Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Children are NOT Objects: Response to Video from @JessicaGottlieb

The originally scheduled post for today shall not be seen today, so that I can go off about this video. Major thanks to Jessica Gottlieb for putting this up and for all those who have shared it and it's incompetency and just plain wrongness. I am not going to embed the video because it is just sickening to think about, and extremely rage inspiring for me being a dad with a daughter. The link is at the bottom of the post if you wish to see it.

Here it is in a nutshell : Fashion bras for girls ages 4 to 6. That's right, ages 4 to 6. Sold in a popular store, marketed by people who just don't get it and just don't care. Well, I have a little something to say to them, because I DO get it, and I DO care.
You people should be ashamed of yourselves for even thinking this product was a great idea. Who are you, and other media and marketing groups, to force sexuality on girls that young?!! You should be publicly ridiculed and locked in the stocks for the whole world to through rotten food at. Girls that age are NOT dolls, they are NOT objects of your grand marketing schemes and sleeze. THEY ARE CHILDREN!!!

They deserve the grandness of being a child, exploring their imagination and world on THEIR OWN TERMS. They deserve to have involved parents, and in the underlying theme of this blog, DADS who desire to be there for their daughters to foster their creativity, to support them, and to help raise a confident self acknowledging daughter. They DO NOT deserve to be confused by people like you and to be forced to address more adult matters at such a young age. They DO NOT deserve to be saturated by money hungry, unthoughtful media and marketing plans that force them to think they are not good enough.


All that being said let me make something else clear: I do not consider people who purchase these clothing items bad people. And I really don't think the people working for the companies are bad people inside and personally. They are just very misguided and blinded by their quest for "beauty" or for making money to see the reality of it all. I hope that all parents, dads and moms, will take note of what is being done to our children, and make the right choice in deciding that they will teach their children that they are great, wonderful, beautiful, strong, and empowered, and they don't need everything that the media and marketing world throws at them.

And know this : It is not just an issue for our daughters. Sexualization of our children knows no gender, knows no age, and knows no boundaries. To continue this fight, we as parents must also know no gender, no age, and no boundaries in our quest to put an end to what is wrong, and what is destroying the children of the world. Dads, moms : Let us reach out and speak out for our children. We are the biggest advocates for them. Let your voice be heard that you will not stand for this kind of personal corruption of our children. Let these corporations know that your child is beautiful, strong, and unique, without their products and services.

Make the commitment right now to stand up and be a voice for your child. Check out some of the links below for more information and resources on fighting the sexualization of our children. Many thanks to @PigtailPals for cluing me in to a lot of this, and for the resources available from the Pigtail Pals blog!

Resources and other links -

Also check out The Girl Effect -

Follow on Twitter - @ShapingYouth

Video by @JessicaGottlieb


Chelcie@Forever&After said...

I can't believe this. I'm still pretty stunned that they could
market this. Are there enough people (moms I'm assuming) buying these for it to be worthwhile?! Although on the other hand, I used to play dress up as a little girl with my moms undergarments, and that is about the only situation I can see these being used for....

DaddyYo said...

@Chelcie I understand children playing dress up with their parents clothes, undergarments included, but there is a big difference, I think, in playtime, and marketing sexuality. Pretty stunning indeed.

runaway sentence. said...

I love you. SHOUT it from the mountaintops! I stand with you. Thank you.

Daddy Files said...

Sorry, but I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Don't get me wrong, even if I had a daughter I wouldn't buy this for her. Personally I think it's completely unnecessary for girls this young. I think it's a stupid idea too.

But corruption? That's a stretch. How would putting this on a 4-year-old corrupt her? I don't think it would. To a young girl that age it's just another article of clothing. And I'm sure little girls (and probably little boys too) dress up in their mom's clothing. Hell, I think there's a picture of me somewhere in my parents' house dressed up in my mom's bra at the age of 3-4. I know there's a difference because this is being marketed at young girls and their parents, but I don't understand this level of uproar.

Companies do not have an obligation to be morally upright and decent for our children's sake. Corporations are out to make money. And obviously they think there's a market for this or they wouldn't be selling it. So really if there's angst to be had here, it should be directed at the parents who buy this stuff because without them spending money on it the product would disappear.

