Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hurrying Childhood

Another alarming observation about young people: they’re growing up too fast.

I noticed the fashion themes that are usually worn by teenagers and young adults are also worn by kids as early as 3 years old! When skinny jeans were officially declared hot, there were also mini versions of it for kids. When frilly blouses flooded the market, it flooded the kids section as well. And now, plaid. I could actually not walk in a mall corridor without seeing someone wear plaid. (It’s nauseating, believe me.)

The effect that this does to kids is that they actually start to think they think like grownups. Or they’re one of them. Because they already dress like them! See, for kids, dresses are the simplest form of role association. Note that they identify certain societal figures (policepersons, priests, doctors) because of how they dress. Now that they dress just like their ates and mommies, they will begin to think they’re like them. It’s a like a costume party where nobody was invited to yet everybody came.

I remember the time when grown-up clothes are for grown-ups only and kids wore matching (read: Terno) outfits and sunny dresses. I remember the time when kids wore closed shoes with laced socks and not peep-toe sandals or worse, pointed shoes. Sure, they look cute in the clothes that their sisters wear, but couldn’t we delineate the kids and grown-up clothes properly?

Also, the kids are given too much purchasing power. Toys don’t mean trucks and Barbie dolls anymore, but PSPs. Kids as early as those in Senior kinder carry camera phones already. Even the magazine industry is promoting the materialism in kids heavily! Because of this flood in you-need-to-have-this-or-else-you’re-outdated-and-unwanted attitude, kids want unnecessary things more and more incessantly…like the newest shoes, a mani-pedi, hair rebonding. And the peer pressure is biting too hard. So a lot of parents save up for these whims just so their little emperors stop stomping their feet or frowning like a bulldog. Kids have become financial torture personified!

Because of the overwhelming openness of media nowadays, the kids are also getting a lot of sexualized images that they are unaware of. For example, the US preteen series showcase the Western culture of okay-kissing at 10. Remember, this is dangerous because a lot of kids idolize the boys and girls in these preteen shows (e.g. Hannah Montana, Unfabulous, Wizards of Waverly Place). The latest dolls are made with more robust breasts and behinds. A lot of makeup lines offer products which are kid-friendly and hypo-allergenic. (Isn’t makeup for mommy only?) And lastly, the “standards” for beauty are etched in minds that get younger and younger.

My 10-year- old sister used to hate her morena skin because she always read about pretty white girls in magazines. I also remember one of her then-playmates actually went on a “diet” because she thought she was too fat. (Note: She was just eight and weighed around 95 lbs.) Then, one time, while I was at the mall, kids at around 6-9 gathered at a beautiful blouse and adored it because it makes them look “sexy”.

Sigh. To the parents, please PLEASE PLEASE connect with your kids more intimately. There is a frightening possibility that you’ll lose them to gadgets or worse, their peers.
Do you also think the kids are growing up too fast? Or am I just outdated? Tell me what you think. Email me at live_out_loud@ymail.com. And no, I’m not in a hurry.

2 comments:

Dominique said...

Now you're sounding old... :-D

bitchvarsity said...

nge! pwede magsorry? hehe