Clothing company accused of “sexualising” pre-teen girls

To make matters worse, these girls’ parents personally approved of the images, even boasting how gorgeous their daughters look.

To make matters worse, these girls’ parents personally approved of the images, even boasting how gorgeous their daughters look.

A dancewear company is currently featuring pre-teen girls as its models. While this, in itself, isn’t anything remarkable, the way with which they are portrayed is. And for all the wrong reasons.

Looking at the photos themselves, one could easily figure out why.

These girls, some of which were as young as nine-years-old, were photographed showing their skin as though they were in a catalog for lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret.

If that doesn’t scare you, the comments on the company’s social media page should.

Clothing Company Accused Of “Sexualizing” Pre-teen Girls

“Wow you are so gorgeous,” one comment said.

“Sexy,” said another.

“You look extremely stunning.”

“Love this one!”

“Hey follow me.”

The dancewear’s campaigne gained so many negative reactions that women’s advocacy group called the Collective Shout started to investigate.

“When girls are young, they all like to put on their mum’s heels and somehow always find the red lipstick, that’s child-led curiosity,” said the group’s campaigns manager Caitlin Roper to ABC News.

“What’s disturbing about these photographs is that at some point, someone told this child, ‘Lay down on the ground, arch your back, don’t smile, look serious and pout’.”

To make matters worse, these girls’ parents have personally approved of the sexualised images, even boasting how gorgeous their daughters look.

“Girls as young as nine don’t have the emotional maturity or context to understand the potential implications of sharing these photos publicly and promoting them on social media,” Caitlin said.

Find out what photographers have said about the issue on the next page

Posting such photos online is also dangerous in that we now live in the digital age; these girls’ profiles can easily be traced (if their profiles aren’t already tagged in the photos).

Pedophiles then can easily sexualise these photos for their personal gain, that’s why the responsibility for sharing these photos lies on parents themselves.

Reproduced on pornographic website

To make matters worse, The UK’s Internet Watch Foundation says that in 2012, it found 88 per cent of photographs uploaded to parasite websites were found on social media pages of individuals.

“How would these parents feel … knowing that others may be viewing their child’s image on other sites?” said Ms. Nicholl, a member of the group called the KidsPace Dance Code of Practice.

Meanwhile, photographers have defended such photographs of young girls.

“The poses in the photos are poses that are widely used on stage in lyrical and contemporary routines by dancers and photographed by many dance photographers,” says photographer Ms. Young said, whose daughter models for the dancewear company.

Clothing Company Accused Of “Sexualizing” Pre-teen Girls

Meanwhile, dance photographer Rob Eyre said “I’m always mindful of what I shoot with these dancers, as they do put themselves in moves and positions that, to the wrong person, can be taken the wrong way.”

It’s easy to forget that these girls are still children, and before they reach their adolescence stage where they will no doubt encounter the topic of sexuality, they should be able to have a childhood first and enjoying being children while they still can.

In an overly sexualised world, the last thing we need is to see twelve- and thirteen-year-olds showing too much skin and looking straight at us seductively.

 

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