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Monday, March 10, 2008

Consuming Girlhood

I'm at home today since I worked on Saturday. It gives me an opportunity to listen to NPR and catch a few of the programs I never get to hear since I'm normally working during the the day. One of them is On Point, and one of today's segments was Tween Marketing:
These tweens, as they're called, are now spending $51 billion of their own pocket money. And marketers, sponsoring birthday parties and sleepovers, are eager to know what a girl wants -- at age 10 and 8, even as young as 6.

It's pervasive, and it's a big business! Just look at the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus phenomenon! If you don't know Hannah Montana, you can get a little taste at her fansite. Hannah Montana's success has been fueled by the Disney marketing machine--need I say more? (To read about the problem of obtaining Hannah Montana live show tickets, check this out.)

Part of the On Point discussion dealt with the body image marketers are thrusting on impressionable young girls. If teens are having problems with reconciling their own body image with what advertising is projecting, then how much more difficult is it for a tween?

For more about contemporary girlhood:

Kirberger, Kimberly. No Body's Perfect: Stories by Teens about Body Image, Self-Acceptance, and the Search for Identity. [YA 158.1 KIR]

Schor, Juliet. Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture. [305.23 SCH]

Shandler, Sara. Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write about Their Search for Self. [305.235 SHA]

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