Saturday, May 03, 2008

I tease that she's three going on thirteen

but I think our culture is making it happen. Here's evidence in an msn article about the latest starlette scandal:

'Tween-focused franchises such as "Hannah Montana" and "High School Musical" have become a major element of Disney's strategy, as it attempts to capture the 6- to 14-year-old set as they outgrow animation-focused children's programming.'

The problem here is not the photo (though the photos are bad for reasons beyond the "beyond her years" they project). The problem is in Disney's strategy, in Nielsen ratings and the ways we as an audience have begun to see ourselves as Market. It's in parents' thinking, and it's right there in the article: Six to fourteen year olds are described as a *set*.

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as a tween. At the dawn of the industrial revolution (but not much before) there were Children. And later in their lives, children became Adolescents (and they slammed doors and their parents cried). In the best of cases, those adolescents became Grown ups. Please, grown ups, help us reclaim childhood by rejecting this market notion of "tweens," ages six to fourteen.


mia said...

Children really are forced to grow up too fast. It's a conundrum though Abebech. If we prepare our kids for what they are now experiencing as 6-14 yr. olds we sort of perpetuate their growing up too fast. Don't you think? However, if we don't they may learn a misguided perception of life from the "tween scene" and the media. The media could care less about how they affect our children if they sell stories.

It's so hard to know how to keep things age appropriate. We have had plenty of conversations (instigated by something my daughters were exposed to by friends or tv) that we had to have that I felt they were way too mentally immature to understand. That whole HS Musical scandal thing or the latest Hannah Montana deal for example. Sigh.

abebech said...

It's a horrible conundrum!
I don't know the HS Musical scandal. That's sad that there is one!

Overwhelmed! said...

There is such a discrepancy between the age of 6 and 14, or at least there should be, that there should be no such “tween” category for marketing purposes or otherwise! I agree, that children are being forced to grow up all too quickly, especially little girls. How do we prevent this?