Mummy bloggers – the retail industry’s secret weapon?

Children sitting on the lakeshore, Lake Ontario

They’re just like you and me aren’t they? Down-to-earth, honest-to-goodness parents giving us the inside scoop on child rearing. But access to family email inboxes nationwide makes the mummy blogger a marketing man’s dream. What if some of them embrace the Dark Side?

The other week a group of mummy bloggers got a little hot under the collar when I suggested a link between the commercialization and sexualization of children and child abuse. They pooh-poohed the whole idea and suggested I’d had too many sherbets (followed by some self-congratulatory backslapping for that witty line).

But it seems my view is shared by author, editor and columnist Ophelia Benson, deep-thinker and fighter of fashionable nonsense at Butterflies and Wheels. Please pop over there to read the full article and find out how, in a world that’s full of choices, some people choose to be part of the problem instead of part of the solution…

Related Links

Sexualisation of children risks softening attitudes towards abuse – The Telegraph

12 Comments

  1. I’m with you on this one – deplore some of the slogans on some of the younger children’s clothes these days and don’t get me started about pre-teen celebrities provocatively posing in magazines but justify it by saying it was tastefully done and their parents were at the shoot!

    Reply
    • It all starts somewhere, however tasteful that inception is…

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      • Thanks – it looks very good and I am just trying to sign up for it!

        Reply
  2. Good Lord! The “joke” about sherbets was not nice. So some mothers don’t see this as an issue – a shame that some would prefer not to even consider that there may be such a connection? I will take a read of Ophelia Benson’s blog.

    Reply
    • I think you might like it Emma, very wide-ranging and thought-provoking…

      Reply
  3. The trouble is even if you bring your children up to believe in certain values there is nothing worse than peer pressure. My kids never had the luxury of designer labels and if they wanted them so badly I made them get a job to pay. I hate FB it is so intrusive I pity parents now haveing to deal with chatrooms and webcams.

    Reply
  4. It boggles my mind that any parent would not only be okay with sexualising their child, but would willingly participate in it. Where do they get the idea that it is normal and okay? None of us had parents who sexualised us from a young age, so why are parents today doing that? When I was eight, I couldn’t care less about shopping, make-up, or anything relating to my appearance in general. I whine if my mom tried to comb my hair and I was interested in playing with dolls and reading “chapter books”. If clothes and cosmetics are what make little girls tick these days, it’s only because their parents and the media aren’t offering them anything else.

    Reply
    • Hear, hear! It’s one thing when the retail industry plays dirty to turn kids into consumers, but when parent bloggers endorse and promote it, knowing that other parents visit their sites for support and informed advice on parenting, it stinks! It’s an abhorrent abuse of implied trust.
      The funny thing is, even the bloggers are sick of reading sponsored posts on other blogs and admit that they click away as soon as they realise that’s the case. So the only winner here is the retail industry…

      Reply
  5. So glad you wrote such a balanced article on this topic of targeting and over-hyping/commercializing children with inappropriate clothing, makeup, etc. I left a comment over on Butterflies and Wheels. Perhaps certain ‘mummy bloggers’ won’t understand, but I’m betting oh so many others will get it.

    Reply
    • I have you to thank for supporting and encouraging me, otherwise it would still be a lopsided, clumsiy verbalised gut instinct destined never to see the light of day! Do you remember? I told you I thought I’d finally learned that lesson about killing your darlings, but you taught me different.
      The mummy bloggers in the FB group can’t seem to move beyond bath bombs. *sigh* I can’t imagine why they’re so hostile…

      Reply
  6. You’re absolutely right. Of course there’s a link. Some things are just obvious.

    Reply

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