Lingerie for 4-Year Olds?! How Over Sexualized Is Our Culture?

Where is the line between artistic expression and potentially harmful imagery?

A bra top

Via Sew Ripped, flickr

By: Amarpreet Atwal, Staff Writer

After news broke of 10-year-old model Thylane Loubry Blondeau posing topless, many heads turned within and outside of the fashion industry.

Now, a French fashion label, Jours Apres Lunes, has introduced a line of lingerie targeting children as youthful as four-years old.  This has caused much controversy not only within the entertainment industry but also social circles worldwide.

The continuously worsening industry of fashion has begun to dodge numerous allegations of over-sexualization adolescent models as well as the level of innocence held within our culture. Has the popularity of over sexualized figures in the media given our society the ability to make innocence obsolete?

Children’s fashion is an ever-growing industry, which continues to expand. As celebrities begin to integrate their children with high-level fashion, everyday companies, from Wal-Mart to Gap to Guess, are aiming to profit from the trend of well-styled children.

On one hand, having a sense of style can be seen as a form of self-expression, something that is encouraged in children and young adults. However, the confusion lies in the level of sexuality displayed directly and indirectly amongst these fashion ads and the manner of interpretation of each reader.

[pullquote]In order for our businesses to change what they sell to their consumer, society must remind itself the importance of childhood.[/pullquote]

When looking at the case of ten-year-old Blondeau, much of the North American public felt as though exposing a ten year old in such a provocative way was not appropriate in any context, including the guise of artistic expression.

Blondeau’s mother commented that Thylane does not know about this controversy and is still a normal ten-year-old girl. She also stated that this controversy was not something that was a hot topic within her native France.  Since there are very lenient policies regarding child exposure within countries like France, much of the controversy has been occurring within North America, where child exposure is always seen as a hot button issue.

North American children are continuing to battle with their own state of innocence and the ever-growing pressure to appear as “grown-up” as they can. Advertising campaigns used by popular companies and lack of regulations regarding child exposure in popular media has ostracized innocence to the point where we can now start to sell four-year-olds lingerie.

In order for our businesses to change what they sell to their consumer, society must remind itself the importance of childhood. Companies create what consumers crave. If what we crave is demeaning and shallow, then that is exactly how popular companies will make a profit.

Instead of living a life full of reality television and beauty pageants, we must once again familiarize ourselves with challenges and curiosity that help us move from one stage of life to another. This change may be the only way a proper childhood can be given to our children.


ARB Team
Arbitrage Magazine
Business News with BITE.

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