Researchers at Kenyon College looked at the clothing available for young girls — young kids, mind you, not adolescents — from fifteen popular U.S. clothing stores and examined the articles for sexualization. And, much to the horror of parents everywhere, they found that approximately one-third of the clothes available had "sexy" elements:
69 percent of the clothing had only childlike characteristics. Of the remaining 31 percent, 4 percent had only sexualized characteristics, 25 percent had both sexualizing and childlike features and 4 percent had neither sexualized nor childlike elements.
Sexualization occurred most frequently emphasizing the look of breasts, or attention to the buttocks, the researchers say.
"Confused parents might be persuaded to buy the leopard-print miniskirt if it's bright pink," the study authors say. "Clearly, sexiness is still visible beneath the bows or tie-dye colors."
But here's where I get confused, because how is this a bad thing? I know what you're thinking: "James, you're a gay man in his twenties. What would you know about children?" But rest assured, I fully understand that children — or, as I like to call them, "doggie upgrades" — are a beautiful miracle, like little dolls that walk and talk like fifty-year-old drunks, dolls you can dress up in the cutest outfits! And if I want little Desdemona or MadisonLinda (one word) or Fuschia to look just like Beyonce did in that Vogue photo shoot, I damn well need those hot pants available in the right size. I can't sexualize all these Garanimals onesies on my own!
So thank you, large U.S. clothing distributors who emphasize the look of knockers on clothing meant for elementary-school girls everywhere. You're truly doing God's work. Or my work. Or something. Whatever, just get me a sequined Dora the Explorer tube top, stat.
[Above: Not in my house, modest layering!]