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What is with the sexualisation of girls at a young age? Why do we not easily find clothes for girls that are comfortable and not ‘girly’?
If you looked at my search history when I was fourteen, you would have found it full of links to articles on ‘being the ugly friend’. You see, I used to think of myself as the ‘ugly friend’ in our small group of three. I spent about a year being intensely envious of my best friend, because she was both smart and pretty (and tall!), while I was just smart. But why was being pretty so important to me (on some level, maybe it still is)? What I was really worried about was how I could attract boys.
I am not alone in this experience; many young girls seem to feel that their worth is intrinsically linked to attracting boys. This sort of insecurity is created really early in girls’ minds due to sexism and heteronormativity.
The sexualisation of girls that leads to the aforementioned insecurity, starts at an early age. Boys are taught to sexualise girls if they dress a certain way. And this reflects in the men they grow up to be, contributing to rape culture.
Patriarchal standards are why we ask young girls to wear specific clothes so that they look ‘pretty’. Hypocritically, we blame a woman when she faces sexual harassment – we say, “She shouldn’t have dressed to attract men.”
Both girls and women should be able to dress however they want without getting flak for being ‘too sexual’ or ‘not sexual enough’. The only way to truly get rid of the problem is to break gender stereotypes (because the ideas of sexualising one gender and certain clothes being associated with that gender, feed into each other) and sell all sorts of clothes for all children (and adults). Let girls wear trousers and shirts if they want to and let boys wear skirts and crop tops if they want to! It’s fine if they choose to stick to the clothes traditionally associated with their genders as long as they haven’t been forced to do so.
,However, most brands advertise very stereotypical clothing for girls and boys. And they forget about non-binary children altogether! Luckily, there are some brands that make clothes that are not so stereotypical. For instance, Girls Will Be is a brand that is completely against the sexualisation of girls and designs clothes that are more comfortable for girls who do not want to dress up in girly things, because, as they say, “there is definitely more than one way to be a girl – and it doesn’t have to always involve pink and sparkles.”
Click here to find out more about brands that are gender-neutral (for adults).
From this moment onwards, say no to the sexualisation of girls and the reinforcement of gender stereotypes through clothes!
Image source: pxhere
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