Nowadays, the desire to look sexy is being emphasized in incredibly young ages of women. When I flip through TV channels, it discomforts me to see seven-year-old girls parading around in padded bras and high heels. The reality TV show “Toddlers and Tiaras” blatantly promotes this weird sexualization of a child who is supposed to look like an adult with a ton of sex appeal. The increased sexualization of little girls presents a plethora of psychological issues: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and low-self esteem.
Some may argue that the concept of “Toddlers and Tiaras” and similar reality TV shows is “harmless” and “cute,” but I disagree. The brazen objectification of young girls places unnecessary pressures on children to obsess over their physical attributes. It is devaluing and teaches girls to obsess over superficial characteristics instead of pursing their intellectual abilities. It is hard enough already for women to feel emotionally secure in this society, which constantly bombards us with unrealistic standards of beauty. Why place this same burden on a child?
In the media, there is a strange paradox where women are infantilized and portrayed in very child-like poses, whereas young girls are sexualized and made up to look like adult women. In both scenarios, nobody is empowered.