Thursday, 2 October 2014

"What does sexy mean Mummy?"

"I'M FEELING SEXY AND FREEEE...." Jessie J screamed out of the iPod speaker.

The music pounded out of the dance studio where my 8 year old A, was having her Street Dance lesson, the teacher encouraging hair shaking and hip swivelling.

I was not in the mood to hear that yesterday, and apart from pull her out of her class, protesting that the song was deeply inappropriate for little girls, little children in fact, I suddenly felt powerless to protect her from what the future years hold.

Thankfully A is quite an innocent 8 year old. She's interested in making stew-pies behind the garden shed, creating lurid loom bands for her friends, she likes having Famous Five stories read to her when her big blue eyes stare at the night ceiling, imagining the adventures and tight spots the four children and a dog get up to. She doesn't watch TV, only selected programmes on iPlayer and DVD's appropriate for her age, she hasn't seen MTV or pop video's on YouTube - the ones she has seen when I am with her are quickly switched off or laughed off.

I have no idea why that lady isn't wearing any clothes darling, she must be freezing!

But it's everywhere; on billboards and buses, in magazine adverts and on Facebook, Ann Summers shops in the High Street, overtly sexual clothing in H&M for 5 year olds and blaring out of the radio - I'm sexy and I know it eeeeeeh sexy lady op op op oppa Gangnam style....

There are hundreds of articles written about the sexualisation of young children, how damaging the Internet can be and how children are body conscious at the age of 9. There are stories of eating disorders and bullying and of Snap Chat and porn playing a huge part in young peoples lives.

I am scared for this future because no matter how many articles are written about it, no matter how many petitions we sign protesting about boobs in The Sun, no matter how much I protect my kids from videos on YouTube - it all still exists and nobody seems to be doing anything about it all.

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