Miss S: (peering out the window to the two plumbers) : 'So Mum, which one do you think is hot?'Oh GAWD. Two things get me concerned here. One, she has learnt that to be 'fat' makes you somehow unattractive. (Just for the record, he was only a little overweight). And second, where the hell did she get the words 'sexy' and in this context 'hot' in her vocabulary?
Me: Well, ummmmm, what do you mean by 'hot' ?
Miss S: well, you know, sexy and cool
Me: So, if someone is 'hot' means that they are 'cool'? (steering away from discussing the nature of sexiness with her 5 year old daughter). Thats a bit strange, dont you think?
Miss S: Well I like the one thats not fat. He's hot.
So, we talked about how a kind and loving person is the kind of person that you want to have around you. That what I see and like in a person is not just about how they look. I asked a few more questions to find out where she got this idea of 'hotness' from? But she didnt really know.
Yes, sexualised images of women pervade the media, and the pornification of young girls toys, clothes, videos etc is as insidious as it is well documented. . But i try and steer my girls away from commercial TV, and limit some of the toys they have. ( Barbies, yes but Brats, no) Hmmm....its not enough, methinks.
So this is the thing: I feel I havent done enough to protect my 5 year old from this kind of sexual language, plus she has already been sucked into the idea of objectifying the (in this case, male) body. And so I worry. What can we do as parents to keep children's play and language and way of looking at the world, childlike?
Id also like to add that it makes me bloody furious that this should be an issue at all!