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The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It Hardcover – May 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Although Rosalind Wiseman (who wrote Queen Bees and Wannabes, which the movie Mean Girls was based on) have mentioned that young girls readily buy into the blond hair blue eyed Barbie ideal, even though they instinctively know it's a ruse. At the end of each chapter, The Lolita Effect does present great conversation starters between parents and their children on discussing ways to navigate around the labyrinth of media.
The internet today has shrunk the world into a few taps of the keyboard. Therefore I think it is important to examine the "myth" on an international level. For example, Hajaruku fashion (a Japanese phenomenon) actually features a style known as Lolita Gothic. Take a casual glance at the blog entries online and you will see many American teenage girls chatting about this look as if they just saw it on their way to the store. The point Durham makes is that in our modern technological age, everything is interconnected. If a teen pop star makes a face on an internet picture in LA, some girl in South Korea is going to be forcing "round contacts" into her eyes in less than 24 hours.Read more ›
Overall, Durham provides some thought-provoking examples of how female sexuality is subverted by mass media and by culture. I learned of a few products I'd never heard of before (there's actually a pole dancing kit sold as a kids toy?) and was made more self-aware of existing products (I honestly hadn't given a second thought about what young girls wear these days, and was somewhat shocked to realize how sexually charged some of the sold clothing really is). She makes a good case for most of this trend being a matter of marketing rather than actually culturally ingrained. Even more useful, she includes sections at the end of each chapter on discussion topics, things which parents should talk to their children about. I've already passed my copy of the book on to a mother at my workplace who'd been complaining about how short girls' shorts had been getting. Overall, it was a good read, both engaging and informative.
The biggest problem I had with the book was one which Durham pointed out in the prologue of the book. Sex, especially when it comes to younger people, is a very polarized topic. It's hard to talk about it without being perceived as either saying "Sex is bad and you should avoid it" or "Sex is good and you should engage in it as often as possible." And, in the end, she largely avoids falling into either pole by avoiding the topic. She expresses her beliefs that sex is a positive thing, but that it should avoided until one is mature enough.Read more ›
I remember wondering, when I was just entering my teens myself in the mid-1970's, why grown men suddenly began "bothering" girls right around the time they entered the 7th grade --why was it that at that age my peers and I were cruelly scrutinized, rated, berated, and preyed upon in loudly obscene vocal summaries and threatening lurking by adult males either passing by on the street, or when we were in shopping centers, etc., when a year prior to jr. high - the last year of elementary school -- none of us were pursued or even noticed by them? (But at least we were spared the horror of attention from pedophiles.)
It was as if the moment a girl became even vaguely pubescent in appearance, it was open season not only for boys to judge and harass us, but for adult men to do so. Male teachers in my junior high school approvingly favored and flirted with the prettiest girls whom they openly referred to as "sexy" and "foxy" [hey, remember that term, 70's nostalgia buffs?]and insulted or even bullied the unattractive girls in their classrooms. This tawdry behavior by adults set the tone for boys to cruelly demand unreasonable criteria for pulchritude in their female peers, and make them miserable if they didn't meet the set standards.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a must-read for parents and teachers of girls, and a should-read for everyone else. I've read my fair share of media criticism, especially about gender inequality and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Julie Rowse
The whole trend about glorifying fair-colored young girls is nothing new.
In fact, we are biologically attracted to a very cute and youthful-looking female because she... Read more
Interesting point of view. Required for class but glad I read it.Published 6 months ago by K. Brown
If you're interested in learning more about the hypersexualization of young girls, this is a good solid book to turn to. At times the writing is a bit dry, but still informative.Published on May 3, 2014 by Terri
This book, written in a simple and straightforward way, is a must for everyone interested or not in the subject. Read morePublished on October 14, 2013 by Laura