This blog is mostly just a copy of a conversation I and some others had on FB. There is some commentary at the end.
The idea that made me want to blog was the contrast between maturing and sexualizing the children.
The cheer competition had a big variety of kids. I have no idea the age ranges, but I think I saw girls from 6 to 17. They all wore very similar costumes – short skirts, glittery tops – typically in three colours (black and two strongly contrasting other colours). They had a hair tie to match the costume as well as shoes. Finally they had rouge, lipstick (both red) and eye shadow that also matched the costume colours.
I found the younger kids pretty freaky looking, but I wouldn’t say it was sexual. At that age their faces and bodies are still round and cherubic. Makeup or not they still look like an 8 year old. They looked more like dolls to me. Let me see if I can find a picture… Here this is what I am thinking off…
I can’t say what the parents were thinking of either, but I’d wager they didn’t feel they were sexualizing their children. (Whether or not that was the result is up for debate obviously.) In my elementary years when I was in figure skating (Mom insisted I learn to skate in figure skating before playing hockey. (Which it turned out I sucked at. (I was scared of the puck.))) for our year end event we dressed up in little casino dealer costumes.
While I’d argue against sexualization, they costumes are obviously meant to mimic older cheer leader costumes so the maturization (note the made up words in this post) is something I’d argue for. Which does really undercut my previous argument, but I stand by both!
So the question is, is the costuming inappropriate for kids of that age?