What our daughters are advertising

Every once in awhile I find myself drifting out of my general theme to comment about culture, and I usually end up in trouble. After all, I’m an old white guy, and we’re always the cultural enemy and, therefore, supposed to just keep our mouths shut.

14-year old Kendell JennerThe gorgeous photo on the right is Kendell Jenner, half-sister of the famous Kardashian sisters. You can see the resemblance. She’s following in her sisters’ celebrity shoes and recently signed a modeling contract with a big agency. This bikini shoot is getting a lot of press, because, well, Kendell is just 14 years old!

I had a discussion with a friend the other day, and I made the comment that, as a 64-year old guy, I can’t tell the difference anymore between a 16 year old girl and one who’s 25. That’s a problem, of course, because it’s okay for me to look at 25 year olds, but not 16 year olds. I know. I know. But malls are malls, and the eye wanders. It is disquieting on a whole bunch of levels, but mostly on this one:

Young girls don’t realize it, but they’re advertising. Hell, we’re ALL advertising, because that’s what we do. We “dress for success,” and so on. If I was producing a movie and asked a Hollywood designer to create clothes for a hooker, they would dress my actress the same way these girls at the malls dress. You can call me any awful name you wish, but you cannot refute the reality that girls are advertising a persona by the way they dress.

Now, I’m not one of those assholes who thinks we should blame the victims in sex crimes. I’m merely asking the cultural question of why it’s okay that our daughters and granddaughters dress in this manner? And here we have a 14-year old — admittedly gorgeous — girl dressed in a skimpy bikini for all to see and lust after (yes, that’s what we do). Why is this all right?

And if it IS all right, then let’s adjust the age of consent to reflect what’s being advertised here, instead of hypocritically going about our lives pretending that a girl posed like this has no clue about what’s being sold. This is, after all, the same culture that accepts a television program’s premise (To Catch a Predator) that pedophilia is the same thing as lusting after post-pubescent girls. How anybody can shake their judgmental fingers at those “predators” without examining the bigger aspects of our sexual culture is beyond me. I mean, c’mon. If this is an issue, let’s talk about it, but let’s not leave out half the story, because we don’t want to offend anybody.

And so I rant, because I have daughters, too. One of them lives in Amman and is Muslim. She covers herself up when she’s outside the home, because her religion demands it, but also because she believes in it. My son-in-law once pointed at a magazine ad and asked me if I’d rather see my daughters dressed like this or covered up. He also noted that this degradation of women would be our undoing. I wonder. Meanwhile, Islam is the fastest growing religion on the planet.

So good luck to Kendell Jenner. I’m sure she’ll do great in modeling. She has the pedigree and the right handlers, and, damn, she’s good looking. I only wish she wasn’t 14, because I don’t like what that says about me.

Comments

  1. Lee Robison says

    i agree Terry. Remember back in our High School days and we would never wear jeans to school and the girls dressed in dresses and skirts and were modest in their appearance. I remember as a kid thinking about how backwards our parents were and you know they had it right. Thanks for sharing.

    By the way my youngest is going to the middle east as a missionary. Whod a thunk it.

  2. The funny part is, the father walks with his daughter and looks at you in a weird way if you stare at his daughter. True story.

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