Buying into Sexy: The sexing up of tweens

Discussion in 'Consumer Advocacy' started by Pressed_Rat, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Pressed_Rat

    Pressed_Rat Do you even lift, bruh?

    Buying into Sexy: The sexing up of tweens
    Broadcast: January 9, 2005

    When you were nine, what did you want? A Barbie doll? A train set?

    These days, young boys and girls are hungry for something else: padded bras and flirting tips, video games with bikini-clad babes and music videos that feature plenty of sexual innuendo.

    Sex has always sold, but now it’s children that are buying. Tweens, kids aged eight to 14, are a hot target for companies. And now more than ever, sex is being used to get their dollars.

    An advertisement for a pre-teen girls clothing company

    Tweens are being bombarded with sexy images by the makers of clothes, toys, video games, music videos -- all aimed at getting this freshly- coveted demographic to buy, buy and buy some more.

    To get a sense of their world, we spend a day with 12-year-old Amanda.

    "Tweens, we don’t want to be kids anymore,” she says. “But I guess we also don’t want to have all this responsibility, we just want to have fun.”

    We decide to tally up how many sexed-up images Amanda sees in an average day. We wake her up at her mom’s house at 7:00 to start our count. Her bedroom is bright pink, from the walls to the bedspread. Plastic stars dangle from the ceiling.

    Amanda, 12, says 'You get more attention' when you wear sexy clothes.

    “I think that whole glittery thing is still a little bit of the child in her,” says Amanda’s mom, Alma. “She’s still got a bit of that, but now … it’s more of a sexy look.

    "I think it’s just the influence of pop stars. I don’t think it’s that she wants to look sexy. Not for boys. I don't think she's even noticed boys yet.”

    Early in the day, from tween magazines, the internet and television, our count of sexy images is already at 126.

    Then Amanda heads out shopping with two friends, Natasha and Alexia.

    At the mall, there are entire chains devoted to tween shoppers: stores full of racy clothing, make-up and even lingerie for girls who may not have hit puberty.

    This padded bra from La Senza Girl is size “30 AA.” (The national average bra size is “36 C.”) Amanda jokes that it wouldn't fit her three-year-old cousin.

    “When you're that young, you don't really need a bra,” says Amanda. “I guess it just makes them feel more mature.”

    Alexia picks up a tiny pink bra. She holds it up to her chest to show how small it is. Amanda jokes that the La Senza bra wouldn’t fit her three-year-old cousin.

    After the shopping trip we ask the girls why they like to buy sexy clothes. “You get more attention,” says Amanda. “And strange guys come up to you and try and get you to go to nightclubs.”

    “A lot of guys stare,” adds Natasha.

    MORE: Buying into bimbo: What the boys think »

    Amanda, Natasha and Alexia

    Alexia brings up another tween fad: "sex bracelets." They’re cheap, colourful jelly bracelets that Alexia says carry sexual connotations:

    “Pink means ‘kiss,’ blue means ‘blow job’ and white means 'lap dance' ... If a guy pulls it off you, it means you have to do it. But most girls don’t do the stuff. They just wear them for fun. I think they look cool and they’re like fun to play with.”

    Wearing so-called “sex bracelets” doesn’t mean kids are having sex. In fact, the "secret meanings" allegedly embedded in the bracelets seem to be believed more by adults than by the kids themselves. That said, the bracelet phenomenon is another example of how kids’ sexual awareness is high.

    “I feel there’s pressure because everyone else wears [sexy clothes]," says Amanda. "You don’t want to be left out,” says Alexia. “Yeah, yeah. And you don't want to be a loner,” adds Amanda.

    Whether the alleged 'secret meanings' behind so-called 'sex bracelets' is true, the fad is another example of how kids' sexual awareness is high.

    “Some parents don’t want their children dressing that way,” says Alexia. “But then I find that just makes kids want to do it more,” quips Amanda. “If you chain your children too much they’ll just do it anyway ‘cause they’re trying to get you angry,” adds Alexia.

    “People change in the washrooms at school when they get there,” says Amanda. “That’s what I used to do,” says Alexia.

    By the end of the day, including our visit to the mall, Amanda has seen about 280 sexy images.
  2. clockworkorangeagain

    clockworkorangeagain femme fatale

    i guess it is determined on what your opinion of "sexy images" is.... i definitely think sexy clothes for young girls are a demonizing trait....the marketers are just putting into action male power and domination and objectifying women..and at this time in history i believe we have to move away from that: restore the sacred feminine get down on your knee's and beg:p

    i think it's sad that peer pressure in involved: you have to be sexy to be cool... and it's sad that kids fall for the traps set for them, they are not going to be taught anything about money, and morals can jst be thrown out the window...

    superficiality is definitely always in, isn't it?
  3. green_thumb

    green_thumb kill your T.V.

    It is really sad. Horrific actually. Can't parents see how messed up this is? Surely they could do a better job of sheltering their kids from it. Although I suppose it is very difficult to do as they are surrounded by that influential crap. Whatever happened to innocent youth? :(
    I still think parents have to rise to the occasion and show their kids a better way. Man, what will future generations be like:eek: It's already hard enough to find people who are able to conduct intelligent conversations. Most people like to talk about the latest t.v. show they love or how a sports team is doing etc. My guess is it is going to get worse.
  4. andcrs2

    andcrs2 Senior Member

    Kids can't be kept locked in a room. They have to do all those mean/nasty growing up things like school/socializing w/friends. All a parent can do is assist the kids in building a good foundation.

