A couple of weeks ago we talked about Mavor’s chapter on Lewis Carroll and the way children were photographed with the intent to portray sexuality in certain images. We talked a lot about how children can be sexual but they most likely don’t know what sexuality means until it is explained to them, as well as at what point in development can it be assumed the child knows that dressing or acting in a certain way will express a sexuality that isn’t socially acceptable for their young age. I think part of the reason why some of the pictures such as Cherry Ripe were so disturbing to us (or at least to me) was because it seemed like such an impossibility in our world today.
Today if someone tried to put together an exhibit of sexualized children serious questions about pedophilia would be brought up. However, this idea of children expressing sexuality inappropriate for their age pops up in surprising ways in pop culture. If any of you are TLC addicts like me, you’ve probably stumbled across the gem of a show “Toddlers & Tiaras” once or twice. If you haven’t (consider yourself lucky), it’s about the world of child beauty pageants and the crazy things parents will do to “help” their child win. Here are a few clips of some of the worst offenders.