Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Jezebel’s ridiculous attack on children’s shaving kit

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Jezebel.com logo

The sexualization of children and the relentless societal pressure to conform to ridiculous aesthetic standards are true banes of our time, leading hordes of impressionable young girls to flock to the skimpy clothes and beauty products aisles at increasingly younger ages. It’s also clear that the brunt of this misleading marketing is carried out on television, where everything from Botox-faced hair care models to the thinly veiled promotion of toddlers as sluts (*coughs*) is presented to young audiences in hopes of raking in ever more dough from the plastification of society.

But sometimes, it helps to remember that not everything is out to pervert our children. Sometimes, innocuous-looking products really are as benign as they seem. And sometimes, going to ridiculous lengths to try and stick a label of subversion of decency to aforementioned benign products makes you look plain desperate and, well, ridiculous. Cue Jezebel:

Toy Lets 3-Year-Olds Shave Their Crotch Like Big Girls

‘Spongebob Squarepants’ “Bikini Bottom Groom & Go! Bath foam, play razor, shave brush & comb”

The cartoon character SpongeBob lives in a city at the bottom of the sea. It's called Bikini Bottom. So this "Bikini Bottom Groom and Go!" kit for kids three and over . . .

Well, let's just say that the picture is of a boy pretending to shave his face, but the words suggest a girl dreaming of someday presenting a whisker-free crotch to the sun.

Though it's impossible that the meaning of the word "bikini" eluded the producers of SpongeBob Squarepants, it seems possible that how the word works in this context may have gone unnoticed. Then again, giving the new pressure for women to shave and trim their "bikini areas" (whether they intend to go to the beach or not), I wouldn't be surprised to see this pressure aimed at young girls. Indeed, we already have. See, for example, our post in which a mother teaches her young child to tolerate the pain of plucking eyebrows.

This is where that all-too-common rabid and unreasonable distortion of feminism leads to: decrying a perfectly harmless children’s toy shaving kit because A) it contains “bikini” in the name (*le gasp!*) and B) there are other, entirely unrelated franchises that actually do feature the sexualization of children.

I’m sorry, malcontents, but once again, those are a few absurd leaps of logic too many for reasonable people to condemn an evidently innocent children’s toy. Thankfully, people are already taking the well-deserved mickey out of this silly piece in the article’s comments section, thus releasing me of the duty to point out in detail just how baseless and overreaching this type of trumped-up nonsense is.

(via @jennifurret)