As reported by both MSNBC and The New York Daily News, Susanna Barrett — whose daughter appeared on Toddlers & Tiaras — is denouncing TMZ and other news outlets for featuring a video montage that she felt “sexualized” her five-year old. In the video, her daughter Isabella is seen performing to LMFAO’s song “Sexy And I Know It.” While many parents surely understand Susanna’s distress, many also find fault with an entire entertainment industry that exploits girls, and with networks like TLC that glamorize the childhood pageant world. Others simply wonder why mothers would expose their children to the pageant world in the first place.
Such outrage is also increasingly directed at clothing labels, which sell shirts for young girls that include slogans like “scratch and sniff” or “so many boys, so little time”.
So how can parents protect their daughters from a culture that exploits them at such early ages?