2012年10月21日14:44  新浪教育 微博   



  Toddlers in tube tops and naked teen pin-ups no longer seem toshock us. How the sexual image of young girls is beingmanipulated

  Last Halloween, a five-year-old girl showed up at my doorstepwearing a tube top, miniskirt, platform shoes and eye shadow. Theoutfit projected a rather tawdry sexuality. "I'm a Bratz!" the totpiped up proudly, a look-alike doll clutched in her chubby fist. Ihad a dizzying flashback to an image of a child prostitute I hadseen in Cambodia, in a disturbingly similar outfit。

  I was startled, but perhaps I should not have been. In recentyears, the sexy little girl has become insistently present in themedia – from 15-year-old Miley Cyrus photographed draped in a sheetfor Vanity Fair to websites "counting down" to the day that childstars, such as Emma Watson, reach the age of consent. And, ofcourse, there was Britney Spears, aged 16, prancing around inschool uniform and pigtails in her first music video. Their allureis that of "Lolita" – very young and very provocative。

  Lolita has become shorthand for a prematurely sexual girl – onewho, by legal definition, is outlawed from sexual activity. TheLolitas of our time are defined as deliberate sexual provocateurs,luring adults into wickedness and transgressing moral and legalcodes. But the original Lolita – the 12-year-old protagonist ofVladimir Nabokov's novel – was rather different; a powerless victimof her predatory stepfather。

  Like many pre-adolescent girls, she is sexually curious, but hasno control over the abusive relationship. Yet it is as though thevery fact of her sexuality has made her into a fantasy, rather thanthe novel's sexually abused and tragic figure. She is eagerlyinvoked in the media as a sign of how licentious little girls canbe. "Bring back school uniforms for little Lolitas!" demands theDaily Telegraph in an article condemning contemporary sexyschoolgirl fashions, while Tokyo's Daily Yomiuri refers to "theLolita-like sex appeal" of preteen Japanese anime characters。

  Increasingly, young girls are seen as valid participants in apublic culture of sex. In some ways, this is not new: in the 1933film Polly Tix in Washington, four-year-old Shirley Temple played apint-sized prostitute. And it's striking that the role of childprostitute was the springboard for the careers of many of our sexgodesses: not just Temple, but also the 14-year-old Jodie Foster inTaxi Driver, 12-year-old Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby, and13-year-old Penelope Cruz in a French soap, Série Rose. All arecommentaries on child sexual exploitation, but the titillatingrepresentations positioned these actors as sex symbols andreinforced the link between girls' sexuality and sex work。

  Yet in the middle part of the last century, our icons of femalesexuality were Marilyn Monroe, 27, as Lorelei Lee in GentlemenPrefer Blondes or Sophia Loren, 23, in Desire Under the Elms.Legally and physically adults, their much-admired bodies would notmeet today's standards of sculpted muscularity and narrow-hippedleanness. The British model Twiggy is often cited for introducingthe boyish, adolescent body type as a western feminine ideal. Shewas 16 when she started modelling in 1966 and by the late 80s theslender adolescent body had come to epitomise female beauty。

  "A girl at the edge of puberty has a naturally hairless bodythat demands no shaving, waxing or chemicals . . . Her body isnaturally small, supple and nothing if not youthful," observessociologist Wendy Chapkis. The western ideal of female beauty, shewrites, is defined by "eternal youth"。

  This emphasis on youthfulness has led to the use of very younggirls as models in fashion and advertising, often in sexuallysuggestive contexts. Most catwalk models are between 14 and 19 –some, such as Maddison Gabriel, the official face of Australia'sGold Coast fashion week in 2007, are just 12.

  Young girls are increasingly posed as sexual objects of theadult gaze, while numerous clothing ads feature women dressed aslittle girls, sucking on lollipops, kneeling, crouching or lying inpositions of subordination. Witness the 20-year-old model LilyCole, ribbons in her hair, clasping a teddy bear for FrenchPlayboy. Childishness is sexy, these messages seem to say. Ergo,children – especially little girls – are sexy。

  The highly sexual poses imply they are "Lolitas" –knowledgeable, wanton, seductive. It sends a message that littlegirls should be viewed as sexy. The idea is that female sexualityis the province of youth. Writing in the New York Times, children'smagazine editor Pilar Guzman observes, "The gap is diminishingbetween what's meant for children and what's intended for theirelders."

