Alexandra O’Dell, a student at North Idaho College, does a great job of integrating data, interviews, and images in this 11-minute video about the sexualization of young girls in the media:
While I agree with 99% of the video, I have to object to the choice to include Starfire from the 2003-2006 Teen Titans show as an example of the sexualization of young girls. "A person's value coming only coming from his or her sexual appeal or behavior to the exclusion of other characteristics" is the antithesis of Starfire's portrayal on Cartoon Network, even if she does happen to show her midrift (an unfortunate carryover from her comic book origins). The short version of why starfire is a great character is summed up in this comic strip(http://www.shortpacked.com/2011/comic/book-13/04-remedial-adulthood/math/), but if you want the full version here is a blog post about why a 7-year-old girl loves TV's Starfire but is uncomfortable with comicbook Starfire (http://io9.com/5844355/a-7+year+old-girl-responds-to-dc-comics-sexed+up-reboot-of-starfire).
I'm hoping this was just an issue of wanting to mock Starfire's comicbook portrayal, but choosing this particular google image result because it downplays her alien nature (her hair is literally on fire in the comics) while being younger than her comic book counterpart (thus fitting better into the young girls narrative), on top of being a more SFW picture (comicbook starfire shows more skin than any other DC hero I can think of short of Doctor Manhattan) without realizing that this is a drastically different character, despite sharing the same name as her comicbook counterpart.
Again, I agree with the point the video was trying to make, but I would hate to see TV's Starfire's good name dragged through the mud. To butcher an MLK quote, it's important to judge these TV characters not by the skin shown by their character models, but by their actions and motivations in the show.
As a Teen Titans fan myself, I didn't mean to bash Starfire, it was more pointing out the fact that even in children's cartoons, females are constantly shown in sexy, or more revealing attire that emphasizes their bodies. With adult comic book geeks, it's a given that they want to see scantily clad superheroines, but children are being exposed to that too, albeit in smaller doses.
[...] Sociological Images is a video highlighting the incredible amount of sexualization present in the representation of [...]
There's a huge difference between APPRECIATING how someone looks, and feeling ENTITLED to always having female sexuality be available to you. Far too many people (of any age or gender) value women and girls primarily for their ability to please men in a sexual way. This extends far beyond mere "entertainment" -- no matter what task a woman or girl is performing, she's expected to be sexy hot for the benefit of men while she does it.
Considering how rampant the sexualization of women and girls has become, to see this discussion devolve into bickering over "well gee that one rare thing isn't as bad as the others" reminds me of a total freaking idiot. Miss the point much?
I think you make a lot of good points. But, god DAMN. A few comments:
1- No matter what insults to academia like Lisa Wade are cramming down your throat, those bikini tops were NOT for six year olds, and they were not actual push ups (yes, they were labeled as such, but they were lightly padded in the way most swimsuits are to prevent nipple exposure). The smallest available size of that swimsuit MIGHT have fit a six year old who was unusually overweight or developed way earlier than usual, but was closer to the average size of an 11 or 12 year old. The swimsuit line, despite what alarmist media and the know-nothings who take it as fact (Lisa) say, it was never intended for 6 year olds, but for middle school aged girls. If you have something to say about that, please do. If you just want to repeat what some mother assumed and reported to Dateline, please stop. It's not intellectual or subversive to parrot poorly researched bullshit.
2- A lot of the media you used, again, made great points. But also, you mixed it in with, well, every media. Artists like Nicki Minaj are not and never were intended to be consumed by young girls, certainly not the same demographic as Miley Cyrus, Bratz, or the Winx Club. Sure, young girls do end up exposed to media intended for adults and older teens who are able to differentiate, but that is not the responsibility of the artist who's explicitly aiming for adults. That's a completely different issue of sexualization, but it's the responsibility of parents and other people who should be controlling what young kids consume.
3- Final, and most disturbing point. First, I noticed you focused on people like Nicki Minaj and Beyonce, women who, while undoubtedly sexualized, make it a point to focus the sexual lyrics on themselves and their own pleasure. No focus is put on men who sexualize women as objects, only women who react to that by reclaiming their own right to their sexuality. In conjunction with your own use of misogynist language ("kinderwhore" and "hooker chic") you don't really seem to be making the point that women shouldn't feel pressured to be sexualized....it comes off to me that women should not be sexual, PERIOD. Terms like "kinderwhore" don't give credence to your argument, they shame women who choose to be, in your personal opinion, "whorish." And I don't mean to say 5 year olds can legitimately choose to think tank tops are cute, but the association with "5 year old in tube top = kinderwhore" implies "21 year old women in tube top = whore." Which buys into another sexist, stupid idea (also touted by Lisa, so you know it needs to be looked at with a critical eye) that adult women and older teen girls NEVER do anything that might be considered sexual, attractive, or cute without implicitly thinking "how will this make me come across to men?" Adult women wear "revealing" clothes (quotes because what counts are revealing is so, so subjective) all the time for reasons other than "getting male attention." I'm wearing what many would consider "revealing" shorts right now. I haven't seen a man all day. But, today is one of the coolest days I've experienced in over a month....it's nearly 90 degrees. Like hell am I wearing "modest" clothes all summer, when it's going to hit 120 degrees repeatedly. Plus, what if I was a lesbian? Or just not terribly interested in meeting men? My closest friend wears miniskirts and tight tops and makeup a lot, and she has since we were in middle school. She really hates random male attention, she is disgusted with pretty much any male attention outside of a boyfriend, and any attention from boyfriends better be romantic ("you look pretty"), not sexual ("they way you look arouses me"). This attitude doesn't really sell female empowerment to me as it sells female chastity. It just seems to push an older version of what "femininity" is without effectively challenging the new one.
Interesting video, but really poorly edited.
That was terrible! The corellation = causation, the display of evidence with sparse discussion, and perhaps most horrendous, the music. Plus when was this made? Bratz dolls went out of production a few years ago. If she's in 9th grade, B+, college C-. You want to help the cause, not make us look bad.
I made a way-too-long comment on the video and paper here:
http://parrotbeak.tumblr.com/post/23054212557/on-the-sexualization-of-young-girls , if you care to read. I can also offer you this:
http://monsterhigh.wikia.com/wiki/Clawdeen_Wolf's_School's_Out_Diary#September_12th if you are curious about the MH diary entry I mentioned.
i'm not new to topics in gender studies and women's studies, so i feel that many of the points made were ones i was familiar with. yet, though some have suggested the editing was poor, i would actually really congratulate the production. at the end of the video, when these young girls are saying how they feel about their own bodies and appearance, i was very moved and upset. it isn't just those girls, but seemingly nearly all young girls, who have insecurities over their bodies. and my experience is that even as they get older, and even become aware of society's impact on their own body image, the insecurities and the low self esteem remain. it's very upsetting to have seen the effects this has had on people i know and care about. doubly upsetting to remember that this is a systemic problem which will continue, and probably be exacerbated by its continued proliferation, and we don't do enough to tackle the root causes. well done for making the video!
[...] is the fact of Lisa Wade’s embedding of the video on Sociological Images, in a post called “On the Sexualization of Young Girls“. The fact that Lisa Wade thought it was relevant (somehow) to Sociology — and to [...]
[...] help but see the sexualization of children, from the pageant circuit (or circus, you might say) via tv, movies and magazines to even just every-day [...]
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