The exploitation of children by the media is a growing concern within todays over sexualized culture, posing a threat to our younger generations innocence. Shifts have occurred within today’s society compared to past years due to the introduction of evolving technology, affecting most young individuals daily. Although this technology has brought positive benefits in the development of various areas such as education, communication, social and creative skills, the media and it’s effects on younger children can be treacherous. The danger is augmented due to the difficulty of monitoring the child’s exposure to technology and media.

In the last decade, the evolution the media has expanded and grown tremendously as the demand to stay current increases. Social media connects individuals within seconds, making it the most popular media platform. The overuse of personal information on these platforms is threatening younger individuals as the growing amount of social predators befriending children places them in serious harm. As the demand of technology within today’s society increases, the more difficult it is to protect children from the dangers of these platforms, due to its accessibility. Within todays culture it is becoming more common for younger people to share EVERYTHING online, due to a lack of knowledge and education about social media, privacy and on what type of people are viewing their page or site. This can lead to dire situations where youth become an easy target for abuse by predators. Support services such as nobullying.com offer parents help, with by advising them how to protect and educate about predators and potential harm, ways to stay safe online, thus protecting younger children from being taken advantage of within the expanding this media.

In today’s society the term of ‘Corporate Pedophilia’ is used to illustrate the branding and marketing of younger children in unethical ways. Due to the increasing number of media platforms that attempt to sell/present these younger individuals in sexualized ways, the fear of this becoming a norm within today’s culture is prevalent. Australian commentator Philip Adams refers to Corporate Pedophilia as “molestation on a massive scale”, as these media campaigns and the premature exposure to sexual images heighten pressures in younger individuals to strive to look a certain way. The promotion of young models portraying sexual images throughout the media, leads them to believe these actions should be duplicaFeatured imageted to gain attention in their reality.

The editorial spread entitled Cadeaux, photographed by Sharif Hamza featured in Vogue Paris; December January 2011 endorses the use of younger models through the editorial fashion spread. This gained a great deal of negative attention due to the sexualised perception of younger models throughout the shot (refer to image). This is an example of how ‘Corporate Pedophilia’ occurs within the marketing of media in today’s society as although the magazine attempts to make readers believe its all about the fashion, the use of sexual body language and sensual gazes of these younger models demonstrates the promotion of unethical behaviour by the media. Along with Adams, many other critics agree with this view on the marketing of children and ‘Corporate Pedophilia’, for example the Australian Senate links Beauty Pageants with dangers of body image and child abuse.

Do you think this is an appropriate way to portray under aged individuals?

References:

  • Hamza, S, (2011), Cadeaux [ONLINE]. Available at: http://en.vogue.fr (Accessed 20 April 15).
  • Adams, P. (1995). The death of childhood, in Marketing Toys: It’s child’s play. Papers from a national conference, Sydney NSW, Institute for Values Research and Young Media Australia. (Accessed 20 April 15)
  • POLLEY, H, (2012). Adjournment Fashion Industry. In Adjournment Fashion Industry. Tasmania, Wednesday, 09, May. Tasmania: Parliament of Australia . 3004. (Accessed 20 April 15).
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