There is a trend which has been emerging for a while now, and this trend has become more prevalent in the last 5 or 6 years (or possibly – that’s about as long as I have noticed it…)
This is the trend for children to dress, and act, as if they are far older than their age. ‘But that’s been the case for ages’ you may say, and you would be right – I remember myself, aged around 8 or 9, wearing my mothers’ high heels and putting her lipstick on in-front of her mirror, pretending I was a clever, important lady with a nice husband. This is the kind of innocent playing around which many little girls (and some little boys) do. Kids love to play at being ‘Grown Up’.
However, what if that ‘Grown Up’ is overtly sexual in nature – unacceptably so for 8, 9, 10 year old children to be exposed to?
This is NOT a blog post about the look (as in size, shape etc) of models, actresses, or other women in the limelight, it is about the sexual influences in music and TV which I believe are a huge influence on young girls who grow up to dress so provocatively on nights out.
A sexual presence has been evident in popular culture for a number of years, however, Madonna’s raunchy videos in the 80’s and early 90’s were far less accessible to young audiences than, say -Black Eyed Peas’ ‘my lovely lady lumps’ – is this a lyric you want your 9 or 10 year old daughter singing along to? Or perhaps even your slightly older daughter, just learning about sex and relationships, singing along to Rihanna’s music ‘Whips and chains excite me’.
With these songs and artists being so mainstream and always on the radio, in magazines, at concerts on the television, and the internet – it makes them very difficult to avoid.
A year or so ago I was driving home from work around 5pm and listening to Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’ – ‘Come on rude boy, boy, Can you get it up, Come here rude boy, boy, Is you big enough’ Melanie C, (of Spice Girls fame) said of Rihanna’s public image: “Rihanna has responsibility and although culture’s always changing, it’s changed too much. It needs to be dealt with.”
When you and the kids are watching the X Factor on a Sunday evening, and Rihanna is on stage, grinding against one of the contestants, followed by another performance, dressed in what can only be described as underwear and dancing provocatively, while Christina Aguilera follows dressed in Burlesque gear, along with similarly dressed back-up dancers writhing on chairs and against each other.
I feel this is unacceptable, of both the television producers, and – as Melanie C highlights, of the artists themselves. Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus etc are all role models, whether they want to be or not. Young girls look up to these women as examples of how to live, what to aspire to, what they listen to, and how they dress.
Another example is Lady Gaga – the queen of controversial, who’s songs include lyrics such as:
‘I’m on a mission,
And it involves some heavy touchin’ yeah.
You’ve indicated your interest,
I’m educated in sex, yes.
And now I want it bad,
Want it bad.’
Gaga happens to be one of my favorite artists, and I enjoy her music and style, however, outfits and provocative behaviour, such as those in her live shows and in videos such as Alejandroare, which I feel are, quite frankly, massively inappropriate for many of her younger fans.
One aspect I have not mentioned is young men – who, upon seeing female celebrities dressing and acting in this way, and then seeing their female counterparts imitating this look and behaviour, may grow up to expect girls and young women to always look and act like this for them.
On nights out with my friends, I see countless girls in their late teens and early 20’s, dressing in tight dresses so short their entire legs are on show, if not their backsides, necklines so low their breasts are barely contained, and so much makeup you can hardly see what the real girl underneath looks like. This is how far they will go to feel like the stars they so want to be. These girls go out to get drunk, flirt and dance like these celebrities they so admire, and proceed to wonder why they do not get treated well by ‘nice guys’? The photo on the left is the norm for what I see on a night out – but in many areas there are far worse outfits on show!
In conclusion, I believe the more and more overtly sexual celebrities like Rihanna become, without realising that their younger fans, and clothing brands also catering to these young girls notice this. Why else do we see minature padded bras, high heeled shoes, and tee-shirts with words such as ‘porn star’ slogans written on them. All of this, I feel, leads to many girls who grow up more and more insecure with their natural look, feeling they must act similar to these celebrities as that is the expectation of them.
I must stress that, of course, this is not the case for all girls – many never feel like this and many girls of my age do not go out dressed like the photo above, but many do, and worse. If you have ever watched Snog, Marry, Avoid, you’ll know what I mean!
OK – rant for the week over, and I feel satisfied for now, until I next see Rihanna or Gaga on TV looking and acting overly sexually! I do feel like I am suddenly a middle aged mother of teenagers, instead of the mid twenties, single girl I currently am!
Jo out 🙂