This post originally ran almost two years ago and I still feel as strongly about how retailers are running a “sexualization” campaign with our teens. If you need proof, just look at the fact that Facebook “eased” the restrictions for the 13-17 year old crowd. They say they did it to give them “more independence” yet, you and I know it’s to give advertisers their precious data. And, unfortunately, our teens are all too willing to give it to
If you didn’t see this post by fellow blogger Vinobaby’s Voice, you need to read it (after you read this, of course). It’s regarding the high school senior who is raising all sorts of chaos because her school’s yearbook staff rejected the girl’s senior photo submission. Once you see the pictures, I’m sure you’ll understand why they rejected them. Yes, It’s Too Sexy for ANY Yearbook
And while I disagree with her choice in photos, I get it. I get why she thought it was okay to turn the photos in. The next time you go to the mall, open a magazine, watch a show – pay attention. Look at what’s staring back at you. You’ve probably tuned it out because we as parents are so used to seeing it that we’re desensitized to it.
I took M to the mall the day after Christmas (a mistake I’ll never make again) to return a few things
that she had received from Abercrombie. Like every other teenager in America, she LOVES that store. It’s hip, it’s trendy, it has sexuality busting thru the ceiling tiles ( I hope she hasn’t picked up on that last part but I’m no fool). Abercrombie to her group is what Bennetton was to us in the 80’s. Anyhow… she picks out the items that she can afford with her return and I send her off to the dressing room.
As I stand there waiting for my sweet teenage daughter, I see this bottle of women’s perfume on display:
What?! Y’all I’m no prude but holy smack – what an image to stare you in the face! I felt like I needed a shower after seeing it.
Luckily, we were out of there before M saw it which is good because it would have been awkward for her… maybe as awkward as when she was stuck in the car with her dad and an Adam & Eve commercial came on. But if she had noticed it and mentioned it to me, I guarantee we would have had a conversation about it.
My point is – with all of this swirling around our kids, how could the girl in Colorado not think her senior photos were perfectly fine? Judging from the interviews she’s had with her mom at her side (who also thinks the photos are fine.. think she’d put them on the family Christmas card?) the difference between this mom and daughter duo and the majority of us is that there apparently were no such conversations.
Retail sexualization is all around. What do you do when faced with an “uncomfortable” ad like this? And sure.. go ahead and chime in on the photos 😉