Things You Can’t Buy Back

10-Year-Old Model’s Grown-Up Look: High Fashion or High Risk? – ABC News

I’m working on some editing for the Essays on Childhood project, and I came across the above link.

I have one comment, which apparently is of no concern to most other people talking about this, and that is that no matter what you think about the portrayal of children as adults, one thing is certain:  It takes something.

This child is in the 3rd grade.

Children are not little adults. Dressing them up and trotting them around as adults does nothing to change their developmental state inside.  But it does change their perceptions of themselves, how adults respond to them, and what shreds of innocence and guileless joy that are left to them in the ever-shortened years of being allowed to be a child.

This is a beautiful child.  She, like all children, deserved to have her childhood years preserved for the one and only time they had a chance to exist.  I’m sure these photos made some grown ups, including her famous parents, a lot of money.

That money can never buy back what it took.

3 thoughts on “Things You Can’t Buy Back

    • When children dress up on their own, that is normal imitation. It’s what primates do. When adults do it TO them, that is not normal. I think we need to be more serious about what is legal around manipulating children like this.

      Kids can’t say no to this. They don’t want to let anyone down. This is the reason there are age limits on consent to adult behavior, it is understood that before a certain developmental age, children cannot know or follow through with what is consent.

      I am less than pleased. Can you tell?

      • I could not agree more. I am afraid of my little 4 year old reaching for adolescence before her time. She already emulates tone and attitude beyond her years (that we struggle to curb and check), so I couldn’t imagine pushing her to look sexy. I too want her to be a child for as long as she can.

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