Monday, September 23, 2013

Media Moment: Naughty Leopard
Naughty Leopard Halloween Costume being sold at Walmart
Halloween is just around the corner so stores are getting ready and stocking up on costumes. I came across an article today about a toddlers costume. At first glance this toddlers costume looks like a cute costume for a child to dress up in but when you read the name of the costume, "Naughty Leopard" things seem... wrong. At first I thought that maybe the use of the word naughty was referring to some children's naughty nature but I'm sure that something like this would not be happening with a young boy. Naughty Ninja Turtle? Naughty Pirate? I don't think so. It almost seems humorous when the same situation is applied to the opposite sex. Another thing that adds to the idea that this is deliberate is the listing for this item on Walmart's website (below). They took out the "Naughty" and instead put "Leopard Child Halloween Costume". The description also uses some different wording "This cute Halloween costume would be great for your little one." Hmmm. There is also a corset-style part on the top of this dress with see through sleeves that just seems unnecessary. This also looks nothing like a leopard aside from the frilly leopard pattern on the top and bottom and the cat-like ears. This is similar to a lot of the adult costumes on the market that don't exactly make sense.
Image of costume listing on Walmart website
Item Description for Naughty Leopard on Walmart website
The name "Naughty Leopard" suggests that this isn't just a cute kid's costume (which is probably why Walmart omitted it on the website so sales don't drop) and sounds more like something that you would find in the adult costume section (and even there it's an eyesore). There are usually a lot of stupid and/or offensive costumes for adults and teens but rarely have I seen one for toddlers. I chose to post about this because for quite some time now I have felt that young children have been increasingly trying to act more like "adults" at younger and younger ages as years go on. Part of being an adult woman includes living up to the standards of "femininity". This makes me think of the sexualized images of girls that I see on Disney channel and how these images seem to be more and more common. As these images become more common I feel as though I see more young girls adapting traits of how they think a woman is supposed to act, one of the those traits being "sexy" which is a part of "femininity". With this, I wonder if the sexualization of women is beginning to spread to images of younger girls. I wonder, at what age does this start? Do you think that women are becoming sexualized at younger ages? If so, how could this stop, what are the steps towards ending this?

See the original posts about this: Consumerist, Feministing

-Isabelle Staicu

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