In the Blog

Early Bloomers

September 24th, 2007     by Elle E.     Comments

Last year I taught acting to children ages 5 - 9, and was amazed at what some of the little divas were wearing: tight tank tops, mesh shawls tied under non-existent breasts, low-rise jeans slipping off their hipless hips. (“Melissa - pull up your pants!”) On the bright side, Ella Gunderson made headlines a couple of years ago when she fought against the limited selection of non-sexy clothes for girls her age. (Naturally, Shameless was on the ball and gave props to Ella in “Miss Modesty?” 2:5) Fashion marketers do push kids to grow up too fast, but the story gets even weirder with confirmed reports that puberty is hitting earlier than it used to.

A recent study by the Breast Cancer Fund confirms that girls in the US are reaching puberty sooner, and cites environmental factors as the cause. The report also notes that “…early puberty is not only a women’s issue (because it disproportionately affects girls) but it is a class and race issue as well.” The researchers found that girls within racial minority and low-income groups are at a higher risk for early breast development and menstruation because they face increased exposure to toxic chemicals, unhealthy food and lack of activity.

Check out the key findings of the report and where the research should go from here.

Tags: body politics, eco speak

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