    It doesn't hurt to keep One's fingers crossed/Hope for the Best...
  5. green_thumb

    green_thumb kill your T.V.

    Why didn't anyone tell my parents that?

  6. alex714

    alex714 To the Left

    they did a tv special on that, on the cbc. its really is, and its so true. i see it everywhere and its all because of the images they are being bombarded with.
    i was not even close to how girls are now in their pre teens when i was their age. it doesnt help that they have the britney, lynsey and hilary's to idolize.
    ah, i just feel bad for them really.....
  7. Unkle_John

    Unkle_John Member

    I too have noticed this truly disgusting trend. I mean, when i was a.."tween" sure I was rocking out with my older cousins, but I still wanted to play. I knew about the differences between boys and girls, but it was nothing like that. Why this goes down in my book with child pagents and supermodels, a disgusting trend that needs to stop.

    About the supermodel comment: I don't find any type of woman unsexy, but I'm tired of the skin and bones trend. I want to see women on tv the same way I see them in real-life. Perfect in their own ways.
  8. Gurkadurk

    Gurkadurk Member

    Man oh man, I've seen tweeny girls with those bracelets on and didn't think anything about it. I thought it was just like any other little plastic jelly thing type fad. That's horrible, really awful. wtf. The whole thing disghusts me how some bunch of pricks are sitting around in a board room somewhere with big fat belly's laughing about their profit margin.
  9. its gross seeing lil girls dressed like sluts:(
  10. FreakerSoup

    FreakerSoup Stranger

    I really hate people dressing for attention. It makes me want to cry and smack them at the same time. And then they get the guys that go for that as boyfriends and get treated badly and complain about how there are no nice guys around.
  11. spooner

    spooner is done.

    12 year olds don't have any money of their own... its entirely possible for parents to tell the kids to fuck off if they ask for slutty clothes.
  12. Co0kiezGurl

    Co0kiezGurl Banned


    No child of mine (whenever we finally have some) will be wearing crap like that while I'm still footin' the bill.
  13. Small_Brown

    Small_Brown Senior Member

    I hate it for the simple reason that it makes decent guys look like pedofile sickos. I'm always with my cousin and I'm like oooooh look at her, wow she looks sexy (she looks 18). My cousin just looks and says yeah, shes in grade 9, she has a locker down the hall from me...shes 13. EWWWWWWWW! Girls seem to be not only wearing sexy clothes at a younger age, but are maturing at a younger age as well. All these images in the media seem to be triggering something in their brains earlier on in life to act and dress in a different way.
  14. Gurkadurk

    Gurkadurk Member

    yeah, how come the kids telling the parents what to do? Maybe throw a tantrum and the parents say ok ok just go watch tv, leave us alone.
  15. Bargain Junki

    Bargain Junki Member

    i know a bunch of lil ones who wear the stuff like the sex bracelets, but then I expllain to the family what it represents and they usaually take them away.

    also, another good thing is that I guess kids look up to me as a role model and since I have never worn makeup a day in my life, they wear no makeup around me :)
  16. who the hell wants to see them dress sexy?? eww remember when abercrombie kids was making thongs for like 4 year olds??
  17. all_rhodesian_reject

    all_rhodesian_reject Sonskyn Elvis

    I've been there...its really REALLY not good....

    Where the hell did this "tween" word come from anyway?

    This is so are gonna grow up so screwed up...
  18. Chris L

    Chris L Member

    God, I can't stand people like that. I can never have a conversation with some people, considering I hate sports, and almost never watch TV, except to watch movies and the History Channel. And then, I have to put up wiht the "look at this celebrity, she's so hot" thing...where, in reality, the only reason they're 'hot' is because they've got 10 inches of make-up on. And, what's really disgusting is that these corporations make it this way. You've got the music corporations putting out these talentless people, with huge egos, there only for their looks. Them, being there, make these clothes companies, who make everythign in sweat shops, sell big. But you can't blame it all on hte coporations...the kids do their part too. Trust me, I was there not too long ago, and I know I wasn't that ignorant. It might be becasue I was a boy, or something else...who knows? (man...that was more of a crappy rant than an intellegent addition to the thread...)

    But then, on these forums, sometimes, I try to carry on an intelligent conversation with people, and all I get is the "go grow some pubes" response, or something similar. So, instead of telling exactly what I said that was incorrect, they criticize me, and thats their post.

    (man...that was more of a crappy rant than an intellegent addition to the thread...)

    But, back to the subject, where'd this 'tween' phrase come from? and why the hell am I, who's almost 14, grouped in with them?
  19. TheSkaEffect

    TheSkaEffect Member

    This whole thing is just another example of terrible parenting.
  20. Jack_Straw2208

    Jack_Straw2208 Senior Member

    hah, have you seen that line of toys "bratz"?

    its horrifying..

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice