July 21st 2007

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The fifth battle domain - cyberspace

EDITORIAL: Democracy triumphs in East Timor

NATIONAL SECURITY: Terrorist risk is fast approaching critical

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Security nightmare for Australian authorities

HOUSING: Home ownership: the unattainable dream?

NATIONAL CENSUS: Making sense of the Census

MEDICAL SCIENCE: Cloning - dead as the Dodo?

VICTORIA: Medical suicide campaign gets underway

STRAWS IN THE WIND: The gangs of Melbourne / Global yawning / Still looking for Dreyfus / Victimhood / A ship without a rudder

TAIWAN: Divisive politics alienate Taiwanese

OPINION: Left-wing bid to discredit our Anzac tradition

POPULAR CULTURE: Video games overtaking movies and music

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Why do we dress children like miniature adults?

Science and the academic left (letter)

The Net and I (letter)

Swedish film defended (letter)

Terrorist doctor-killers? (letter)

CINEMA: Triumphing against all the odds - Amazing Grace


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Why do we dress children like miniature adults?

by Lesley Thomas

News Weekly, July 21, 2007
There are some dress rules to which we should all try to adhere, argues Lesley Thomas.

Platform shoes and skinny jeans are fairly standard attire for little girls in our parks and playgrounds these days - hardly the most practical of play clothes.

I'm not a fan of fashion diktats, but there are some dress rules to which we should all try to adhere.

Since the advent of the so-called tweenager, it has become acceptable to dress children as miniature adults.

Little boys wear camouflage cargo pants; girls wear sparkly lip-gloss and show lots of flesh.

Even at Clarks, the trusted sensible shoe shop of my own childhood, it is depressing to survey the racks of high-heeled shoes aimed at my two small daughters.

And to play with, we give them Bratz dolls.

They're the ones that look like Barbie's slutty big sister - all lipstick and pelmet skirts - and are a favourite with five-year-olds.

I feel like the most po-faced parent in the playground when I say how much I hate them. ...

We are told, pretty much weekly, by surveys and think tanks, that our children are unhappy with their bodies and that it leads to low self-esteem and depression.

They turn into fat teenagers or anorexic teenagers: either way, something must be done.

Why, then, are we steering our children towards body consciousness at such a young age?

Why do we put three-year-olds in mini skirts and babies in bikinis, and tell them they look adorable?

- extract from Lesley Thomas in The Telegraph (UK), June 26, 2007.
URL: www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/06/26/do2603.xml

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