Underage sexpots enhance personal insecurities

    Seems normal enough. After all, she’s got all the marketability one could ever want. But then the story takes an eerie, decidedly creepy turn when this particular cousin allegedly wallpapered his room with the free Duff poster that came with the CD purchase, adding to his already impressive Britney/X-Tina/Beyonce collection. There he lay gazing upon her blonde 16-year-old glory while listening to the album ‹ on the repeat.

    Allegedly.

    When did taboo voyeurism become normal consumerism?

    Most of society has heard the tired-yet-relevant adage that American culture is sexualizing its youth to sell goods. Even more specifically, powers-that-be are stealing the innocence of that youth, turning the female virgin to vamp.

    Another major problem I have, however, relates to my own selfish, materialistic desires.

    My own mortality is wrapped up in these underage sexpots. That nice Duff girl, styled within an inch of her life, is my personal demise in a pair of factory-faded hip-hugging Seven jeans.

    I’m 20 years old. In my 20 years on Earth it’s affirmative that no one will ever make a poster of me. It’s a likely possibility that I may be jobless after graduation. And its 99 percent guaranteed I will never record an album ‹ unless being fully untalented suddenly becomes terribly in vogue in the very near future.

    Once upon a time, I accepted all those facts at face value, charging ahead through life, aware that The Industry wanted me to be a “”normal consumer”” and I’m doing my best to not conform. I go about my own consuming habits, a few years pass, and bam ‹ all of a sudden really, really young people are way, way more successful than me.

    (Depending, of course, on the measurement of success that one prefers to use. For the purpose of my current mood, success equates to fame, money and the number of posters sold. Here, success is not measured in the meaningful, touching-people-until-they-are-overcome-with-emotion sense.)

    It’s the Hillarys, Mary-Kate and Ashley’s that are everywhere, displayed in full nubile splendor. After all, there’s not a real rush to plaster risqué photos of teen actors Frankie Muniz or Haley Joel Osment within the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. To clarify, I am not making a request of such photos, merely observing.

    What’s more, is that The Industry ‹ an all inclusive, generalizing phrase to represent everyone who is involved in marketing such budding stars ‹ is making these female underage sexpots seem like legitimate sensual icons. Another case in point: The 17-year-old Olsen twins gracing the cover of Rolling Stone with shirt buttons suggestively undone.

    The Industry uses such minors as veritable sales tools; while some starry-eyed consumers are bewitched by the hypnotic perversity, no one really wants to admit it (which explains the pass-the-blame chain mentioned earlier).

    The tale of a cousin and his Duff poster would certainly seem to supplement that argument. I’d bet a Tiger Beat that he didn’t buy the album for Duff’s vocal talents alone, but also for a chance to ogle the golden minor in the privacy of his own home.

    OK, so this ranks “”possible threat”” on the perv-o-meter. Regardless of how womanly Duff’s stylist makes her look, Duff is barely old enough to operate heavy machinery.

    Which brings me back to my selfish point: Humans years younger than me that are packaged to look years older pad bank accounts ‹ and manage to attract hordes of older generations to their sexual image. And The Industry capitalizes on it, knowing that the taboo of sexualized (mostly female) youth will only garner more sales.

    So, where can we go from here? I’m already steeped in neurosis about being jobless and unknown for the rest of my life, so let’s tackle that larger, taboo-in-society issue still left to be addressed.

    There will not be a time when The Industry does not try to capitalize on youth and sexuality. There will not be a time that consumers are not attracted to youth and sexuality. The two go hand-in-hand right now, and unless a wholly different approach is taken, they always will.

    Perhaps I sound like an overprotective mother hen, but all I am asking for is some easier transitions from youth to adult. The virgin to vamp path is so gender-specific, degrading and worn out.

    So, I offer a direct appeal to The Industry: Please, save me from an early mid-life crisis, and stop packaging 16-year-olds as so darn sexy. Please, mix things up a bit, surprise your “”normal consumers”” and serve up a mature artist with legitimate talent.

    And, for the sake of all humanity, please don’t ever put the Olsen twins on the cover of Rolling Stone again.

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