Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Girls just wanna have fun...

When I think back to my childhood compared to what is happening today I am relieved in many ways to have grown up in the sixties and seventies. I lived in a little cul-de-sac road of new houses full of young families who provided instant friends to play with, fight, compete against and interact with. Most of this went on outside in the road which was free of cars for much of the day as people only had one car per family and that was used by the head of the house to go to work.

We didn't have the fantastically creative opportunities of digital cameras, YouTube, or computers but we could play without fear of being abducted, run over or generally aggressed unless we were doing something wrong (like building hay fortresses in the farmer's field...).

I hated dolls, including Barbie, but loved my (all male) teddies, my scooter, pedal go-kart, brother's bike, and push-along donkey. I would have hated Bratz dolls too had they been sold then. When I saw them for the first time I couldn't believe how such brazenly sluttish dolls could be sold to little girls. I couldn't understand how parents could possibly accept that such plastic hookers be a suitable present for impressionable minds.

My opinion of these dolls has since been borne out by a report cited in the Telegraph today. A group of leading psychologist are warning parents about the corrupting influence of such dolls which project girls into inappropriate sexualisation. Clothes for little girls have also become overtly sexy and their magazines are a far cry from the ones I came across in my youth, including 'Jackie' which, I thought at the age of 15, was already very progressive!

It never ceases to amaze me how stupid so many parents are. Why do they allow their daughters to dress like hookers, play with doll hookers and read magazines that tell little girls how to dress and act like hookers? Don't they realise that this is damaging for young minds? Should we be surprised at the rise in underage sex when childhood is being so corrupted?

I am relieved to have boys who, whilst they may be noisy and boisterous, do not have a desire to look like pimps, play with pimp action figures or read magazines promoting pimping. Girls these days are definitely a different kettle of fish!

Talking of which, the ResidentAdo comes back to France tomorrow after spending two weeks with her mother. Modern day adolescence is also a phenomenon which horrifies me - jeans that barely cover pubes, shorts so short they should only be worn in the bedroom and an attitude of demanding independence without responsibility. Basically it boils down to 'I want to do as I like and I want you to run around enabling me to do as I like, and paying for it'. Teenagers have probably always had this attitude, but strong parenting protected them from themselves. The fear now is that parents have lost control, kids are out of control and God help the future. They just had to say 'no'.

My only consolation is that, as with all extreme situations, there will be a backlash, unless it's too late, in which case future adults will have no solid foundations on which to base their stronger stance and could deviate off into fanaticism. Cue those Creationists. They are standing in the wings ready to fly to the rescue of those lost souls who'll be searching for answers.

Streuth, I'm glad I'll be too old to care by then.


  1. I have a girl and a boy and, yes, bringing them up was like walking a tightrope. A friend with two girls aims at sullen obedience...
    But although boys are usually more straightforward they can and do bring their own problems it just happens later than girls and the issues aren't always about clothes...

  2. I had a Cindy doll - or was it Sindy? - and a doll called Bella who now is eyeless, bald and covered in Biro. She's packed away in the garage because I can't bear to abandon her...not after all we've been through.

    It is truly awful to see tots looking like tarts. I think the process started in the 60s and 70s...I had a shocking pink miniskirt, I remember, when I was 15, which I wore with knee high plastic boots. And hot-pants! Did you ever wear hot-pants?

    But there's a difference of course between 15 and 5...I once worked in a maternelle and there was a child coming to school in a 'fur' jacket, leopard-skin miniskirt and black tights. We were all quite shocked.

    How long before they're selling fishnet Babygros I wonder?

  3. Gigi: er no, I never wore hotpants. I was trying to remember what I DID wear, and couldn't come up with anything very alluring. I had neither the money or the mother to go for anything other than standard wear!

  4. Yes but Sarah - hot-pants were standard wear when I was 15...you must be much younger than me.

    My mum made me the shocking pink miniskirt and my aunt made me the hot-pants. In those days, my knees could bear the scrutiny...

  5. Well, I was 8 in 1970... so hotpants were definitaly out!

  6. I was trying to remember what hot-pants looked like! Weren't they just very tight shorts worn with tights and probably a silly pair of shoes or boots? I know I never wore them! But then perhaps I was too 'old' when they were fashionable!

    I was away at boarding school so my wardrobe as a child/teenager was extremely limited. We lived on a farm, so spent our holidays in jeans and wellies and if we went out, my parents used to make me wear my 'after school' school uniform - beige skirt (far too long as mini skirts were banned at school), beige sweater and white shirt - fortunately I didn't have to wear the house tie!!

    The beige skirt and sweater have long gone - I admit that the jeans and wellies are still around!

  7. I'm not even sure I looked particularly female until I hit my mid-twenties. I remember being totally unsure of myself! It was my ex-h who saved the day actually, bless him.

  8. My daughter was born in 67....and I must say that bringing her up was Hells Bells. She was stunning as of birth, and used and abused of this power. I can't say that her clothers were ever "unsuitable", but as soon as she could choose, were definitely based on flooring anything of male gender and killing them stone dead!

    None of my old fashioned approach about being more "soft" in one's approach to looking lovely had any effect. She just looked at me like a toad, and made constant fun of my "green wellie boots/barbour" look, which is just me. I was a sporty country thing.

    I did not mind her looking breathtaking, she always did - but this "come on and grab me" approach somewhat threw me.

    In actual fact, I don't think she really wanted to do anything else but overule and floor them.....as Sacha Guitry said, what she really liked was "la montée de l'escalier".

    However, and even now when she's 40 I go pale about her approach to dress - versus-male-gender! Also, she has two young sons....who think that a top notch woman is one as downright sexy and breathtaking as their Mother! They think all the one's who look like normal Mummies are dull and boring, largely coached by their Mummy.

    However, she really threw her three husbands into a transe, and has always obtained everything she wished......interesting.

    I do agree that boys are different. My youngest son was a pain from 15 to 18 but just a straight forward pain, typical ado, noisy, dirty, rude with a two day beard and funny clothes and obviously under the impression that I made bank notes in the cellar so he could spend like a mad man! He's now a sauve business man!

  9. My main gripe on this post was with little girls emulating the hooker look.

    Ado girls have entered puberty and with their hormones racing sex is something which interests them and this is normal. It is not healthy in a little girl of 8.

  10. My daughter was a vamp before 8....but definitely got her act together par la suite!

    I agrée Sarah that the Lolita Brigade is absolutely terrifying - and the the States even lead to some fairly hairy crimes connected with "Little Miss " competitions. Gruesome.

    I think you were pointing out that I had not got the gist of your comment - and I think you are right - I thought the outright sexiness of all female offspring from 8 onwards is frightening for folks like me. Dress, mannerisms, etc.

    Sorry. I'll try to read more carefully next time!! For the time being I'm desperately trying to look elsewhere when all the girls I see in the street from 8 or younger seem to have even more than their tummy button showing. If they yawn, we'll have a riot!



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