Girl Power – where did it go?

There’s no way to start this article without sounding like a granny, so…when I was young (I’m now 35!), girl power meant positivity towards how females were viewed. It was about breaking down the limitations set out in front of them and striving for equality. But what examples are we setting for girls today? This week has given me a lot to think about.

First, Emma Watson posed for Vanity Fair baring more naked breast that you’d think a feminist would, causing outrage. Emma said that she was shocked by the response and that feminism is about giving women choices. I disagree. I think if you’re an advocate for women to be treated fairly, you don’t pose in a picture that encourages people to look at women solely as objects of sex.

Next, I saw an ever-more-common picture of a 14-year-old girl with a full face of makeup and dyed hair pouting for a selfie. It made me sad. Children can’t seem to be children anymore and girls are exposed to picture after picture of people striving to look perfect. At that age, I’d think that makeup would be one of the last things kids should be focussing on.

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Then I got into a friend’s car and the albums that the songs were from appeared on the central display. Britney Spears was there in very few clothes, and, even though this was from nearer my childhood, it got me thinking about the music industry and how there’s such a chasm between the sexes. I’m sure there are plenty of examples to prove me wrong, but I couldn’t imagine a man half naked on the cover of his album, yet it seems that promoting sex is expected of women. I thought I’d look up the top-10 albums and see the difference between male and female covers. Thankfully, I couldn’t prove my point, but I was still interested in looking into the differences and clicked on the singles chart. I literally couldn’t believe what I saw. It’s not about girl power, but more about what children are exposed to these days – a picture of a woman pulling her top up with her hand down her trousers. It seems that not only have children forgotten that they’re children, but adults have too. Kids are interested in music and can easily click to see the top 100 singles, and that’s what they’d see. Personally, I don’t think that’s right.

But it got worse. I was away and we thought we’d stick a music channel on. I wish we hadn’t. Little Mix – a band whose fan base includes many teenagers and people even younger – dancing in an overly sexually manner that really isn’t necessary or appropriate to be on telly at that time of day – or ever! My friend told me how her 8-year-old daughter had seen it.

So this is the example we’re setting for our children – this is what we’re saying is ok. This is girl power!! If so, then women will continue to be considered as weak until we stand up and say that we’re worth more. But will anyone believe us?

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