I came to this post that journalist Carme Chaparro has published for Yo Dona (El Mundo) and accuses a society that turns girls into women, from the moment they stop being babies. Carme refers to the story of a mother who faced the complaints of the school so that her daughter (seven years old) went without makeup to school, replied that teachers should also stop painting… As if it were the same, as if the work of every girl or boy was not (besides learning) to play and enjoy that childhood that The nine years we look eternal, and at 20 we yearn, knowing that the times of running, getting dirty, not worrying about almost everything, and being free will never return.
It is not a valid argument, from the very moment when there are many activities that children cannot do because they are inadequate or because they do not have the necessary skills to do so. For example, an extreme horror film would be harmful at 7, a child can not climb Everest, and a 4-year-old baby should not turn on the oven to make a sponge cake. On the one hand we incapacitate them to enjoy childhood, on the other hand we demand improper maturity: to make their school backpack alone, ask for help if they are harassed at school, etc. In my opinion we should consider it very seriously. Valeria had already told us that hypersexualizing childhood is the preamble to the cossification of girls and boys, today we will give a further turn to this issue.
In an era where we can communicate with someone on the other side of the world, and read newspapers published in Hawaii,our decision-making capacity seems to be progressively diminishing; and this is especially noticeable in women and/ or girls. Our bodies are subject: fashion dictates us how to dress, advertising what size our breasts should have…
This is also gender-based violence.
Eternally young, without blemishes on the skin and shaping the body at the service of patriarchy… the victories won decades ago have been far away. We can vote, study, leave home to work and go to assemblies without male accompaniment; however, to the most striking forms of gender-based violence, there is a new one: much more discreet, much more subtle. Beauty is internal, they tell us; but only what is seen externally is worth.
In this post we will result a little more on the idea of the cossification of girls, and we will also give ideas for you to accompany them in the process of growing up. We may not be able to prevent interference, but the impact on their lives may be minimized. It may seem an exaggeration if I tell you that there is an interest in women (already since girls) becoming objects of desire. Advertising is responsible for consolidating this perception, and not only because of the impossible sizes that the models wear, but by an identification with the product that is intended to be sold.
Girls following beauty models?
And you know? in an attempt to show that there is a certain intention to hypersexualise girls, I will tell you that animated series are no longer innocent, that our kids’ favorite characters no longer have rounded (but sensual) shapes, and that there are ‘centers of aesthetics’ that — as if it were a game — promise fun to young girls who will be make-up and who will be offered ‘beauty treatments’.
I want to return to the consequences of cossification: not only girls will want to look like ideals of beauty, but thinness or hair treatments may become part of conversations between little friends or companions. Deep down, there is a perversion that we rarely hear about. Jean Kilbourne explains this to us in this video called “Killing us softly”: cossification justifies violence, and it happens in both gender issues and xenophobia (for example).
Protect the girls.
We always say that communication is the basis of every healthy family relationship, but what can we do? Active accompaniment and constant presence at their side when they are small is decisive; but you will be interested to know that in everyday life, there are other little things, such as:
- It is convenient that we are interested in their world, their hobbies, their tastes; this is a sign of closeness, and makes it easier to perceive us as accessible.
- Content on TV, or the Internet: If we watch them together, we can expose our values, and help our sons and daughters develop their critical sense.
- Real women are not like some of the dolls they know, so it’s good that they discover different kinds.
- Respect for their way of being: acceptance offers safety to the little ones.
- Let them be girls: to play freely without fear of being themselves.
- Our daughters do not need to compete with other girls to be recognized; it facilitates relationships of fellowship and equality.
Your example can also become a reference for girls, who in the background want to have a harmonious development, do we help them?
Central image — Don’t be prey to carving