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clothing to fit child models because of the size zero obsession? The way I see it, 15 year old girls aren’t going to want to dress in something a 5 year old could be wearing, so they will go to the adult section. Plus the fact you are shopping in the kids section probably isn’t the biggest ego boost again, pushing them towards the adult section. So maybe it isn’t the advertising media that have influenced the sexualisation of young girls, perhaps it’s the clothing companies that are making simple mistakes in their ranges which could be solved by changes the titles?

sexualising young girls? Fashion has a tendency of running into controversy because of it’s faded boundaries and the growing number of critics. The fashion industry is expanding whilst the waists of those involved seem to be shrinking. We all know the media has a massive influence on society and women in fashion are always penalized for whether they are good role models, but are they to blame when they’re just following orders? Children seem to be growing up way too fast and it seems that learning to tie your shoes isn’t a necessity any more because most high heels have buckles, so whats the point. And why use baby soap, it’s not going to get waterproof mascara off you’re 6 year olds face. From what I see, young girls seem to be becoming miniature versions of their female family members before they leave primary school, and not in the adorable, lets make a joke about knowing who she’ll look like when you’ve married her way. But is the media and fashion industry to blame for this sexualisation of young girls? Recently Dakota Fanning has been the focus of all fashion news after posing for a perfume advert for Marc Jacob’s. In the ‘Oh Lola’ advert the 17 year old is sat with an oversized bottle of the product between her legs. She is wearing

a lightly coloured, floaty dress, which fits with her baby-face, but looking at the advert as a whole you see the provocative nature of it and for that reason, it has been banned in both the UK and USA. As she is under the age of consent by USA law, it has been brought up on many chat shows and social networking sights with the majority in agreement with the ban. I think a big part of why people are in disagreement of this advert is because we’ve seen Dakota grow up on our screens, as she first appeared on TV at age 6 so we always associate her with child actors even though she is approaching adulthood. French Vogue printed an edition hosting young girls, no older than 7, on the front cover wearing heavy makeup and adult clothing. Dressed in animal print and wearing very high heels, the girls were advertising children’s lines for couture brands such as Gucci and Jimmy Choo. They looked uncomfortable in most and strangely at home in others, but the fact they didn’t look their age is a concern in itself.

plies a 15 year old who is nearing the end of high school could be dressing the same as a 9 year old who is 2 years away from ending primary school! Peacocks have a section titled older girls on their website which has clothing for 5-15 years; the same dresses for the full age range. Online clothing site Boohoo start there teen collection at 9 years and run to 13 years, implying at 14 you should be shopping in the adult section. The dresses in this section are in a style I would wear to go clubbing in, which is worrying when I think about the young girls I see walking through town in the daytime who are wearing high heeled boots and short skirts. What happened to the days where sneaking into your moms room to put on her lipstick and heels was classed as ‘dress up’, instead, now you have your own heels at 10 and 6 lipsticks, one for every occasion.

Following in their footsteps are clothing stores which advertise adult and teen rages. Stores such as New Look who provide teen clothing for ages 9-15 which im-

But is this merely the effect of a changing generation and different upbringings or is it because designers are now making their

With that said, journalist and presenter Anna Richardson, known for her bolshy attitude and determined nature on programs such as The Sex Education show and Supersize vs Superskinny has fought this argument many of times. She has looked at fad diets, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery as well as focusing on the sexualisation on young people. She attacked stores with her army of concerned parents to show how items of clothing are changing children’s naivety. Not only

did she shame the clothing industry but WHSmiths was also penalised because of its adult magazines which were being advertised on the bottom shelf, next to the children’s section. So maybe you don’t even need to open a magazine, or turn on the TV to be bombarded by sexual imagery, because it’s everywhere. There is always controversy over the fashion business regarding size, and after a lengthy battle about size zero models, there was a big turnaround from the industry. But are they just slipping back to old habits, using women that are in the same size clothing as a 10 year old? For me it’s a harrowing fact that 10 years old on a size chart is measured at 24 inches for the waist and a women’s size 6 is 24.5 inches, but maybe I’m being naive.

and anything that showed your bare shoulders, so is the clothing of this era just pushing the boundaries that have always been moving? Beauty pageants start at very early ages and the little girls are marked on how big their hair is and how many sets of eyelashes they are wearing, as well as the skimpy outfits that i would deem suggestive, they wear to perform a skit for ‘talent’. I understand that it might give them a sense of being if they win, but 1 winner amongst 30 impressionable young girls is a big risk to take when the whole pageant is about looks.

The common consensus from girls my age was that the fun has been taken away from children and they seem to be focusing more on what they look like. Provocative clothing should not be sold to girls under the age of consent was another view, but how many girls would that stop? Also looking at the bigger picture, are the parents partly to blame for letting them go out in such suggestive outfits? But on the other hand, what is suggestive clothing, it used to be anything above the ankle

It seems that there are many things which are effecting how we grow up and from music videos to magazines and fashion shows. I think the only way to beat the system is to bring our kids up the right way, the way that gives them a childhood and keeps them innocent and gullible for as long as possible. Because at the end of the day, adverts are there to sell and if the demand is high they will always get away with being immoral.

Fashion causes controversy  

this is a case study regarding the sexualisation of young girls due to fashion.

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