I’ve been reading this book, Born To Buy by Juliet B. Schor, and it is making me furious. Schor talks about the commercialization of todays children and the changes that have happened in the last few years. Because of todays marketers directly targeting infants, toddlers, children and teens she states:
“at age one, [the average american child] is watching Teletubbies and eating the food of its ‘promo partners’ Burger King and McDonald’s. Kids can recognize logos by eighteen months, and before reaching their second birthday, they’re asking for products by brand name. By three or three and a half, experts say, children start to believe that brands communicate their personal qualities, for example, that they’re cool, or strong, or smart. Even before starting school, the likelihood of having a television in their bedrooms is 25 percent, and their viewing time is just over two hours a day.”
Or what about the fact that elementary and middle school kids are now asking for (and getting) cosmetic surgery, including aesthetic enhancements for eyes, lips, chins and ears!!! That’s insane!!! What happend to just being a child, playing in the woods and making forts out of cardboard boxes, or just playing with your moms old make-up if you wanted ‘aesthetic enhancements’??? This makes me so angry I could scream!! Who gave these marketing companies the right to tell my child that she isn’t pretty enough if she doesn’t wear Donna Karen, or that she isn’t cool enough if she doesn’t have the latest Happy Meal toy crap, or the newest cell phone, TV or car??? And why are parents letting this happen?? Yes, I know parents are working more so that they can provide a better life for themselves and their kids? But, maybe we all need to step back and re-evaluate whether the money is worth the real cost to our kids lives! If we don’t have the time or energy to monitor all this junk that is entering and influencing our childrens lives, who will? And if we don’t step up soon and fight for our childrens right to have an uncorrupted childhood, what is going to happen in the next ten years???