Blog Post

5 Year-old Girls Model Lingerie in China

66120325 - girl with depression reflected in broken mirrorCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

International outrage is growing over photos taken of a catwalk in China where girls as young as five were modeling sexy lingerie. is reporting on the incident which took place at a shopping mall in Chengdu City which is located in the southwest China province of Sichuan. The little girls were walking the runway clothed in nothing but lingerie with plenty of bling, costume wings and headpieces.

One girl sported a tiny purple bikini with beaded fringe. Another little one was made to look like an angel with large white feathered wings and trailing feathers while wearing only a small white bikini.

Photos of the crowd show young girls were among the audience while a man was busy taking pictures of the girls on his smartphone.

This latest controversy comes after Kim Kardashian sparked outrage on Snapchat last month when she featured items from her new children’s line that included an orange velvet bikini and a leopard-n-lace slip dress.

Both of these instances fuel growing concerns about the toxic effect of the hyper-sexualization of young girls that is becoming all too common these days.

toddlers and tiaras 2For example, Paris Vogue shocked the world several years ago when it published photos of pre-adolescent girls wearing sex lingerie and clothing.

Clothing for little girls has become increasingly sexual, such as thong underwear and other items the feature slogans such as “Eye Candy.” Bratz fashion dollars, which are marketed to six year old girls, wear highly sexualized clothing such as fish net stocking

Fashion dolls marketed at 6-year-old girls that feature sexualized clothing, like fishnet stockings, short skirts, and skin tight body suits.

A popular television show, Toddlers and Tiaras, is all about little girls who compete in beauty pageants while dressed in heavy make-up, high heels and bathing suits.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has been warning the public about the damaging effects of these trends on the minds and hearts of young girls for the last decade. Not only does it cause girls to begin to see themselves as sex objects, but the failure to meet the impossible beauty standards being imposed upon them by the hyper-sexualization of women in the media is causing unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression in girls.

“Research links sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood,” the APA reports.

“Frequent exposure to media images that sexualize girls and women affects how girls conceptualize femininity and sexuality,” the APA found. “They also place appearance and physical attractiveness at the center of women’s value.”

ywog studyNotwithstanding the enormous damage that is being done to young girls by these attitudes, society in general is also being harmed by these trends. The media representation of sexualized young girls changes the way children are viewed. They are seen to be more sophisticated than they actually are, which leads to the mistaken belief that they are willing participants in adult sexual activity.

“More general societal effects may include an increase in sexism; fewer girls pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); increased rates of sexual harassment and sexual violence; and an increased demand for child pornography," APA research found.

In other words, the sexualization of women and girls is not only deleterious to themselves, but to society in general.

Countering this destructive trend are organizations such as Women of Grace® which has reached out to tens of thousands of women over the past decade with a much more uplifting and encouraging message about authentic femininity and what it means to be a woman in today’s culture. Their latest endeavor, Young Women of Grace, is now introducing this vital message to girls ages 13+ with the hopes of curbing some of the damage being done to their young hearts and minds by the over-sexualized world in which they are growing up.

Much more needs to be done!

The good news is that the public is still capable of being outraged by this blatant objectification of our young girls. Almost all of the people who commented on the Yahoo article were highly critical.

“That's sick, bordering on pedophilia,” one person wrote. “Where is child services on this one or the public outcry???”

Another said: “That's incredibly inappropriate and gross.”

Someone named “SunnyP” offered some very good advice: “Time to hit the reset button on this planet.”

If only it was that easy.

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