Laura Bates writes (linked above):
…it is only when you look at all of this stuff together that you start to realise the immense impact it might be having on young girls. Everywhere they turn they are bombarded with the idea that their looks are everything, that their place is in the home, that pleasing the male gaze is paramount and that they are riddled with imperfections that need to be “fixed”. As if the constant bombardment of hyper-sexualised, airbrushed media images of women wasn’t enough to get the message across.
And things are only getting worse. One mother told us: “My seven-year-old daughter told me ‘Barbie is fat’ when she compared it to her Monster High doll.” Another said her five-year-old daughter had asked to be turned into a boy so she could go into space. A 15-year-old girl wrote to us to say that “I always feel like if I don’t look a certain way, if boys don’t think I’m ‘sexy’ or ‘hot’ then I’ve failed and it doesn’t even matter if I am a doctor or writer, I’ll still feel like nothing …”
So that’s the answer, for those people who want to know why we’re getting our knickers in a twist – why we’re getting so worked up about this. Because as long as our little girls receive the message, everywhere they look, that hiding their “imperfections” and making themselves sexy is the sum total of their value, we are failing them. Frankly they deserve better.
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