Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sojourner Marable Grimmett: Young Girls and the Dangers of the ‘Booty Pose’

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Over the last 10 years, music from the radio streaming through the loudspeakers in our cars have become more vulgar and explicit. Most recently hitting the top of the charts is Chris Brown’s song, Wet The Bed.” We’ve come a long way from New Edition’s song, “Can You Stand the Rain.”

Clearly, these two songs are talking about two different things. Women as sex objects in television and print advertising has become more the norm, and many young girls are emulating what they see on television and following these trends in their daily lives. Advertising and media images that encourage girls to focus on looks and sexuality are harmful to their emotional and physical health, a recent report by the American Psychological Association says.

If you've read my articles about the way I dress then you know that I'm a pretty conservative dresser. I don't have any low-cut V-neck T-shirts, navel rings, or own a pair of "booty shorts."  To be completely honest, I'm trying to hold back from purchasing "mom shorts" and "mom jeans” ---Although I must admit that "mom jeans" do look very comfortable sitting high above the "mother hump." Another point in favor of "mom jeans" is that they also don't seem to ride up and cause wedgies. Now, I think I look nice in a pair of jeans, but I would never take a photo of myself demonstrating the infamous Booty Pose.

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Sure, you know what the Booty Pose is. It's when someone is taking a picture of you and you turn around, poke out your booty, turn your head to the side and smile --- Say "Cheese!" Our four year-old loves to take photos. When he strikes a pose he usually folds his arms and demonstrates the "b-boy stance" in which his arms are crossed and he's grinning at the camera (more like a RUN-DMC pose). He's probably thinking about Michael Jackson's song, "I'm Bad."

As a parent who observes trends, for the last several years I've noticed young girls (as young as 3 years-old) striking booty poses in photos. To my amazement, parents are encouraging these photo opts. This encouragement is so perplexing to me. Why are we encouraging these poses? If pop culture is any indication, they can lead to really unattractive X-rated images. We should be concerned about the mental health of young girls and what they define as appropriate and attractive.

Now, I can understand throwing up the "peace sign;" again, I'm getting older so not as hip, but I can't understand the booty pose. Why would you want to turn around, stick your derriere out and have someone take a photo of you?  Celebrities strike booty poses all of the time, but minors should not be doing this and parents should not be cheering them on. Booty poses will lead children down a windy road to possibly booty dancing.

I guess if you're older and you know that's your best "asset," then maybe it's OK to strike a booty pose. Kim Kardashian has a great figure and pokes her derriere out for nearly every photo op. Young girls on Facebook are taking profile pics flaunting their newly developed cleavage and young boys are showing their hairless pecks. Abercrombie and Fitch now sells padded bras and bikinis which targets 7-14 year-old girls.

Am I just old school? Or is this a serious issue? I think as parents we don't need to encourage our children to strike this kind of pose. To me, this is borderline child pornography.

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Sojourner Marable Grimmett is an Atlanta-based author who is recognized for writing about the joys and challenges of being a “stay-at-work” mom and connects with moms, both new and experienced, who have the responsibility of raising a family and maintaining a full-time job. Sojourner has been featured in FitPregnancy, iVillage, MacaroniKid.com, BlackCelebKids.com, MyAtlantaMoms.com, WhatToExpect.com, BlackandMarriedwithKids.com, Fox News, and CNN. She is married to her college sweetheart, Roland and they have two young sons, Roland Jay and Joshua. Visit her blog sojournermarablegrimmett.blogspot.com follow her on twitter and like her on Facebook. Also join her new campaign to support establishing lactation rooms in public places www.supporttablefortwo.org.

7 comments:

DEA WIN said...

AWESOME POST!

Deborrah said...

The sexualization of women and girls has ALWAYS been the focus. I cannot remember a time when it was not, nor can my mother (we've talked about this). The only difference is that the images were less blatant, but that has changed right along with what is shown on television. Betty Grable in the white swimsuit was considered a pin-up, and females of that era posed in similar attire next to cars, cigarettes, etc. Female sexuality has been used to stir men to purchase everything from diamonds to palatial estates.

I also remember as a child seeing Calvin Klein ads which used young people in sexual crotch open types of poses which was very "ho hum" in Europe but very shocking here in the U.S. My parents were appalled and worried about the direction things were going in socially.

It's difficult to even find non-sexy clothes for your 7 and 8 year old girls these days, so most parents resort to jeans and tshirts.

Sadly, the booty pose seems to be the favorite pose primarily of BLACK girls and I don't understand it either. I won't let my daughter or her friends pose like that in any pictures I take, and I won't do it myself.

D4Him said...

I took those types of pictures when I was younger. At the time I was just having fun and didn't think much of it. As I matured and began to learn new things, I found that those types of pictures were not cute at all. I have two daughters and have always taught them to be ladies. You have to raise your kids and people have stopped doing that. You CANNOT allow TV and people in the entertainment industry raise your kids. You have to instill in them moral values, you have to talk to them, you have to be there for them. You CANNOT raise your kids in the club! You also have to have Jesus in your life! If you don't have Jesus, you are not living, you're just existing. Once you become a parent, you're a parent until death! You're teaching and guiding until death because even as they get older, mature and have those life experiences, you will be called upon for your wisdom. We have to start taking more time with our children, this includes someone else's children too. It takes a village!

97a22b1c-fb1e-11e0-886c-000bcdcb2996 said...

We are comfortable accusing Kim Kardashian and slow to remember it was Beyonce who coined the term "bootylicious" and even demonstrated it on Oprah. We trust the popular media with our most prescious assets, our children. Then we point the finger at everyone but ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I totaly agree.

Anonymous said...

I don't accept friend requests from anyone who has booty or sexualized pics on their profile. If a woman thinks that's what defines her, then we have nothing in common and if a man thinks I'm impressed by the old 'shirtless flex in the bathroom where I can see down into his genital area,' then he obviously doesn't know me anyway.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why Black women are not holding Beyonce more accountable for her influence over our young black women. She is an icon with oversexualized lyrics, greed as she parades in leotards. What happened to class and grace and our women not looking like hookers?