The pubic sphere, along with myself, is forever asking what has happened to children in the 21st century. Is it the medias fault they are no longer really like children in advertising?
Years ago if I were to flick through a clothes catalogue there would always be a kids section of cute little boys and girls looking joyful and smiling way too big with at least 5 teeth like they should. Nowadays I’m more likely to see a little girl dressed in clothes I should be wearing and posing like she’s 25 years old and on the cover of vogue. An insight into the assumed reason behing this concept can be found within the idea of “adultification”.
It is safe to state that consumers are practically walking around in an enormous pornographic theme park in their everyday lives. Billboards, busses, and shop fronts are painted with models wearing hardly any clothing portraying hyper-sexualised messages, whilst porn magazines are next to the chewing gum at the petrol station counter. Children are being exposed to distorted messages about body image, sexuality, and gender roles within society as a result of advertising and product placement standards being complacent. In simple terms, the adultification of children can be described as children being exposed to objectifying sexual messages combined with the commercialisation of their childhood, constricting their younger years. The public sphere is in constant debate about this ever rising issue, with many concerns specifically coming from parents. A recent incident with Witchery Clothing adult-ifying their children’s clothing advertisement campaign had concerned parents stating “children do not develop healthy self-esteem if they are encouraged to focus on how they look or what clothes they are wearing” (collectiveshout.org, 2014).
I believe this issue with children and advertising will continue to be a major apprehension within the public sphere as long as there are concerns for the safety and preservation of childhoods. There are no indications that advertising standards are going to be changing their ways any time in the future, therefore children will only be further exposed to sexual imagery and concepts at even younger ages adding to the increase of adultification in society with years to come (…god help us all).
So here we are at the end of the road, I can see the stop sign (…in the form of an assignment drop box) in the very distant future and have just a few hundred words left to upload to the blogasphere for the BCM110 course. Over the past six weeks I have been exposed to, involved with, and become accustomed to the world of blogging (…which is something I never saw happening). When I was first handed the subject outline and saw that I had to create a blog, I was very suspicious. I didn’t know if blogging was something I could do let alone enjoy, and I assumed it would be a classic case of me rushing at the last minute to write 6 blogs in the one night finishing mere minutes before the deadline however by some twist of fate this wasn’t the case at all. I found myself actually enjoying blogging.
At first I felt extremely challenged by being asked to post my own writing on a blogging site that any person around the world could read. My Nosey mother (…Hi Mum) who had no idea of my task found my blog within two days of my first post by simply typing my name into Google (…yes she likes to do that in her free time). This made me very wary of the topics I chose to write about considering the contrasting audiences that might find themselves on my page. To keep myself professional however entertaining and academic all at the same time was probably the biggest challenge of them all, however with enough research into concepts that I found interest in from the lecture content made the writing a little easier than I had initially expected. I especially enjoyed researching the denotations and connotations of advertisements as it gave me a greater understanding into how to pull a part and analyse the way organisations are achieving such high consumer bases, and also how ridiculous some methodologies behind ads really are. Reading other students blogs through the online portal also helped with my understanding of media topics, and commenting on them provided me with a form of connection to others in the online world.
In conclusion I believe the BCM110 assessment 1 blogs were a major learning curve that I will take a lot of new found knowledge away from, the best part being I am far more aware of medias role within society and can use this to my own advantage to be more critical within my academic career and everyday life.
No Place For Sheep . 2014. The “adultification” of childhood: the questions some feminists will not ask. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://noplaceforsheep.com/2011/02/03/the-“adultification”-of-childhood-the-questions-some-feminists-will-not-ask/> [Accessed 12 April 14].
Marshall, D, 2010. Understanding Children as Consumers. [Online]. 1, 1-6. Available at: <http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=AR9XonAslZQC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=adultification+of+children+in+advertising&ots=eltUKSa4jn&sig=HedwaymmIW4t9mGXNmbTJyPPayg#v=onepage&q=adultification%20of%20children%20in%20advertising&f=false> [Accessed 12 April 2014].
Collective Shout. 2014. Witchery Adultifies Children in Ad Campaign, Again. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://collectiveshout.org/2011/03/witchery-adultifies-children-in-ad-campaign-again/> [Accessed 12 April 14].