What you see in the picture above is something I stumbled upon while at Target yesterday; I was on my way to the baby’s section and walked through the young girls’ clothing. The clothes in this section were clearly catered to young girls, probably 5th grade and younger.
Then, I had to stop as I walked pass this display.
What you see is a young girl’s push up bra; yes, that’s right – a push-up bra. There were different colors, laces, etc. But don’t worry, friends, you can remove the extra (extensive!)
So tell me what do you see?
What you see is society’s expectation for a girl’s body to be on display for others, rather than her thoughts, ideas and character.
What you see is fear of not fitting in.
What you see is a young girl’s self esteem plummet at the thoughts that she needs to be more curvy, more developed, more adult than she is.
What you see is a store selling out and buying into the idea that girls need to be sexy, adult, curvy, and for others – not herself.
What you see are years of body image struggles, self-hatred and loathing, and struggling to understand what true beauty is.
What is you see is value being put in a girl’s bra size, at the young age of 10, rather than her merit, her contribution to this world,
What you see is the heaviness of expectations from commercials, advertisements, music videos, movies, super models on young girls and young women and old women alike.
I know this is just one push-up bra. But, I am so troubled at what this represents.
I don’t want to see this. I don’t want young girls to see this and think that there bodies need to be developed too soon, displayed too readily. I don’t want mothers to see this and think this is a good idea. I don’t want my two year old niece to feel pressured to wear a push-up bra in eight years. I don’t want my female students to be burdened by this ridiculous expectation.
Let me tell you what I hope to see:
I hope to see young girls encouraged to understand that beauty is found in ideas, goodness, thoughtfulness, and kindness.
I hope to see girls of all ages not feel pressured to put their bodies on display for others.
I hope to see girls find empowerment not on being sexy to others but by using their minds, their thoughts, their actions, to make this world a better place!
I hope to find stores that will support these ideas and will fight against the pressures that society and media put on men and women alike.
I hope that change will continue to happen so Lillian, my little lovely niece, won’t have to be exposed to such ridiculous products.
Target, I am very disappointed. Do better.
Join me friends. What do you hope to see?