Nothing makes you feel older than being surrounded by those younger than you. Thus being in my final school year suddenly almost everyone else is younger than me, causing me to feel ancient. I am almost an adult, and I constantly find myself observing children, not as an equal, but as a curious bystander. And if I have learnt anything from this, it is that childhood is not what it once was.
To me and many others, our childhood were years were even the most impossible of dreams were very possible realities. Remember when childhood meant going out and rolling about in the mud? Remember when childhood meant everyday was a new adventure. One day we were sailing the seas with swashbuckling pirates, the next exploring new worlds and then battling ferocious dragons with noble knights. We never wanted it to end, growing up was the last thing on our little minds.
But today childhood seems to have taken on a new meaning and children seem to be in an anxious rush to grow up. The moment I truly realized this was when I overheard a little girl no more than eleven years old groan ‘Eww Lion King is for kids! It’s so lame, how could you watch it?’ Coincidentally just the other day I had been watching the very same movie, bawling as a young Simba tried desperately to wake a dead Mufasa up, and singing along to hakuna matata. I found myself wondering why did this little girl deem herself too old for Lion king? What made her think that she wasn’t a little kid herself? At the young age of eleven did she actually think of herself as an adult, or adolescent?
The shocking truth is yes. According to a study by Netmums.com, childhood in the modern world ends at the tender age of twelve! But what is the cause behind this drastic decrease in the golden age of childhood?
Personally, I blame the media. Television, magazines, posters bombard young minds with sexualized images transforming them in to a grotesque form of mini adults. A sight so radically altering, because it goes against every impression and belief we had of childhood. A perfect example of this is probably the notorious child beauty pageant show, ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’. A show that cakes make- up on the baby faces of little kids, squeezes them in to stripper outfits complete with false breasts and then parades them in a complete mockery of the magic of childhood. One episode even had a four year sashay about on stage with a cigarette in her mouth!
When did we sink so low as to even think of sexualizing young girls no less than 5 years old on public television? How can a mother display her own daughter shamelessly in a hooker outfit? What sort of person forces a four year old to go through the excruciating procedure of eye brow waxing? Little girls are supposed to be playing with dolls, not becoming dolls.
Let’s not even talk about...