While the international community fervently protests French Vogue‘s depiction of a 10-year old girl in full make-up and stiletto heels looking sultry on a tiger skin, perhaps it’s time to take cold hard look at what constitutes beauty in our society.
We are horrified when little girls want to dress like little hookers–but that’s the image of beauty our media has defined for them. Remember how scandalous it was when Jodi Foster appeared as a child prostitute in the movie, Taxi Driver? Today, Target sells padded bras for tween girls. Beauty pageants for our little “princesses” turn second-graders into creepy human dolls.
And not only are little girls pressured to look ‘hot’ all of the time, so are we older gals. The latest trend is for 50-year-olds to shop at Forever 21 for the same midriff tops, skinny jeans and age-appropriate fashion styles their 20-year old daughters wear. At 51 I want to look as young as everyone else, but I’m sorry–I can not see the value of trying to be something I’m not.
Susanna Schrobsdorff’s excellent column at Time.com not only draws attention to the hypocrisy behind some of the outrage, it also illustrates the impacts of how our constant focus on beauty “fuels a culture of perpetual preening and insecurity among both young girls and older women” that lasts almost “from cradle to grave.”