The Deification Of Youth

Saw a great snippet of Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show on Upworthy (finding this a great place for viral sites and videos that actually have substance) about the deification of youth in advertising and the damage it causes.

This is a great explanation that touches on the damage caused by this focus. There seems to be an increasing number of videos on the internet that demonstrate the ridiculous of the expectations of beauty and youth set in adverts, and I’ve included two below (the Dove Evolution video popular).

There is an increasing need to give our girls real inspirational models (love this photographer’s work on giving her daughter ‘real’ women to look up to). Just compare the range of lego my five year old has been given for her fifth birthday (see below) with a classic advert for lego from 1981 that’s doing the rounds of the internet at the moment (below that). The progress for women that has been made in western cultures seems to be subverted by the deification of youth plus the incorporation of sexual attractiveness in most advertising.

New sexualised femininity in lego products.

New sexualised femininity in lego products.

1981 - when lego was about fun and creativity for girls, not sexualised stereotypes.

1981 – when lego was about fun and creativity for girls, not sexualised stereotypes.

I feel a great need to buy my daughter some old school, fully creative lego and bin the directed, gender stereotyped, sexualised kit she’s been given. I also wonder, like Ellen DeGeneres, whether advertising has a key role in regressing the advancements toward equality we have made.

Not convinced, just take a look at the new, improved, flirtatious, curvy representations of old toys for girls in this article from the Huffington Post. Terrifying is my adjective of choice. As this post has digressed into an attack on how girls or represented in our culture, I had to add this video about how ‘like a girl’ is used as an insult: