Female body image is shaped almost from day one by the world around us — so what exactly is too much sexualization?
Writer Tiah Eckhardt covered the Hot-As-Hell swimwear show at the recent Miami Swim Week, only to find herself (and the many social media users who were paying attention) fairly divided over the issue of pre-teen sexualization. She writes:
“It is more damaging to tell a girl, acting joyfully, to be cautious of her physicality, to refrain from appearing self-assured in public lest it invite criticism, than it is to allow her to wear a swimsuit on a runway with her mother. In a vein of hypocrisy I see far too often online, you cannot champion self-acceptance and body positivity, than be outraged when it happens in Not Exactly Your Preferred Way.
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There are many brilliant things about being a woman. There are many wonderful things about being a girl. Amongst these positives there will always be the negative aspect of those thinking they can dictate to us what it means to be female or the behavior that may potentially make us either a victim of crime or criticism. And there always those that will take any opportunity to twist your intentions and impose their personal opinions and perceptions on you, as seems the case with the HAH show. Just like there have been people who think they can tell me how to be a woman, no doubt, there will be people who think it’s their job to tell our daughters how they should, or in this case, should not, be a girl. It’s OUR job to teach them how to use the voice that will tell them to go to hell.”
Images from the show feature everything from rounded, pregnant mommas-to-be, to little girls just beyond their toddlerhood proudly strutting down a runway in skimpy two pieces. Is this too much? For some, there’s simply nothing sexual about a child of that age — but for others, the argument is that skimpy outfits and ill-fitting bikinis teach girls at a time when female body image is so rapidly developing that it’s okay to develop your sexuality purely based on your physical body.
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