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« When at first you don’t succeed... | Main | Re: Blame the Care Bears! »

February 20, 2007

Blame the Care Bears!

Carebear So the Washington Post Health section runs a story about how, at younger and younger ages, "American girls . . . are increasingly being fed a cultural catnip of products and images that promote looking and acting sexy." Too true. It's always good to know that someone is keeping an eye on this truly disturbing trend.

But then we run smack into this zinger:

Where did this girly-girl consumerism start? Diane Levin, an education professor at Wheelock College in Boston who is writing an upcoming book, "So Sexy So Soon," traces much of it to the deregulation of children's television in the mid-1980s. With the rules loosened, kids' shows suddenly could feature characters who moonlighted as products (think Power Rangers, Care Bears, My Little Pony). "There became a real awareness," says Levin, "of how to use gender and appearance and, increasingly, sex to market to children."

Excuse me? Now it's the Care Bears' fault??

I know, the entertainment media plays a highly significant role here. But come on. Is it really THAT hard to take a searching look at what else is in the media besides the Care Bears, and to admit that the glorification of "sexual freedom" that was supposed to empower women is instead encouraging little girls to become tramps?

On the other hand, the Post's theory might finally provide an explanation for this previously inexplicable photo (warning: some may find the photo offensive). Of course -- the Teletubby made her do it!

Update: A commenter takes issue with my posting of the link in the previous paragraph. The reason for the link is to help drive home the point of the post, but for the benefit of those who might be offended by the infamous photo of teenage Britney in her bra on the cover of Rolling Stone, I added the warning.

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Dan Gill

I can't think of a single good reason for you to link to a picture of Britney Spears in her bra.

Follow one of your own links to Modestly Yours and look at the Modesty Survey. There is not a man among your readers who is helped by seeing such a picture, and I daresay there are many who are harmed.

Greg Laurich

Wow, the care bears? I thought it was all the Playboy© clothing that get marketed to teens, the music video industry, magazines like FHM etc etc that were to blame...

Who knew?


"to the deregulation of children's television in the mid-1980s."

That's the tidbit I picked up. *Somebody's* still holding a grudge about deregulation, hence the dubious association of "selling sex" with "Care Bears" and "My Little Pony." Seems a rather circuitous way to get yet another poke in at the Reagan Years, but I guess it was worth the loss of credibility to this "educator."

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