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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Empowering Girls: Sexualization of Infants

C7EA4A16-D26C-47AB-85C6-74E436BFFB29.jpg

Participate in this writing exercise by finishing this sentence:

People should not buy high heels for infant girls because . . .

DE06ADE6-512C-4603-9E60-6E943CEAC141.jpg

The company, Heelarious, thinks dressing infant girls in their first high heels "is hilarious."

I think it comes dangerously close to sexualizing infant girls and certainly it crosses the line in genderizing baby girls.

Please, don't start giving this at Baby Showers - what, really, is the mother supposed to say when she opens it? Wow, I'm sure she'll really learn to walk in these!

Read all the great reasons why parents shouldn't buy this exagerated genderization for their baby girls on Menstrual Poetry, Feministing, , Cynical-C BlogThe Tomb of the Unknown Fan Girl, sunluvr, Shoewawa, The Star.

To be perfectly candid I allowed Ainsley play high heels that she received for her 2nd birthday and would even allow her to wear them in public on occasion - for fun.

I have also purchased for her these tacky little 1" heels that she wore every day for about a year. She wore one pair out and I bought her another. We handed them down to another girl. It made her happy. People thought it was adorable.

tacky heel.jpg

If infant high heels are over the line, did I cross it myself with those tacky plastic 1" heels? Or is the line somewhere in between the two shoes?

My personal hope is that heelarious goes out of business for lack of consumer interest. In other words, Don't buy them.

Another instance of sexualization of infants I saw this week was on an E*Trade commercial.

The computer generated baby boy says, "What a bad girl."
I hit pause - and questioned my reality,

"Did I hear that right? Did that B-A-B-Y boy just make a P-O-R-N reference?"

Nice E*Trade. Real Classy.

What do you think? Are heelarious and E*Trade sexualizing infants and is that fine with you?

Image Sources: You Tube, heelarious, and Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me.

12 comments:

1001 Petals said...

I agree with your thoughts entirely. It is absolutely messed up.

I already have a big problem with assigning colour to gender, like pink for baby girls, blue for baby boys. A few months ago some female bloggers went ballistic on me for even voicing that concern.

It is a relief that there is at least one other blogger out there that seems to share my viewpoint on these matters.

Violet said...

To me there is a big difference between LETTING your daughter explore playing dress up and being like mommy, and PUSHING your daughter into gender stereotypes before she can even form coherent thoughts.

On another creepy level, don't these look like all the shoes Daisy Duck wore?

Tracee said...

Now that you mention it Violet - they are similar to Daisy Duck, Mrs. Piggy, Minnie Mouse, Jessica Rabbit, Betty Boob.

The heelarious baby's first high heels are very much a caricature of femininity.

The question is - why do we keep thinking a caricature is going to serve girls well?

Tracee said...

I meant Boop.

jen said...

Those shoes give me the creeps.

Flashtrigger said...

Just sick...It's about as bad as those tiny shorts and skirts aimed at 6-year olds that have the word "sexy" embroidered on the behind. A 6-year old isn't, and shouldn't be, sexy. Neither is an infant. Let kids be kids, damn it. Why are parents believing that it's cute for their children to be groomed into pedophile fodder?

Manager Mom said...

You are NOT overreacting. The things they make for girls seem like they are trying to turn all girls into mini-whores.

I agree it's OK to let your kids play dress up when they find your stuff, but I want to kick parents in the teeth sometimes when I see them dressing their 5 year old in spaghetti strap tops and hoochie shorts.


I have to buy boy's shorts for The Girl because she is so skinny and her legs are so long that the shorts in her waist size barely cover her butt.

Heels for INFANTS. that is sick.

Tracee said...

Thanks for all the support ladies.

Meredith said...

What a great post! I am falling in love with your blog - thank you for exploring these issues and speaking up.

Tracee said...

Please keep coming back Meredith. We need all the constructive conversation we can get on girl empowerment issues.

Katrina said...

The heelarious baby's first high heels are very much a caricature of femininity.

Femininity itself is a caricature.p

candeelady- My Tween Parenting Blog said...

Playing dress up is great - just make sure there is a large varity of outfits. I made a dress up box for my dd one year for her birthday and filled it from a consignment store with costumes of animals,creatures,uniforms from careers,dance recital outfits, etc. She LOVED it. Her friends would all take turns with all the roles these outfits portrayed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Empowering Girls: Sexualization of Infants

C7EA4A16-D26C-47AB-85C6-74E436BFFB29.jpg

Participate in this writing exercise by finishing this sentence:

People should not buy high heels for infant girls because . . .

