Shielding Our Daughters from Indecent Marketing Influences
The one thing I never considered when I first became a parent is some of the ridiculous things I’d have to protect my children from. The hubby and I have been pretty good at monitoring what the kids watch on television because of the violence and gore factor and even now, we’re shocked at what some of our parent peers are allowing their kids to watch. We decided early on that they were allowed PG or G-rated movies UNLESS we’d had the chance to preview the movie first. This was all done when Bug was the only child and still a bouncing baby boy; too young for anything outside lullabies and 2 a.m. feedings.
Then we had a girl.
Why that changed things I don’t really know. What I do know is that hubby and I both became hyper aware of the entertainment, toy, and even fashion options, especially for little girls. As if we parents don’t have enough problems and challenges, we now have to worry about raising sexed-up little divas simply because that’s what media and current trends are offering.
Girls have limited options.
It's a fact. We've always had limited options. Unfortunately, I'm just now realizing it.
I could’ve gone and bought trains, trucks and Legos for Bebe when she was little (and we do have plenty of those from three boys!) and dress her in blue jean coveralls but I didn’t want her to be a carbon copy of the big brother she already had.
(Though I readily admit that the coveralls my uncle bought her one year made her the cutest little girl in blue jean coveralls I’ve ever seen… but I digress).
I became bent with keeping my little girl respectable without losing her identity as a girl. It was a challenge and it continues to be one as she grows up and we see the constant sexual advertising that girls are exposed to. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop at pop idols or magazines. It trickles down into their clothing and even their toys.
Dolls with too much makeup, plumped-up-plastic-and-rubber-lips all sporting the same skimpy clothing is enough to make me want to beg the Amish to borrow one of their dresses for my daughter and begin hand sewing her dolls and carve their accessories from the bark of the trees in my backyard. (Okay, not really. But I’m getting closer every day).
The best advice I can give any parent who is struggling like me to maintain some dignity in their daughter’s clothes, toys and media options is to talk openly with them about the guidelines you’re setting forth and why you’re doing it.
Ask her what her reasons are for wanting that outfit, that doll… Don’t be afraid to explore what underlying reasons she may have for wanting those things.
Will it work? Maybe, maybe not but slowly my little girl is learning what her dad and I find acceptable and has started speaking out in agreement on what she finds tasteful and distasteful.
It’s a start right?