Herald Sun (Aust) October 06, 2009
FRIGHTENING pressure on young girls to grow up is seeing them wearing bras, nail polish and lipstick before they even start kindergarten. Child development experts say young girls are now entering their “tweens” – those years between childhood and teenagers – at the tender age of six. The Herald Sun found crop-top style bras for toddlers aged two to three on sale at Target, sparking outrage from parents. Experts said that by age six girls needed branded clothes, at seven they wanted styled hair, by eight they were beginning diets, at nine they were styling their hair and by their early teens girls were engaging in “sexting” or sex. The trend is taking a heavy psychological toll, said Dr Louise Newman, Professor of Developmental Psychiatry at Monash University.