As I started reading this article, “Why 6-Year Old Girls Want to Be Sexy,” I could hear my mind saying “UGH!” and thinking about the conversations I have been having…and will need to continue to have…with my two young daughters.

As I got to this section, however, I breathed a bit of a reassured sigh–validated that despite the challenges from the media, there is indeed much that Moms (and Dads and other caregivers!) can do about sexualized media messages:

“Mothers feel so overwhelmed by the sexualizing messages their daughters are receiving from the media that they feel they can do nothing to help,” she said. “Our study’s findings indicate otherwise — we found that in actuality, mothers are key players in whether or not their daughters sexualize themselves. Moms can help their daughters navigate a sexualizing world by instructing their daughters about their values and by not demonstrating objectified and sexualized behaviors themselves.”

Check out the whole article here:

If you are interested in hearing more about what parents can do to help their kids become critical thinkers and consumers of media, I have a few other recommendations:

  • First…check out Friendship & Other Weapons, of course, and the featured sections on helping young girls examine music lyrics, advertising, social media, and technology.  My article “Thinner, Sexier, Hotter” talks about sexualization in media and gives adults practical ideas for helping kids think critically about these messages.
  • Next, check out Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies, led by the tireless Melissa Wardy who always has something bold, brave, and inspiring to say about the impact of media sexualization on kids.  Mattel and Monster High–watch out!
  • Third, check out the innovative work of Ines Almeida and her new online marketplace that celebrates childhood without limits and gender stereotypes.
  • And fourth, New Moon Girls is a great publication and option for young girls who want to be inspired by their peers and celebrate all the things that girls can do without the limits of having to be “sexy” at a young age.



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