  It's called "kids getting older younger" – a marketing constructblurring the line between adults and children, especially withregard to sexuality. The problem is not with children, but withthose who knowingly sell products with powerful sexual overtones toyoung girls, and with adults who then interpret girls' bodies assexually available。

  If these little girls can't feel sexual desire or understandmuch about it, why are we so obsessed with fetishising them? Apossible answer is a backlash against feminism. Society has beenforced to confront women as contenders in the social arena. Thishas generated resentment from men, as in Michael Noer's infamous2006 column in Forbes, "Don't marry a career woman," in which heclaimed that working women are more likely to cheat on theirhusbands. Little girls epitomise a patriarchal society's ideal ofcompliant, docile sexuality. In the media, girls are reduced toone-dimensional, wholly limited figurines。

  But the motivation is also commercial. Cosmetics and fashiondesigners are finding ways to capture loyal consumers almost fromday one. On the flip side, emphasising girlishness as desirablefacilitates the multibillion-dollar sales of anti-aging cosmetics,creams and plastic surgery. Finally, there's the undergroundeconomy of little girls' sexuality: child sex trafficking andprostitution. According to the UN, sex trafficking is thefastest-growing area of organised crime。

  I want my two young daughters – indeed, all girls – to grow upconfident about finding and expressing sexual pleasure. But as aculture, we have few ways to represent or acknowledge children'ssexuality, and we seem incapable of dealing with it outside therealm of sexual commodification and commerce. Sexual curiosity andeven some experimentation are ordinary features of childhood.Realistic, strong, and non-exploitative representations of girls'sexuality would be a progressive social step, but images of girlsposed and styled as objects of the erotic adult gaze can't be. Theyoften employ the conventions of sex work, legitimising the use ofyoung girls for prostitution and pornography。

  I wish that Halloween costumes for little girls involving vinylboots or corsets were just silly and fun. They may be, in contextswhere girls are totally protected, safe from any misreading orviolation. But I am not convinced such contexts exist. Instead wemust create safe and supportive spaces for girls to understandtheir sexuality on their own terms and in their own time。



  我当时很吃惊,但也许我不应该如此。近年来,性感的小女孩已成为媒体经常呈现给大众的形象:从15岁的麦莉·赛勒斯(MileyCyrus)身披布毯为《名利场》杂志拍摄的照片,到“倒计时”(counting down)之类电影娱乐网站对艾玛·沃特森(EmmaWatson)等童星达到默许年龄进行倒计时记录。当然,还有布兰妮·斯皮尔斯(BritneySpears),16岁时的她留着长辫子,穿着校服,欢蹦乱跳地出现在她的首个音乐录像中。他们的魅力是那种“洛丽塔”(Lolita)式的——非常年轻、非常撩人。



  越来越多的年轻女孩被视为性公共文化的有效参与者。从某种意义上说,这并不新鲜:在1933年的电影《波莉·提克斯在华盛顿》(Polly Tix in Washington)里,四岁的秀兰·邓波儿(ShirleyTemple)扮演一名小雏妓。而引人瞩目的是,雏妓角色成为我们许多性感女神许多职业的跳板:不只是邓波儿,还有电影《出租车司机》中14岁的朱迪·福斯特(Jodie Foster)、电影《漂亮宝贝》中12岁的波姬·小丝(BrookeShields)以及法国肥皂剧《玫瑰系列》(Série Rose)中13岁的佩内洛普·克鲁兹(PenelopeCruz)。所有这些影视作品都是有关儿童性剥削的评论,但表现出来的性挑逗将这些小女孩演员定位成性的象征,强化了女孩性感与性作品之间的联系。

  然而,在上世纪中叶的时候,我们时代女性性感的标志性人物是在电影《绅士爱美人》(Gentlemen PreferBlondes)中扮演罗蕾莱·李(Lorelei Lee)时27岁的玛丽莲·梦露(MarilynMonroe),或者是在电影《榆树下的欲望》中23岁的索菲亚·罗兰(SophiaLoren)。她们在法律上及身体上都已属成年,而她们当时备受赞美的身材已不符合今天所要求的肌肉发达得如雕刻般线条明晰及窄臀骨感的标准。英国模特崔姬(Twiggy)常被引证为开创了以男孩般、青春期男孩体型为西方女性理想体型的风潮。她在1966年16岁时开始了模特生涯。至80年代后期,青春期男孩般纤细的身材成为女性美的象征。





  这种现象被称为“年纪轻轻就成熟”(kids getting olderyounger)——一种模糊成年人与小孩界限的营销构建,尤其是在性感方面。问题不在于孩子,而是在于那些故意将具有强烈性色彩的产品推销给年轻女孩的人,以及那些因此将女孩的肉体理解为可以性行为的对象。





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