Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls
I have two daughters, I work in the aesthetics industry and I, like most of us here have witnessed first hand the tragic consequences of a body-obsessed culture. It is no wonder that more and more people are becoming disillusioned with society when you have to walk past a “want longer lasting sex?” billboard on your way to the corner shop. Getting Real is one of the scariest books I have read in a long time and I neither want to be part of this problem or a victim of this gutter morality.
In a nutshell the book questions the general direction of popular culture especially with respect to our children and young women. Our girls are playing with badly behaved dolls, watching shows that emphasise girls ‘hotness’ over their intelligence, sportiness or kind natures (or anything else for that matter), listen to songs with down-right disgusting lyrics, walk past billboard such as the one above, sold clothes that would make a pole dancer blush and read celebrity diet tip and cosmetic surgery before-and-after shot magazines. All this before they reach puberty (which is happening soon enough anyway).
I have so far taken a ‘eyes wide open’ approach when this type of thing crosses our paths as I have been worried that the lure of the forbiden fruit would make these things all the more appealing. I am lucky to be with my kids quite a lot (as I mainly work from home at ungodly hours usually). I hold regular family talk-fests (where I do the listening), answer my kids questions and pose scenario’s to them: “when a girl dresses like that, what do you think it makes other people think of her?” My kids are only 6 and 8 and I have had to give them a fair bit more sex education that I would have liked. Why? Because they are living in an over-sexed culture where love and respect which were once mandatory have now even slipped off the ‘optional’ shelf. Things are looking pretty grim and this book confirms it.
I have given up on the TV mostly and luckily my kids don’t seem to miss it. However, it is very difficult to avoid all sexual messages due to the fact that it has infiltrated so many aspects of normal life – I mean even laptop sales people are selling us sex (oh, and would you like a hard drive with that sir?) So yes, I do address questions in an age appropriate way and do try to limit my kids exposure to these things but look, it’s not easy.
Then there is my job, my background, my passion. I am a cosmetic chemist and as such may well be part of the problem. I try not to be and have dedicated this blog to the pursuit of beauty happiness (with or without lotion) but I understand that sometimes I do have one foot in each camp so to speak. However, I firmly believe that once one has built up a strong sense of self and a realistic set of expectations about ones outward appearance the business of external beautification revolves around an agenda of playful fun and self-expression rather than one of enslaved victim. Getting the masses to this point is not likely to be easy either – we must raise our collective Emotional Intelligence way higher and must support each other like never before.
This book contains far more evidence and insight into the lives of young girls than I could have ever imagined and while it is important to remember that yes, there are still great people out there, fabulous young men and wonderfully supportive parents and guardians, I urge you to read it, digest it and then use all of your strength to stop this before our children get hurt.
Innocence should never be sold or abused.
N.B: A very quick scout of this weeks news: