Saturday, 6 September 2014

Of Stolen Innocence


I grew up in an age and environment where children were allowed to be children and adults allowed to be adults. Seriously.

It wasn't the stone age but in my house, our dresses and skirts were always knee length and pants had enough room. No skinny-show-me-your-figure kind of stuffs. God help you if you refuse to put on what was picked for you to wear to outings / events / occasions.

Never had the 'opportunity' to wear make up until I gained admission into the tertiary institution.

Same went for wearing weaves and braids. In my house, if you were yet to 'clear' your SSCE, who born you to raise the issue of 'making' your hair? You wouldn't even try it. Na to waka about in boyish low cuts while all your mates are flipping their weaves even during short school holidays.

I used to envy them at the time and 'making' my hair was one of the motivations for me to work hard in order to achieve some form of 'liberation'. Now 'making' my hair is such a chore and I love nothing more than my low-maintenance, hassle-free low-cut. Talk about irony.

My parents had their reason for putting those rules in place and I understand better enough to appreciate their efforts now that I'm a parent even though I (silently) despised their 'highhandedness' back then. Were they living in outer space or what?
(Thanks, mom...will always love you)

The times have drastically changed. 
What do we have today?
Little kids being forced to grow up, robbed of their childhood without their 'consent'.

I love little girls even though I don't have one. And when I see cute girls dressed beautifully? Oh, my heart go a-fluttering.

For me, however, dressing beautifully does not consist of groomed lashes / brows, crimson lips, foundation and the rest that you would find on fully grown models.

Recently, I was minding my own business on Facebook when I came across a picture of one of my 'friend's daughter on my timeline. You know how we have 'friends' we barely know or interact with on FB...

This little girl is really beautiful with flawless ebony skin but I made a few quick observations which made me quite uneasy.

Her brows were groomed, she had on a weave and her lips were 'helped' with some light color. The overall effect was beautiful. Sexy, even...and I'm a mom...and she could not have been more than 4 years!

Quite a number of my 'friend's friends' posted comments 'ohing' and 'ahing' over the pretty picture and I had half a mind to send a message to the parent who put up the picture but then, I had to keep minding my own business and keep my unsolicited advice to myself. I'd never met or interacted with this 'friend' of mine in anyway and I feared being told off.

Maybe I feel differently because I'm a MOB (mother of boy(s) and don't know jack about how little princesses are dolled up these days. Maybe it's the in-thing. Who knows? Maybe I'm archaic..

Any MOG or Aunt or Dad in the house to educate a clueless mom?

In the far recesses of my clueless mom-of-boys mind, I could understand parents wanting to have the cutest little girl on the block  but a little bit of caution wouldn't be out of order. For the sake of the innocent little girls who know no better and for our own sakes too.

If that little girl could conjure a 'sexy' image in my mind, I shudder to think of what would go through the mind of the many sick predators lurking around.
Does that not amount to sexualization in a way?

And we wonder why there seems to be a surge in rape incidences. More alarming to me is the fact that little kids form a great percentage of the victims. I read quite a number of cases in the papers recently and I really do wonder what the world is turning into.

Little girls as young as 1year old being sexually assaulted by irresponsible sick animals called rapists and you wonder what sort of attraction could had led to such sick acts.
Apology to the animal kingdom. Those scumbags are worse than animals.

It's beyond reason sometimes but I think it's time parents generally take the destinies of these little ones in their hands. We are to protect them and exposing them to the dangerous 'elements' albeit unintentionally is hardly excusable.

If we fail to act right for their sakes and prevent some of these ugly occurrences in our own capacities, then we are as guilty of robbing them of their innocence as much as those sick predators around.

You've been to a children party lately?
You see how kids are dressed up?
You see how little girls are made up?
You see the winding of waist (abi wetin dem dey call am?) by little girls all in the name of dancing?
You see the sensual and sexual moves?

I was at one party earlier in the year and I was like...ehn ehn?
Some of the moves would put even Kaffy to shame 'cos some of dem little girls could give her a run for her money. Little girls o.
Where do kids pick those moves from? Soundcity?

I was really amused and some were actually a delight to watch in their innocent attempts to be 'grown-ups' but we really need to watch it. Seriously.

Sorry if I come across as opinionated but I'm not sure we have tenable reasons to clad our little innocent ones in very skimpy wears and putting full head of expensive weave on them complete with full face of make-up all in the name of wanting them to look cute and adorable. We have to get real and stop trying to 'barbilize' or 'ojujulize' them. And I'm not saying we should stop 'adorning' them with pretty stuffs...but moderation is one of the keywords here.

You won't find 'barbilize' or 'ojujulize' in your dictionary o, just scroll up and check the scary picture up there again. Isn't Barbie supposed to be a young girl? #justwondering.

They are beautiful, cute and adorable enough in all their innocence. They are pretty the way they are and we should allow them be kids first.

We should allow them enjoy their childhood properly and when they're fully grown, they would make their own decisions themselves. Right ones too if the foundation is right.

We should be careful not to rob them of their childhood. We have to stop sexualizing these young ones, they are only kids afterall.


What's your take on this?

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At 07/09/2014, 17:05 , Blogger Uniquely different with Fredilia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 07/09/2014, 18:06 , Blogger Uniquely different with Fredilia said...

This has been bothering me too. You see little girls who are supposed to look pretty looking hot and sexy. Parents should retrace their steps, our parents didn't bring us up that way. Times have changed but values shouldn't. Uniquely different with Fredilia

At 08/09/2014, 07:34 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you for the most part. Children are being exposed to things they have no business knowing about at this age both sexually and image and perception wise. My mother didn't allow relaxer until I went to varsity. I had a gigantic fro my whole life and I thank her for it. I can't imagine how she would feel about a baby with a weave. #thehorror. After I moved to SA, I found that the schools are very easy going. Children can wear any hairstyle as long as they keep it out of their faces so I have seen everything from blonde weaves to shaved sides of the head. We are in danger of raising babies with self esteem issues, image issues, sexual issues and and and .... Its real food for thought.

However (and this is a very important distinction for me) no matter how a child is dressed, a predator will do what a predator will do given half a chance. A child wearing makeup is not an invitation to rape. Just like a woman wearing a short skirt isn't an invitation to the same. Sickos do what they do out of the sickness of their own minds. It is a decision they make no matter what mistakes (or not) mothers make with their children.

At 12/09/2014, 14:37 , Blogger sykik said...

shoot....just lost my comment

At 13/09/2014, 11:26 , Blogger Abiola Olaleye said...

Thanks for visiting, Uniquely different.

Values should not really change or we would all be in a deep mess.

At 13/09/2014, 11:26 , Blogger Abiola Olaleye said...

Aww...would have loved to read your comment, what happened?

At 13/09/2014, 11:33 , Blogger Abiola Olaleye said...

Hi C,

I still have a post I wrote late last year on a pageant for toddlers (Toddlers and Tiara) I was 'opportuned' to see. It really gave me a tough curd to chew on...we are really in danger of raising kids with self esteem images.

Though it's an angle I did not consider while writing the post but I completely agree with you...from experience too that regardless of how a child is garbed, sickos will still do what they want to do if chance permits them. We can only do our best to protect them like we should and not expose them unduly.

At 19/09/2014, 20:03 , Blogger Toinlicious said...

I totally agree with you. You clad your lil girl in tube tops when she's 7 and stop her when she's 14. of course she'll rebel & wonder what is wrong with you since you started her off in that direction


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