No doubt about it, girls are growing up too fast. I see it when I’m at the shops, and girls 10 years my junior are shopping in the same stores as me. I see it in the 9-year olds showing off bodies that haven’t even hit puberty yet. I see it in advertising, where girls the age of five are posed just like older women. The list goes on! And yet another example has come to my attention – kids having the whole works as they graduate from primary school, at the oh-so-accomplished age of 12 .

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According to the car-hire manager quoted in the article, primary school formals make up a massive 45 percent of his business. And car hire is just the tip of the iceberg! These girls are also getting their hair and makeup professionally done, and expensive dresses made for their “special night”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’d hate to be a wet blanket on the whole issue – I am all for the young’uns having a good time and celebrating the move to high school. What gets me is this – what will they have to look forward to? Why not celebrate in a more age-appropriate way? They’ll have years and years to be grownups and wish for their childhood back. If all the things you do to prepare for your wedding are done, how are they going to top it?

At an age where I was playing with fairies in the backyard, young girls are now anxious about their weight. While I ate whatever took my fancy, these children are concerned for the “hotness”. Kids deserve a childhood free of the concerns that will no doubt plague them later on. I guess that preserving their innocence is a job for their parents, who (sadly) often encourage them in these ventures without realising the possible consequences.

Solution? Enjoy the occasion for sure, but all in moderation.

 

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.