Tweenies being pushed to show cleavage

The Press 23 May 2007
Pre-pubescent girls as young as eight are pestering their mothers to buy them padded bras, according to a Canterbury University researcher. Canterbury University masters student Lorie Clark is investigating the phenomenon of “tweenhood” and will soon publish a report on the impact of popular culture on girls aged eight to 12, which highlights the increasing sexualisation of girls. Clark said among her almost 200 research subjects were many young girls who wanted a padded bra and idolised raunchy adult celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. They also read magazines featuring articles on sexually transmitted diseases and how to get a man into bed, Clark said.”My concern is that children are being encouraged to grow up faster than they used to or should be. “Everything is pushing kids in that direction – television shows, advertising, toys, dolls, music videos and magazines. “They take from these things their guidelines on how to be, how to act and they see that being beautiful and sexualised is good.”While Clark’s research may be alarming to many, it identified that parents, particularly mothers, can have a lot of positive influence. Clark said for girls aged eight to 11, parents had a greater influence than friends or the media.