10 November 2009

Innocence Lost

Last night on Twitter I saw a few people taking about 'shag bands'. I had to Google them.

If you don't know what they are, there's an excellent article today in The Times.

On the face it it they're nothing more than plastic bangles, a fashion item, but when you know the meanings of the bands they become something else. They become a vile, repulsive symbol of the sexualisation of our children.

There are companies targeting children with these bands. They may say they're aimed at older teenagers, but they are sold to younger teenagers. Children as young as 8 are copying the playground craze.

I wouldn't want my hypothetical 8 year old daughter knowing about blow jobs and glow in the dark sex toys. Until last night I didn't know about glow in the dark sex toys. Each to their own, I suppose.

I get increasingly upset when I see young girls dressed up for parties in 'sexy' tops that show their bellies and mini skirts. They look tarty and swivel their hips, gyrating to misogynistic dance tracks.

Advertising, magazines and television (particularly MTV) are taking away our children's innocence. Girls are bombarded by airbrushed size zero models with fake breasts. This is not how most women look. This is not healthy.

The cult of celebrity is also damaging how youngsters view the world. There seem to be many children that believe just being on television is a worthy ambition. They want to be famous - no talent required. Even worse, they want to be married to someone famous. Being a footballer's wife should not be an acceptable career choice.

I know we no longer live in the 1970's - my age of innocence - but I'd like my children to be children for as long as possible. Sex and relationships and 'shag bands' can wait.

On days like this I'm glad I have sons and not daughters.

Image Credit: Timesonline



  1. I read about these too. They are just awful. The companies making them and stores selling them (eg Poundland) are exploiting children for commercial gain, and it's a very dangerous way of doing so.

  2. Agree entirely with both you and Rosie. The exploitation extends to us all, though - voraciously devouring all those celeb-tat books and programmes. It's no wonder girls grow up with no more ambition than to do the same.

  3. An Excellent Article and sadly very true of today's Society. Thank you highlandwhite.

  4. I agree with you on every point. It angers me that young girls now have such a distorted image of what woman should look like and what they should be achieving.

    These 'shag bands' are deplorable. I would be horrified if my daughter was discussing the meanings behind these bracelets at such a young age.

  5. Totally agree with you....I'd 'heard' of them but hadn't realised what they depicted. Very very worrying.

  6. As a parent of boys I hope to instill some respect for women and girls in to my little men, these things are vile and utterly reproachful. It makes me sick. I hate all things that age children, including here comes trouble tshirts. Self fulfilling professey maybe

  7. oo this is soooo scary, I want to keep my little girl in the house forever now :( Very true what you are saying about dress etc...can't believe what I see in the streets and shops on little girls.

  8. It's times like these I wish I had girls and not boys as well.
    I have come across these bands and have to hope that in my daughter's instance that the craze will disappear quickly and no references will actually mean anything.

  9. my daughter (9) commented on her (9 year old) cousins 'shag bands' I blanched and looked them up on line and was shocked. It seems that my daughter thinks they are for 'when a boy catches you if he steals the band he can kiss you' - I haven't spoken to her about them at any length (pun not intended) and hope the craze blows (no pun again) over quickly. My daughter is a 'Goth' so tight skirts and revealing clothes are not cool (phew!) she likes black, long leggings and layered black tops....she does not own any 'shag bands'

  10. I started to comment but it turned into a post of its own! See my site for my take (couldn't post a link for some reason)

  11. I hadn't heard of these so I looked at your link and on google. It turns out there were some similar bands in the 80s which Madonna wore and I wore at 11 years old knowing nothing about their meaning. If children wear them without knowing what they're about then I don't suppose it's a huge problem. However, if they do find out (and the internet obviously makes it easy to) then it's very worrying. The sexualisation of popular culture really worries me: girl bands wear tiny outfits and soft porn lads mags are in full view of our children in the newsagents. How long can any of our children remain innocent?

  12. I had heard of them but didn't really know what it was all about. It's horrifying. The outfits that some of these girls wear are appalling; even my son has pointed out the inappropriateness of what some little girls are wearing. Friends tell me how difficult it is to find appropriate clothes for little girls. Definitely glad I have a son and am doing all I can to make sure he learns to respect women.

  13. I agree with you all through! I have both sons and daughters, but I'm honest with them and not scared to talk.

  14. I hadn't heard of theese and now i'm horrified, especially as i have four young daughters. I'm off to rerad that article now, thank you for bringing these immoral bracelets to my attention.

  15. I hadn't heard of them ! I'm going to ask my sixteen year old daughter tonight ... we discuss everything. She is a lovely teenager and like all of you, I didn't allow sexy logo nicks or nighties etc... she seems to have grown up well ajusted !

    I have a 13 yr old son, I'll be asking his opinion too and he has VERY strong opinions !

  16. As I said on Erica's blog this morning, it's the supreme irony to me that these bands are featured in the cervical cancer jab TV ads. I think you have to assume though that for the most part younger girls see them as a bit of a giggle and don't relate them to actual sexual acts. I also think you have to be aware that boys are just as vulnerable as girls in many ways - I'm sorry but it's true. And some girls have always wanted to grow up and marry footballers, even in the Seventies. And I was a teenager in the Eighties and can remember wearing ra-ra skirts that barely skimmed my bum. In the Nineties there was all the fuss about the teenage magazines. I'm not sure anything has really changed.

  17. Man Oh Man! As if I didn't have enough to worry about. People that do this kind of stuff to kids deserve a special circle in Hell.

  18. Rosie, if there was a Poundland near me, I'd be boycotting it!

    The Dotterel, I only see the front pages of those magazines and it saddens me.

    Highlandwhite, thank you.

    Very Bored Housewife, I just hope the article was scaremongering, but they are just awful.

    Chic Mama, yes, another thing to worry about. As if we didn't have enough!

    The Mad House, you are absolutely right. Any right minded parent should be teaching their children respect for themselves and others.

    WADS, I know, you just want to wrap them up in cotton wool.

    Aingeal, I hope the young ones only wear them as fashion items.

    Tattooed Mummy, at least the 9 years olds think they're as harmless as kiss chase. I was a goth at school, your daughter sounds great.

    Nobel Savage, thanks.

    Emily O, I just hope we can all try to maintain their innocence for as long as possible. Difficult when Nut magazine is visible in every newsagent.

    Gigi, yes, my sons will also be taught to respect women. Excellent point.

    Gaelikaa, yes, talking is so important.

    Wife of Bold, I hope they're not that widespread and luckily your girls are too small to be part of that fashion.

    Bad Penny, yes, it's good to bring these topics out for discussion. You've reminded me of the whole Playboy merchandise that's targeted at young girls. Grr!

    Liz, absolutely, but it seems far more widespread these days. Perhaps it's partly to do with reality TV.

    The Mommy Daddy, I totally agree.

  19. My son who is 10 years old was desperate for these as quite a few of his friends at school are wearing them. I said that he wasn't allowed them without going into too much detail of the meaning of them. I was really shocked at the amount of parents allowing their kids to wear them, regardless of whether the child is oblivious to the meaning. The fact that the parents know the meaning and allow it is disgusting

  20. Baby Not Included, how difficult for you. Such a shame these things are sold.

  21. I hadn't heard about them until I read this so thanks. Being aware and ahead of the game is important. Whatever next?

  22. Hi Diney, I know, shocking. I dread to think what's around the corner!

  23. Ditto, but I have a daughter.

  24. Amy, it's so tough for all of us as parents these days.


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