Is this any worse than putting a little girl in a 2-piece bikini? I see those all the time and haven't heard any condemnation.

Again, I agree that this is a stupid product and that it is inappropriate and unnecessary for girls that age. I would never buy it. But insinuating these little bras represent corruption and the downfall of society as we know it seems a bit much to me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to slink back into my bomb shelter to avoid the pending fallout from my remarks!

runaway sentence. said...

You'll just have to trust me when I say I'm way open-minded and most definitely not a prude, but I think bikinis for little girls are wrong too. Not to judge other parents, not the point. I just really don't get that, not at all. Bikinis are sexy. Little girls are not.

DaddyYo said...

I understand completely your point. And I do think there is a level of blame to be put on the parents for buying it for sure. You are right there. I don't think it is the "downfall of society as we know it" but I do think that the trend of marketing products for kids is turning a little darker with time. Whatever happened to lincoln logs and the little doll that helps you practice buttons zippers and tying your shoe? We know of so many younger and younger girls who are attracted by the media sense of "beauty" and they capitalize on that. In my opinion, I just don't see how if you are a parent, you can be the one marketing like that, make sense?

No backlash to you at all because everyone is entitled to their opinion and as always on this blog, the discussion is open for both sides of the argument. I welcome all views on it, because that's how issues get talked about, and resolved. Thank you for your comment and input and keeping the convo going.

LindsayDianne said...

I noted these "push up" style bras in a big box store when my daughter was still in diapers. It became very very blazingly apparent to me that having a daughter was going to be a lot of work. Well, a lot of work, that is, if I had a desire to raise her into a woman with self respect and a love of her body the way that it is, without foam inserts.
This is interesting, though, to me.. Because a few days ago I went off on someone's blog (okay, so I respectfully said my piece) because she had written about this hard work she had done as an anti-princess mommy who chose not to expose her kids to certain Disney Princesses.... and that all this effort would be undone when he daughters entered mainstream.
I said that these little girls will emulate mom before they emulate Ariel... but that while you may not have a choice in what they're ultimately exposed to in school, you certainly have a choice in how you spin the way they view these things.
There is no way, that I can think of, to remotely spin push up bras for BABIES (and I do mean anyone under the developing age of nine, and that's early). How can a culture that throws fear of pedophilia at parents from every direction- also market clothing to make little girls more sexually attractive?

How do these people sleep at night? Oh, because there's a huge market for under educated people with no future who look forward only to putting their sons in the army and of their daughters marrying up and out of the trailer park as a means of survival success. And these companies are interested only in squeezing every last cent from the hopeless. Like a Sheriff Of Nottingham Walmart.

I'm pissed off today, sorry about the rant.

Daddy Files said...

@LindsayDianne: Whoa whoa whoa...

I have no problems with anything you said up until: "Oh, because there's a huge market for under educated people with no future who look forward only to putting their sons in the army..."

I'm not sure if you meant it the way it came out, but I take great offense to that. I know plenty of people in the Army and my good friends have served repeatedly overseas. And the fact that you're paralleling a lack of education with joining the Army is extremely troubling. Not to mention downright idiotic. I know many military families who have a proud tradition of serving our country and they are not "under educated" at all. Quite the opposite in fact.

Again, I'm trying not to practice some restraint because I'm hoping you didn't mean it that way, but that's the way it came out.

LindsayDianne said...

No, no no... What I'm saying is that there is a LARGE group of people who HAVE no choices to GET educated other than enlisting.
I've got no problems with your armed forces at all, but I do know that for hopeless and broke people in a LOT of small American towns, the army offers an out for them.
And IF someone was to not want to enlist a lot of times there is no other out. I can see how you read it, and I didn't mean it quite like that.
Your army actually does educate people better than they could afford if they didn't enlist. That's sort of my point.

The JackB said...

My six year old sometimes wears a two piece bikini. It is not my favorite swimsuit, but it works. And the reason it works is because there is nothing sexual about it or her other clothing.

