Our internet host (WordPress.com) had this image on the login page that caught my eye. It is from Venezuala, and the accompanying blog entry describes (how accurately, I don’t know), the Venezuelan obsession with beauty pageant culture.
What I see is the hyper-sexualization of children, something that gets under my skin like little else. It is nearly child pornography. Children pretend at being grown-up all the time, but the adult orchestration of sexual behavior is another matter entirely (even worse is that these girls are probably being watched over carefully by their mothers). We could find similar images in America as well. Many so called “dance” troops that young girls participate in and perform in at basketball games or parades, are similarly sexualized. Why any parent would want their young daughter shaking her booty like a Laker Girl is beyond me. To think that it is “fun” or “cute” is, frankly, abusive to children. Recently we have the case of a major American retailer selling thong underwear to pre-teen girls as young as 7 years old.
I am bewildered at many things, but perhaps none more than how anyone–conservative, Marxist, feminist, libertarian, atheist, what have you — can think that the increasing sexualization of young children is a good thing. If this is what Western liberal values leads to, it is not hard to see why many around the world are turned off by liberalism. I came across this picture right after reading Damon Linker’s eloquent and disturbing post in TNR (which I hope to respond to later) on our liberal, “centerless” society. Truly if this kind of image isn’t offensive to most people, we are not only centerless, but completely decadent and without hope.