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Too Young to Be a Consumer: the Toll of Commercial Culture on the Rights of Childhood

by Diane E. Levin
May/June 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/too-young-to-be-a-consumer-the-toll-of-commercial-culture-on-the-rights-of-childhood/5018749/

A preschool teacher reports, "My student, Gabe, who talks about Batman® and the Power Rangers® all day dissolved into tears when we were out of masking tape and he couldn't figure out how to make himself a 'power shooter' bracelet. Gabe cried, 'Then I won't have powers!' It seemed his prop was critical for him to be happy and know how to play. He often comments that school is no fun because we don't have the right toys, i.e., those he has at home that are directly linked to the Batman® and Power Ranger® movies."

When parents arrive to pick up their five-year-old daughters from a birthday party, they are surprised to find that they all have heavy make-up on. Music from the Disney movie, HS Musical 3®, is blaring and the girls are doing a hip-gyrating, sexy dance taught to them by the birthday girl's teenage cousin. At a store the next day, one party attendee, Jessica, runs to a HS Musical® padded bra and bikini panty set and excitedly demands that her mother buy it for her — another girl at the party just got them! Every time a lively rhythm comes on the PA system, Jessica begins gyrating her ...

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