Gender norms for teenage girls?

Hello All

The day of Auckland’s “‘Boobs’ on bikes” parade, this article arrived in my inbox and relates well to a discussion that came up at the beginning of last week’s Women in Politics morning tea with R. and also to the ‘post-feminist’ debate.

What do you think about the idea of such activities as teenage bikini car washes necessitating social agency action?


It’s Summer: Time to Clean Up the Bikini Car Wash By Kimberly Gadette – WeNews commentator

Underage, underdressed girls’ fundraising activities are more than merely tolerated. They seem to be fully sanctioned by the parents. Kimberly Gadette says that if this is the charity that begins at home, perhaps it’s time to call in child services.

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4 thoughts on “Gender norms for teenage girls?

  1. Erika_213

    In today’s society there is increasing pressure on women of all ages, especially young girls to ‘sexualise’ themselves. Music videos, television, magazines and movies all contribute to a negative and unrealistic body image. I don’t think that this a necessarily new phenomenon, yet it seems to be getting progressively worse. When I was 11 years old, wearing a mini skirt or halter neck top was a rare occurence (even if I had parental permission). But these days its quite common place. In fact major clothing retailers market such products to even younger children. What’s interesting is that when I was a teenager I had no desire to dress myself like that. Perhaps that’s my own value/belief system, who knows? I guess the important thing to remember is that we are all products of influence. These days the media’s negative influence is far reaching. It’s sad that for a women to feel beautiful, accepted, understood or validated she often needs to conform to such a norm. But, exactly what is normal about a bikini clad 16 year old bouncing up and down on the street? Beats me…

  2. anita Post author

    When we were designing the look of this website, we deliberately chose pink, not because we see it as particularly ‘feminine’, rather because of its power as a statement of irony, particularly with Rosie the Rivoter as our logo. But you do raise an important point, and that is the need to constantly reflect on our actions, motives and underlying assumptions.

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