It’s all designed to be provocative, but I don’t think they really know what they’re provoking.”American girls are entering puberty earlier.
For decades, it was generally accepted that girls hit puberty at the age of 11.
The girls wear Uggs and Juicy Couture sweatshirts and are discussing boys, Lady Gaga and blow jobs. ” Keep up with this story and more “Wait, you guys – what’s going on at school? ” asks Madison, then 11, who had recently left the local middle school for a private school. The result terrifies many adults: American women, age tween. Tweens range in age from 10 to 12 years or 8 to 14 years, depending on whom you ask. The nickname “tween” references a vaguely defined life stage (somewhere between childhood and adolescence) but it also delineates a dynamic marketing niche.
She has long blond hair, arched eyebrows and a gigantic smile.“I’m not dating anyone right now,” says Sarah, 11, who lives across the street and says she wants to be an interior designer. After practicing their supermodel walks and screeching comments like “Rearrrrr! ” they discuss what sexy means.“When you’re sexy, it means you show off your body,” says Madison, who wants to be either an archaeologist or a Victoria’s Secret model. At the same time, the word has become so common that it allows many adults to distance themselves from this radical transformation in the sexualization of young girls, as if it were just another life stage. For the last few years, I have been following this stunning transformation, talking with girls, parents and experts.
They realize it, too, and quickly migrate to the other side of the playroom, where they practice handstands and check themselves out in the mirror.We are talking in their cozy two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.A homemade menorah sits on a wood table in the living room, which seems to be the only room not painted a vibrant color (Ruby’s is pink; the entrance neon green).“Even the language on Disney and Nick is getting more sophisticated, because the 8- and 9-year-olds are getting more sophisticated,” Buckingham adds. “The way kids dress when they go to school is just beyond me. ” says Barbara Daley, a child and adolescent psychologist in Boston who has worked with patients for 25 years.“They’re wearing a little cami, and if they are among the developed kids, you know, who let you out of the house?