independent

Sunday 18 August 2019

A poor message for kids

DEBORAH COLEMAN

WHAT has the world come to when children's clothing can be purchased displaying slogans such as ' nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'?

On what level did the designer behind this think it was a good idea? This disturbing item, which can be purchased alongside baby grows with ' don't feed the model' splashed across the front, is wrong in so many ways.

Anti-eating disorder groups have already slammed the concept as being pro-anorexia and a danger to impressionable youngsters.

'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels' has been hailed as the slogan coined by supermodel Kate Moss, though others say wasn't the first to utter such a notion.

In an adult world this could be construed as an encouraging statement used to support someone who needs to lose weight for health reasons, but innocent children should never be exposed to such utterances.

Society today glorifies beauty – and, more worryingly, thinness – like never before. It is not enough for a model to be strikingly beautiful anymore; she must be skeletal before attention is paid to her. Average sized women are dubbed curvy (code name for fat) and pressurised by an incessant fascination with how heavy one is.

I would love to know how celebrity gossip magazines find out that Miss X has dropped to a specific weight. No woman in the right mind would discuss her weight in such a manner.

The same magazines flaunt pictures of poor unfortunates 'sympathising' over how gaunt they look and a few pages later use models of exactly the same size. Such images send confusing messages to youngsters who are too immature to see the dangers.

Every aspect of popular culture is eroding the innocence of children and little by little childhoods are getting shorter.

Kids today are exposed to such an array of multimedia and are savvy beyond words.

Unless parents are one step ahead, censorship can be very tricky territory and, with the world around them doing all it can to encourage children to grow up faster and faster, it is a constant battle for them.

I saw a documentary recently about the sexualisation of children and was saddened to see a 10-year-old performing a dance routine she picked up from a music video which looked more like a lap dance. She wore full make up and revealing clothing and had I not known she was only 10, I would have guessed she was at least 15. There are those who will argue that the watershed is in place to assist with ageappropriate content, but how does one censor Rihanna singing about how much she loves the smell of sex when she is so high profile? You can't turn off the music in a shop for example.

Some might say that kids pay no attention anyway, but nobody can deny that there is something sad about children acting like grown-ups – especially when they don't even realise they are doing it.

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