Sexualizing Celebrity Kids Is Just Wrong

The 'lucrative' practice ignores 'emotional repercussions': Morgan Jerkins
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2015 3:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – Already think we're hypersexualizing our child celebrities? Then sigh and consider Tyga's latest video, "Stimulated," which all but confirms that he's dating just-turned-18 Kylie Jenner: "While many in the media—especially the celebrity media—has treated the story as racy gossip, a grown man having sex with a minor isn’t romantic, cute or 'scandalous,'" writes Morgan Jerkins at Quartz. He calls the "fairly explicit" song by Tyga, a 25-year-old father of one, another example of how underage celebs are packaged "for our consumption and entertainment with little thought to the emotional repercussions." (Tyga brags in the song, "They say she young/ She should have waited/ She a big girl, dawg, when she stimulated.")

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Jerkins accuses magazines and newspapers of playing "a significant role in the sexualization of children," noting 15-year-old Brooke Shields' controversial "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins" 1981 ad for Calvin Klein (revisited here by Advertising Age) and 17-year-old Britney Spears' Rolling Stone cover in a bra in 1999. But stardom makes child celebrities especially prone to predators—just look at Corey Feldman's memoir, Coreyography, which chronicled his sexual abuse by older men in show business. "Yes, celebrities are selling products" and can enjoy "incredibly lucrative results," writes Jerkins. "However, we cannot consume an adult celebrity in the same way that we do a young boy or girl, whether or not they tell us it’s okay." (Read more celebrities stories.)

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