DE06ADE6-512C-4603-9E60-6E943CEAC141.jpg

The company, Heelarious, thinks dressing infant girls in their first high heels "is hilarious."

I think it comes dangerously close to sexualizing infant girls and certainly it crosses the line in genderizing baby girls.

Please, don't start giving this at Baby Showers - what, really, is the mother supposed to say when she opens it? Wow, I'm sure she'll really learn to walk in these!

Read all the great reasons why parents shouldn't buy this exagerated genderization for their baby girls on Menstrual Poetry, Feministing, , Cynical-C BlogThe Tomb of the Unknown Fan Girl, sunluvr, Shoewawa, The Star.

To be perfectly candid I allowed Ainsley play high heels that she received for her 2nd birthday and would even allow her to wear them in public on occasion - for fun.

I have also purchased for her these tacky little 1" heels that she wore every day for about a year. She wore one pair out and I bought her another. We handed them down to another girl. It made her happy. People thought it was adorable.

tacky heel.jpg

If infant high heels are over the line, did I cross it myself with those tacky plastic 1" heels? Or is the line somewhere in between the two shoes?

My personal hope is that heelarious goes out of business for lack of consumer interest. In other words, Don't buy them.

Another instance of sexualization of infants I saw this week was on an E*Trade commercial.

The computer generated baby boy says, "What a bad girl."
I hit pause - and questioned my reality,

"Did I hear that right? Did that B-A-B-Y boy just make a P-O-R-N reference?"

Nice E*Trade. Real Classy.

What do you think? Are heelarious and E*Trade sexualizing infants and is that fine with you?

Image Sources: You Tube, heelarious, and Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me.

12 comments:

1001 Petals said...

I agree with your thoughts entirely. It is absolutely messed up.

I already have a big problem with assigning colour to gender, like pink for baby girls, blue for baby boys. A few months ago some female bloggers went ballistic on me for even voicing that concern.

It is a relief that there is at least one other blogger out there that seems to share my viewpoint on these matters.

Violet said...

To me there is a big difference between LETTING your daughter explore playing dress up and being like mommy, and PUSHING your daughter into gender stereotypes before she can even form coherent thoughts.

On another creepy level, don't these look like all the shoes Daisy Duck wore?

Tracee said...

Now that you mention it Violet - they are similar to Daisy Duck, Mrs. Piggy, Minnie Mouse, Jessica Rabbit, Betty Boob.

The heelarious baby's first high heels are very much a caricature of femininity.

The question is - why do we keep thinking a caricature is going to serve girls well?

Tracee said...

I meant Boop.

jen said...

Those shoes give me the creeps.

Flashtrigger said...

Just sick...It's about as bad as those tiny shorts and skirts aimed at 6-year olds that have the word "sexy" embroidered on the behind. A 6-year old isn't, and shouldn't be, sexy. Neither is an infant. Let kids be kids, damn it. Why are parents believing that it's cute for their children to be groomed into pedophile fodder?

Manager Mom said...

You are NOT overreacting. The things they make for girls seem like they are trying to turn all girls into mini-whores.

I agree it's OK to let your kids play dress up when they find your stuff, but I want to kick parents in the teeth sometimes when I see them dressing their 5 year old in spaghetti strap tops and hoochie shorts.


I have to buy boy's shorts for The Girl because she is so skinny and her legs are so long that the shorts in her waist size barely cover her butt.

Heels for INFANTS. that is sick.

Tracee said...

Thanks for all the support ladies.

Meredith said...

What a great post! I am falling in love with your blog - thank you for exploring these issues and speaking up.

Tracee said...

Please keep coming back Meredith. We need all the constructive conversation we can get on girl empowerment issues.

Katrina said...

The heelarious baby's first high heels are very much a caricature of femininity.

Femininity itself is a caricature.p

candeelady- My Tween Parenting Blog said...

Playing dress up is great - just make sure there is a large varity of outfits. I made a dress up box for my dd one year for her birthday and filled it from a consignment store with costumes of animals,creatures,uniforms from careers,dance recital outfits, etc. She LOVED it. Her friends would all take turns with all the roles these outfits portrayed.