By Donna Jones & Kerry Cue
Tiaras, white princess dresses, salon hair, make up and fake tans. I am not describing a wedding party or a debut set. Today, in Australia, some 7 year old girls go through the full ‘bridal makeover package’ to make their First Holy Communion.
Do parents realise they are sexualising their daughters for a religious ceremony? Or, is the sexualisation of young girls in our culture so endemic, parents do not think about it at all?
So girls learn at 7 years of age that:
– their real skin is not good enough (They have beautiful skin)
– their real cheeks are too rosy (They must be made to look like an adult)
– their real hair is too ordinary (They must have supermodel hair)
This is not just a BODY IMAGE issue. This story reflects a shift in values and connection to community. In his Theory of Cognitive Development Piaget used the term ‘decentering’, to define a child’s ability to think outside him or herself, to think of others. This stage stretches from 7 – 12 years of age. So at the very point where children start to think how others might feel in a situation, we turn the spotlight on them. We create little narcissists.
Sad, isn’t it.
As for the tiara, that’s fine. Every young girl is a princess.
Photo Source: Pinterest.
Toni Morrison Quote: link