Can We Just Let Them Grow Up?

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 10, 2014 in News & Opinion |

Fashion is one thing, but do we need to force our fashion habits and desires on to younger women and children who are clearly too young to have formed their own fashion tastes yet? There is something almost perverse about seeing children as young as six dressed up as adults, parading themselves in clothing which would be far more suited to a late-teenage or an early twenty-something woman.

Photo Credit: unknown, via imgsrc

Especially when it comes to showing off a lot of skin, carrying bags and posing in sexually provocative styles for the camera. Surely we wish our children to grow up, to experience life to the fullest, to learn, to play and not, as seems to be the case in some branches of the fashion industry, to become slaves to a machine which will only exploit them, their looks and the wishes of their parents.

It may well be that some prefer the idea of having their children well-dressed and presentable, who are constantly in the public eye with their off-spring and feel the need to show a combined image of their lives. But children are still forming, still working their way towards their own vision of life, of themselves, of their bodies.

Photo Credit: unknown, via japanesedolls

Dressing them up as miniature adults with all the trimmings takes something away from their childhood, the idea that they must always be clean and tidy, neat to the point of fastidiousness. Children play, they get dirty, they get into scrapes, they climb tries and play at building mud castles. Forcing them to hold an adult vision of their appearance, of the costliness of their clothing deprives them of the learning experience, deprives them of the chance to simply play as they wish.

Photo Credit: unknown, via banachistore

Some seem to be dressed up as dolls, as if they are portraying what their parents desire more than their own personality. They are forced into beauty pageants with adult make-up, given a strict regime, diet, instructions on how to pander to the whims and desires of an adult population which will judge them, rank them, give them points for appearance. This is not childhood, this is marketing and it is bad for a child. It raises false expectations, false hopes and makes them objects rather than people, fashion models in a bitter world where fun and games do not exist, where everything is appearance and the making of money.

Fashion according to their own age groups, most certainly, but not miniature examples of adults before their time.

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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