Married to the Empire

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What is happening to childhood?

There are a couple of things I've seen recently that have had me wondering about this. First, I saw a commercial for something called Kidz Bop. This is a product in which children are recorded singing today's popular music. There is something utterly disturbing to me to hear kid voices singing phrases such as "Hey, you! I don't like your girlfriend/ I think you need a new one/ I could be your girlfriend..." (Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend") Or Fergie's "Glamorous." And what about Maroon 5's "Makes Me Wonder," which is about sex and contains a lot of profanity? Listening to a clip, I see that they cleaned the song up, but there is still no excuse for children to be singing (or listening to) that song! How do those songs somehow become more kid-appropriate just because kids are singing them? To me, that makes them even worse. Why can't kids listen to actual kids' music?

Then I read this creepy article: Meet the Pre-Teen Beauty Addicts. So many things about this article made me angry. First, why on earth would a 9-year-old need to take 2 hours to get ready every morning? Why is mom allowing her to wear makeup? And what is a kid doing using toner and moisturizer? Kids have wonderfully beautiful skin and don't need to use beauty products!

The thing that really had my ire up was reading that a 14-year-old boy was pursuing a 9-year-old girl. The mom seemed to brush it off by saying that her daughter told him her age and that she's not interested. But a 9-year-old girl should not be handling pursuers or looking old enough to have those admirers!

One mother was quoted as saying, "It's frightening, but I don't know what I can do to stop her acting and dressing like a mini adult." Um, perhaps she could stop buying those clothes for her daughter?

Why are parents so eager to allow their kids to pretend to be part of the adult world? Why would any parent not want to protect and encourage his or her child's innocence?

I guess what bothered me most about that article was that I realized that my oldest niece, who lives in England like the girls in the article, is the same age as the kid who wears makeup, hangs out at the shops, and looks like a mini-adult. I'd hate to think that my precious nieces are surrounded by kids like that. My hope is that those children in the article are the rare exception, not the norm.


JunkMale said...

I find it annoying when parents will not assert their parental authority. It's like they're treating their kids like they are roommates or buddies or something.

And people in Jesus' time were called a perverse generation...

AnneK said...


I am new to your blog and found it through your response in Crystal's blog. I agree with you on Paige Patterson. I was incensed at that incident as well. And I read that article about pre teen beauty addicts (the link was from Shannon's blog I think) and it was SAD. I sent it to my husband and we were hoping that these kids were the exception and that we were not heading towards that kind of culture.

AnneK said...

Hey, it's me again. I just realized that you wrote that same last line as I did in my comment. I did not notice it when I was leaving a comment.

penguinsandladybugs said...

It is so scary. My 10 year old daughter (who is not fat AT ALL) said she wants to be skinny. I said to her, "what do you mean? you are beautiful and just fine." She said she wants a FLAT tummy. I don't know what to do with this. I just try to reprogram her but the world is so sexualized...anyway...just read your blog and wanted to share. Thanks for visiting my blog!