Posted: Jul 19, 2012 8:11 AM
A new study reported that girls as young as 6-years-old want to be "sexy" and they think being "sexy" will make them more popular. Who is to blame for this, MOM, of course! The researchers involved in the study stated that mom can limit their daughters' exposure to "sexy" images and keep them from feeling this way.
How was the study conducted? There were about 60 girls, between the ages of 6 and 9, picked from a dance studio and two public schools in Illinois. The girls were shown two dolls and asked various questions about these dolls. One doll was dressed in a "sexy" or "hot" outfit, while the other was a more conservative outfit (it was trendy, but covered more skin).
How did the girls respond? Almost 68% said they wanted to look "sexy." About 72% said the hot girl was more popular. Surprisingly, the girls who said they wanted to be "sexy" were mostly from religious homes with low media consumption. They associated this with the idea of "forbidden fruit."
What can we do to change this mindset in girls? "Mothers who reported often using TV and movies as teaching moments about bad behaviors and unrealistic scenarios were much less likely to have daughters who said they looked like the sexy doll." Girls who participate in sports have a better body image. Moms need to dress like they want their girls to dress. Moms who don't talk down about their bodies are teaching their daughters that body image isn't everything.
Is this study really on point? Can kids that young really know what "sexy" means? Do they understand what wearing those clothes actually means to older people?
The bottom line is that younger girls are comparing themselves to older girls who dress much more "sexy" than they do. It is the parents who buy clothes for their daughters, so shouldn't we blame them? If you have a daughter, do you talk to her about her choice of clothes? Do you think kids this young are feeling pressure to be popular and this is what popular people wear?