But the thing is that she is dressed in age appropriate garb. You don't see her and think that her mother is trying to prep her for a pageant or that she is dressed to go clubbing.

She does little girl stuff. Some of the clothing really isn't age appropriate at all. But it really has a lot to do with how you treat them and what your expectations are.

DadStreet said...

Quite an interesting little discussion we have going here John. I love your enthusiasm and passion over this. I am also very protective of my baby girl (27 months old).

I agree, it's really unfortunate, one could argue sick, that there's ever any sexuality entered into the creation and subequent marketing of products for (especially for) underage children. I do think we need to be careful (not necessarily about the product in the video) about which products we look at in terms of connotation. Some products are very much provocative while others are not in their own right. What we as a society portrays or perceives it to be is the key. Take for example, all the misguided Schmucks out there that think breastfeeding is innappropriate. Again, there are many products that do promote this sort of sickness but others (say a simple top) are just perceived that way.

Regarding those products that are inherently marketed at sexuality and are for small children I think we (as much if not more) we need to focus on the parents. We need to teach our children that there are influences in life. They will be pressured into consuming things that are "evil". It's our job not to rid of these "evils" (as that's not realistic) but to give our children the tools necessary to avoid them.

Good post and great discussion here.

DaddyYo said...

Awesome! See? This is what discussion is all about and how people get informed and make decisions. Thanks to everyone who is keeping that discussion going and all sides coming to the table. @TheJackB it is a lot in how you look at it and how you approach it. Age appropriate is loose term, in my opinion, but great point! @DadStreet, it is mostly about focusing on the parents who buy the stuff, and their intentions. @LindsayDianne the push up bras? Now that is disturbing. And yes, the Army does offer a way out for a lot of americans who have no other way out. But not always the way they go ;)

runaway sentence. said...

Hey JackB, just to let you know I am NOT judging, it just always looks weird to me when I see the littles in bikinis. It gives me pause. Not a "what are those parents thinking?" pause, more like a "that looks weird to me" pause. My girl is 4, does your 6 year old find it more comfortable? I've always found 2-piece suits cooler and more comfy, so maybe I should just lighten up. About swimsuits anyway.

runaway sentence. said...

But don't get me started on the thongs for 7-year-olds. Yikes.

Adam said...

My daughter will not be wearing a bra. Well, eventually, yes she will, when she has a..... ummm... physical need to.

She is not my doll. She is an innocent child. These people are clearly exploiting children to make a buck, and feeding into the oversexualization of children. This is yet another product that will be marketed to young girls telling them that "this" is what girls should look like, and dress. Don't they get enough of that in their teen years?

Melissa Wardy said...

Thanks for your great post and it was a pleasure talking with you last night. The fuss, about bras with molded cups marketed to preschool aged girls, or girls in bikinis, or Bratz dolls, or "toys" focused on fashion/beauty/shopping/getting guys is that 1) it sexualizes our children harming their natural development and 2) and this is MOST concerning - it blurs the line of taboo.

Most people understand the concern raised when our children are viewed as sexual objects or sexual partners, so I won't go into that.

For those who do not yet understand or comprehend the children's right's issue that is sexualization, learn more here:

Thanks for joining the fight!
Melissa Wardy

Kellen said...

The greater problem with these types of clothing is not the responsible parents that are trying to allow their children to mature in a natural way within their homes. The problem is that these items and marketing of such are sexualizing our young children in society. In a time when people are bombarded with news stories of kidnapped / molested / abused children, we need to remind EVERYONE about the innocence of youth. This shoves that innocence into the dirt and sullies it horribly.

The JackB said...

I didn't think that you were.

Chris said...

Way to go JT. At the very least, this might give people something to think about. I have more to say, but I'll save it for a post next week.

Chris said...

I agree with you on that and the crux is your last 2 sentences: Bikinis are sexy. Little girls are not. That's the whole thing right there. Like Melissa mentions above: it blurs the line of taboo.

Me said...

Okay, I'll agree that this is sick, wrong, distressing, etc., but what is even worse is that people, with daughters, will buy these. So sad and so strange.

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