Written by Julie Cadieux, julieloveshome.wordpress.com
Julie Cadieux is both a Home Stylist and a Freelance Writer. Currently based out of Montreal, she has also lived and traveled extensively throughout the United States. The busy wife and mom of three is the only designer in the city who offers on site decorating help, detailed email consultations, and is a published writer. Julie contributes articles for her blog, Julie Loves Home, as well as for clients such as RONAMAG, Bob Vila Nation, and The Hudson St. Lazare Gazette. She believes that a home is both an investment and a refuge; “I think one of the nicest things you can do for yourself is to create a space that you feel relaxed and proud to be in.” Julie can be reached via email at JulieLovesHome@gmail.com.
Sugar and spice and everything nice—NOT!
We’ve all read the articles and seen the news programs about how we are over-sexualizing our children. I get it. Even those seemingly innocent television programs on the Disney Channel geared to our little girls have the actors wearing more jewelry, make-up, and shorter skirts than I would ever allow my daughter to wear no matter what her age!
I’ll never forget that first bizarre shopping trip when I realized she had outgrown the baby/toddler section, and I now had to shop in the young girls department. I held up a cute pink t-shirt, only to find a playboy bunny stitched to the front. Then there were the panties that had “cutie pie” and “who needs credit cards” written in glitter across the front. Now, I am in no way a prude, but my daughter was 5 years old at the time; and there was no way I was going to let her go to kindergarten wearing anything sexy or that would dumb her down, such as the one blouset that read “I’d rather be shopping.”
There really isn’t much you can do as a parent except to be choosy about what toys and clothing you allow into your home; install those parental safeguards on your laptop; and pay close attention to what television shows and movies they watch. Even those handy ratings that the industry invented can no longer be trusted. My husband was recently embarrassed and disgusted when he took our son and his friend to a G rated movie, and the content was violent and sexual with many references to rape and bondage. Nice.
As for music, I know of one mom who gets all bent out of shape over her daughter’s love for Justin Bieber. Does it make me a bad mom that I think he’s a sweetie and his lyrics are pretty harmless? Tune in to any radio station playing popular music, and it’s completely impossible to not hear worse: sex, bleeped out swear words, binge drinking, drugs, and more sex. I just returned from the store with my daughter and caught her singing along with a tune playing on the radio: “Boys trying to touch my junk-junk, smack ’em if they get a little too drunk-drunk…” And she wonders why I insist on listening to talk-radio when she’s around.
Yup. It’s no shock—we all know it. We live in an oversexed world. But what I am witnessing is little girls not just being groomed to be sexual but who are acting sexual right now. When did this shift occur, where we (parents) have to worry less about boys and more about the girls our daughters hang out with?
Examples: The 12-year-olds who were sent home from school for purposely not wearing underwear under their mini-skirts; the seventh grade girls who propositioned the boys in the school bathroom; the 13-year-old babysitter who explained the birds and bees to the 8-year-old and showed her how to French kiss a boy, and then wanted to practice with her; the 6th graders who snuck bright color thongs to school to wear under thin white pants, and the 9-year-old classmate who got dropped off for a play date but was sent home 45 minutes later for getting caught aggressively harassing, pursuing, and trying to molest her 9-year-old friend (who is still having nightmares by the way). No, these are not ripped from the headlines stories, but they are real experiences that have taken place to those close to me.
I have two older sons, and from what I can tell, they and their friends seem like typical dudes. The hairstyles, saggy jeans, and obsession with technology are the only real differences I notice between boys today and a couple of decades ago. But these girls terrify me. Can it be as simple as blaming YouTube videos and bad parenting? Probably not, but I hope so because it means I have some kind of chance to keep my little girl innocent and playing with dolls for a few more years.