Friday, April 13, 2007

KGOY Study Released April 2007 Causes a Buzz

A study released this week reveals what people are calling KGOY: Kids Getting Older Younger and how it relates to an all-time high on spending on young children’s clothing and designer clothing. I heard a story on FoxNews about this and then followed up by reading what I could find on the Internet.

On FoxNews the segment focused on girls, the way eight year old’s are dressing in sexy clothing to emulate Brittany Spears and they showed the Bratz dolls with the bare midriff, high heels, tight shirts, coiffed hair and full makeup.

The woman newscaster was speaking to some other woman (sorry, I didn’t catch who she was). They deduced that “Generation Y” young children seek to emulate teenagers. The teenagers are dressing in certain sexy ways and the younger girls eight and younger seek to dress in what adults consider sexy and way too sexy for children of that age. The woman being interviewed gave her opinion that when young girls dress in sexy ways they are playing dress-up in an innocent way and have no concept of what “sexy” means and that they are not trying to be “sexy” but just to emulate what teenagers and adults in today’s society are wearing and dressing (makeup, hair styles).

My opinion on the clothing issue is that the woman’s statements annoyed me because while the girls might think they are playing at dress up (yet not in imaginative play, it is living it out in real life) the adults know that what they are doing is wearing clothing that is inappropriate for their age. Prepubescent children should not be wearing sexy clothing in my opinion. What is worn is seen by the public and by people who do know what sexy is and innocent children who are not even at the age of puberty yet should not have their bodies on display in a sexy manner. Period. A little girl playing at dress up clothing at home with a boa and high heels is innocent, but wearing sexy clothing in public and to school is a totally different thing altogether.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen little girls exposed and private parts exposed while in public due to the sexy clothing their parents dress them in. I don’t think it is fair to the children who are just trying to play at normal child’s activities to have others see their exposed body parts and private parts. If you want an example, I have seen girls bending over, going down slides, on swing sets, and playing at the playground who are exposed. The low-rider pants which reveal their bare skin when they bend over is a problem. I saw a girl of about age 10 with the top of her jeans many inches below her navel with skin showing which was surprising. I see girls whose miniskirts expose their bodies and others whose skin tight shirts with words across the breast area attract the eye right to the chest area.

Back to the news story…
Toy companies were also to blame. However in the end they focused on and pinpointed (blamed) the parents because it is the parents who control what the kids wear and what toys they own. They said they think children today have parents who are spending more money on both toys and clothes as well as parents who are more lenient and willing to give in to provide whatever their children request. The parents are said to spend more money on children today and to get them whatever they want (versus what the parent likes or thinks is acceptable.) Also today’s children are more likely to speak up and demand what they want, which is different than what former generations were allowed to do, as former generations were not allowed to speak so freely to adults. When our parents said no, it meant no, period. Today’s kids seem to feel they have a right to their opinion, demand things, and most parents take backtalk and other type of discussion and negotiation as normal (that was definitely not allowed in my family when I was a child).

They did not talk for very long. They did not talk about boys.

So parents, it is up to you to set a standard in your home for what you think is right or wrong, period.

Here are some other stories on the web that I found today.

1. Tweens Keep Getting Older Younger
By: Thom Forbes
Published In: USA Today
Publication Date: 4/11/07

2. Retailers try to track preteen trends: Market for girls 8 to 12 years old gets narrower
Publication Date: April 12, 2007
BY Jayne O'Donnell
Published In: USA Today

3. A story about some of the products marketed specifically to tweens
In The Middle
By Travis Whitehead
Publication Date March 28, 2007
Published In: The Monitor

4. An older article that has some good information.
Article: Kids Getting Older Younger
Website: Advertising Educational Foundation
Publication Date 1999

5. An article published by the First Presbyterian Church of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania’s website about the issue viewed with comparisons to Biblical Scripture.
Publication Date: October 20, 2002

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Jess said...

Excellent post. I too am sickened by this phenomenon, and sickened even more by the "parents" who do anything they can do to avoid parenting. They try to be "cool", try to be their kids' friends, and encourage the kids in these oversexed trends.

It's shameful... when are parents going to step up and say, "enough is enough!"? I'm glad to see other people riled up about this as well.

Jess @ Making Home

Redbud said...

On the one hand we have this sickening trend to sexualize children, and on the other we have "adultlecence," the extension of adolescence into the twenties.

About a month ago, I was reading a British paper article about a controversial toy being sold at Tesco: they were selling a pink pole dancing kit for little girls. After parents complained, they moved the product to the exercise department.

And we keep wondering where all the predators are coming from.