There was a news story recently about a mother in Michigan who complained to her daughter's school about the appropriateness of a cheerleading routine that the 6-year old was practicing. It included the words,
"Our backs ache, our skirts are too tight, we shake our booties from left to right."
That's right, SIX year olds. I didn't know they started 'em that young. I guess it's no surprise that in the cut-throat world of cheerleading the end result was that the cheer stayed and the kid left the team.
One of my co-workers was commenting that his very young, school-age daughter and her friends liked to gleefully sing the "California Gurls" song that was popular this summer, including the lyrics "sex on the beach." These are second-graders.
I don't have a daughter, and I'm kind of glad. I'm not sure I could handle it. I'm not trying to sound like the Church Lady here, cause I'm not --- but the messages that girls get about the 'booty', starting at a very young age, has got to be something that is really difficult to navigate. Our kids are totally surrounded by sexual images. We can control what they see and hear to a certain extent, but we can't shield them forever unless we lock them in a closet. I remember an article once pointing out that the U.S.A. has a very schizophrenic attitude towards all this. There's a huge uproar when Janet Jackson has a wardrobe malfunction and flashes a breast on TV, and yet I can't pay for my groceries without an issue of Cosmo screaming "orgasm" in my face or watch any sporting event on TV without the Viagra/Cialis/Levitra hit parade.
I sometimes think that being a pre-teen girl nowadays might be the depth of misery. I see them come through the pharmacy sometimes, and walking to school around my house. Most of them don't look anything like Katy Perry. I know I didn't. I guess those of us behind the pharmacy counter (and in the doc's office) often get to see the consequences of the --uh,-- 'booty', a little too often. Believe me, I bristle at the thought of any Morals Police looking over my shoulder, but sometimes I wish we could just dial it back a little. For the girls, and for the boys.