David Cameron has called for an end to the “inappropriate desexualisation” of children here.
The report into the sexualisation of youngsters living in the UK revealed some shocking products; including mini poles for pole dancing, padded bras, lingerie and revealing bikinis. It also mentioned ‘Playboy’ themed school accessories, and a furniture range which was named ‘Lolita’ – the name made famous in a 1955 novel about a man’s sexual obsession with his 12 year old stepdaughter. A whole range of children’s clothing emblazoned with ‘Porn Star’ was also revealed.
There have been calls for girls magazines to be given age ratings, following constant unsuitable content, and it is thought that music videos will be told to tone it down or only be displayed after the watershed.
The night before the report was published, guidelines were given to retailers, who have 18 months to stop selling inappropriate items to children. They have been told that “fabrics and cuts should provide for modesty” and “slogans and imagery must be age appropriate and without undesirable associations or connotations.” If the retailers are still selling controversial items, such as padded bikinis and lace lingerie, after the time limit, they have been warned that they will ‘face the full wrath of the law’.
Cameron, who has given his full support to the movement, said; “Its time for action. As parents we all worry about our children growing up too fast and missing out on childhood. We cannot shield kids from the modern world and no one would try, but we can try to stop them having inappropriate things put in front of them from an early age.”
The BBC reported Cameron talking to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, saying; “A lot of parents feel they are engaged in a kind of struggle to try and bring up our kids. We want to let them see the world as it is but not be bombarded by the wrong sorts of images at an early age. We’ve all read stories about padded bras and Lolita beds. There are some worries.”
During the interview, Cameron admitted to banning his daughter from listening to Lily Allen, as he felt some of her lyrics were unsuitable for a 6 year old. Cameron has suggested giving the Advertising Standards Agency more power to deal with adverts inappropriate for children, and having a website where parents can complain about any inappropriate content.