered.
What in the world? What’s influenced that twelve year old to want to wear a thong? What is wrong with her mother who is willing to buy thongs for her twelve year old? And what in the world is going through the mind of the adults who are so consumed in hocking their products that they decide that their whole new target base for the thong is the tween market? What are all these people thinking? Or are they not? How do you arrive at the place where you think giving your eight year old a Brazilian is brazilliant? What is going on or missing or so twisted in your own life that you are willing to give your 2nd grader a complex about her own body? The consumerization of childhood is something that can only happen if we allow it to happen, if we perpetuate these beauty standards in such a way that it feels natural for children to be sold the bag of goods. We’ve got to fight it– we have to resist it. Even if we, personally, are not inclined to put our own children through this overcommercialization or overcommidification, we also need to be disciplined about what we are saying about ourselves or other people in front of the children in our lives and what messages we subliminally give them about looking pretty, etc. We have to be better- not just for ourselves and our children, but for the world.