A child is not a firefighter. A child does not possess the strength nor skill to undertake the duties of firefighting. Yet we sometimes dress children up as firefighters, and when society sees them, society thinks “ah, a future firefighter”. Society does not shy away from allowing this child knowledge of firefighting despite the immense risks, in fact society will glorify firefighting in front of the child. Parents will buy children toy firetrucks. Stories will be told in books and films. Cutesy videos may have children in firefighting uniform, acting the role of a firefighter. Yet firefighterizing kids is not immoral. Sexualization is.
Of course, at one point, we didn’t call “sexualization” sexualization. If you saw a little girl prancing in pretty clothes and blowing kisses, you’d think, “that’s cute”, or, “how adorable”. These thoughts would not have been preceded or followed by “people would wanna fuck that”, because even if pedophiles would want to fuck a kid, that’s not the fucking point.
Kids are inherently sexual. Why? Because they have sex organs. Why? Because it is their biological destiny to grow up to be sex machines. Our species is built on sex, to attempt to barricade children from it is patently ridiculous and impossible. Sexual culture is human culture, and a child engaging in sexual culture is not only necessary, but also unavoidable: to fully get rid of sex you would have to get rid of love, romance, affection, skin, toilets, mirrors, vaginas, tits, milk, nude animals, discovery channel, the opposite gender, the idea of gender, friendship, hugging, kissing, buttocks, appearance, ideals of health… all stuff that you
might want a child to gain a bit of exposure and knowledge to if they are to have a healthy growth.
Of course at this point I must make it clear that while there is nothing inherently wrong with so-called sexualisation of children, same cannot be said of sexing children. There are too many health risks that make pedophilia utterly unacceptable, and even if you solved all of them children still have much, much better things to do than to be a human fleshlite, just think of the psychological damage and opportunity costs. For same reasons but to a lesser degree, I am also against erotic child modelling.
HOWEVER, there is nothing wrong with a kid looking pretty in a gap ad. If it arouses a few pedos, so be it. If it attracts harrassers and rapists however, the issue still is not a cultural issue, but a safety issue, and we should get over the mentality that clothes somehow cause pedophilia.
Pedophilia is similar to a sexual orientation in that it is not a choice in any common sense of the word, so if you are aroused by a kid in a skimpy outfit, the problem is on your end, seek help. The idea that wearing revealing clothes invites pedophilia is basically victim blaming. If society is so shitty that merely showing some skin invites molestation, then maybe society isn’t applying sufficient effort in protecting children (and no, depriving children of interesting clothing and free expression of femininity is NOT quite protecting them, might even cause some… interesting daddy issues).
As a culture we like to blame our perceived moral deficiencies on tangible external enemies. When a teenage girl sucked a ton of dicks in pursuit of popularity, we blamed “arbitrary beauty standards” for her self-esteem issues. When young girls chose sexy clothes over stylish clothes, we blamed the “greedy fashion companies” and their “evil marketing”. Nobody even paused to think, or perhaps they were too ingrained in the false dichotomy of “sexuality vs innocence”, too afraid of the reality that maybe, just maybe, young girls who would grow up to be young women might actually care about their sexuality and appearance due to it BEING IN THEIR FUCKING NATURE. Beauty standards are not arbitrary, advertising works because they fit our innate values that were molded by generations of evolution.
Let’s take a brief rewind to our child firefighter, whom I will name little Timmy. Little Timmy has no reason to want to be a firefighter. He hasn’t seem suffering, he doesn’t know empathy. There is no firefighter trait in his genes. He doesn’t understand “duty”.
But as he acts out the moment of heroism, saving dolly from a “burning house” to the cheers of the girls, his mother is reminded of her own husband’s handsomeness, and moments of heroism when he exacted his boyfriend duties in her times of need, and little sally looks up at Timmy with an evolutionary awe identifying him as an attractive alpha in her animal brain, at this moment Timmy is precisely being sexualized – he is being associated with the desirable male qualities he does not yet possess, he is sexualized. Just as Sally will be – sexualized – associated with desirable female qualities she doesn’t yet possess when she dons a pretty dress.
And there is nothing wrong with that.