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Cradle Snatching By Trend- Setters!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by twinsmom, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Ever since I returned to Sharjah, I have been reading about the various events organized as part of the Summer Surprise… Something has been nagging me all these days, and I zoomed in on what it was this morning.
    For the last one week, the Gulf News Tabloid has been publishing pictures of kids, doing a lot of fashion shows. There are pictures of kids (five… six …eight and ten year olds) doing the ‘Kitten Walk’ as some reporting genius has put it.

    Kitten Walk indeed! Somehow, the pictures of these youngsters sashaying and tossing their hair back for the cameras and the sight of their peers watching them with that hungry ( for fame and glory) and deprived ( why am I not there ?) look on their faces got my goat.
    Isn’t it enough that we have a generation of teenagers suffering from identity crises, Anorexia and Bulimia? Do we need to brainwash the preteens that fashion is the new ‘in’ thing in their life? As it is, serious damage is being done by consumerism and addiction to gizmos… Six months back, there were mobiles out in the market for your under-ten year olds… fancy, toy-like ones, but mobiles nevertheless! The sales talk was “to enable you to keep a track on your kids.” In my days, parents told you, you would NOT go to such and such place… and you just would not. Or they would tell you to be back by such and such time…and you do just that. Thanks to such contraptions, we’d have soon have infants cooing or bawling out to parents using mobiles…

    Now, a cynic may say that a little bit of fashion awareness will do a lot of good to the kids in these regions as more than 80% are obese due to lack of exercise and being addicted to junk food. But this hardly seems the way out of that dark tunnel!

    People in this region are quite aware of the importance of being well dressed. There are thousand different outlets selling branded or other ready made garments. People also have the kind of money to spend on clothes liberally, more than one would say, is possible back home. I am not being denigratory about my own country…. But the gap between the haves and the have- nots is still so huge… that only a minimum percentage of the kid population can afford to make a fashion statement each time they step out of home. Beisdes, the retail sector has yet to reach all the strata of the society! And priorities are different.

    On the other hand, kids here are well aware of the importance of making a fashion statement. During my 7 year tenure at a school in the UAE, I, along with my colleagues, used to be appalled by the kind of dresses worn by kids on those special days… In fact, things got so bad that a dress code had to be imposed on teenaged students. We, teachers used to wonder how any parent with self respect or concern about his or her child’s safety, could allow such tiny, skimpy and ‘almost bordering on the immodest’ attires.
    Once, some students confessed that their parents do not know about it. They get out of their homes in normal clothes…. Go to a friend’s house for their ‘extreme make- overs’ and before returning home get back into their ‘parent- approved’ clothes again. I didn’t dare ask them if these ‘modern day Cinderella- escapades’ landed them in troubles of a different kind… Maybe, like for their parents, ignorance is bliss…The less you know…the less you worry about!
    But can we afford to charade like ostriches, deliberately ignoring these alarming trends? Kids are hardly equipped to deal with the consequences of their actions. Till they have the maturity to handle problems in a sensible manner, some kind of guidance is required. If we so much as suggest these things to them we are deemed prehistoric creatures.

    Of course, coming back to kids and the fashion scenario, I know, kids look divine….delicious… oozing ‘eye appeal’ which is ‘buy appeal’. All those advertisements of Gold Winner oil and Huggies and Johnson and Johnson tug at our heartstrings and we all go dopey- eyed and spout ‘cho chweet!’ when we see them. Now a days they are using these ‘perfect’ child models to sell mobiles and even cars… But ads on TV are to be taken with a pinch of salt. I mean in real life, how many mothers are clad in spotless pastel shaded saris, and manage peak hours at home with not a hair out of place? How many grandmas in real life are comfortably plump and ever smiling and eternally indulgent? You know it is all showbiz…. But, having a Kitten Walk conducted right in front of your eyes can, definitely, sow the seeds of similar ambition in young hearts…
    I remember one year when the kindergarten section in the school where I was working held a fashion show with their kids for some school fundraising event. First of all the kids went through nearly two months of practice sessions… and then there were bickering parents on issues of nepotism… and then there was the heart ache of those parents whose kids were rejected… I had wondered at that time if it was worth it after all? Such projects had been shelved later on…not for the immaturity of the idea but because the faculty could not handle the pressure of parental politics...!

    And now, the idea of getting your kids’ picture in the tabloid’s fashion pages will goad parents into living another of their dreams through their kids… Soon there will be schools for grooming these preteens… Entrepreneurism is on the rise and some smart alec would make his millions by fleecing such ambitious parents…The victims will be the kids who will lose their childhood, their child-like appeal and will mature before time into ambitious professionals with secret health issues.

    I wonder just how much we are jeopardizing a generation by setting up such a trend… Only time will tell… but I hope it may not be too late to save them by then!
     
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  2. rekhaprahalad

    rekhaprahalad New IL'ite

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    How truely said.

    Eeveryone is after name, fame and glitter
    knowing well that all that glitters is not GOLD

    They want these, name, fame and glitter, at any cost
    knowing well that there is only one life to boast.....................
    :wave
     
  3. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hi twinsmom,

    I have been following this trend setting and have felt bad . In one of the very popular websites, there are pictures of these kitten walks.. i was shocked at the attitude displayed, the dress the kids were wearing and also their replies to questions on the walk....

    I think there was a survey by 'The hindu'/by whom dont remember about the spending, the fashion statement and all.
    It looks like the kids have lot of money to splash, according to the survey.so naturally the cradle snatching, and believe me it is not the end.. have you seen the rakhis on display this year.. the mobiles ...
    There are schools which train the kids...there are people who train kids for these competition. believe me, I was asked by many of our relatives, why have you not sent your kids to the competition...

    Where are we going. are we that fame,glitter starved...money..most of these kids are from affluent families...then what is the reason...

    but one thing is sure they will burn out even before they are adults. very few child artists shine even when they are adults.....

    What will happen to this generation.......
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear twinsmom,

    Reading this brought back the very widely discussed and chilling case of the child model Jobenet Ramsey who was murdered and her own parents were accused of it and till date, no one really knows what happened to that little innocent child. Although this happened in the US more than 10 years ago, this case is discussed in the media to this day with a lot of fanfare:-(
    Yes, it is painful to see when children are introduced into this world of fashion, modelling and beauty. It will color their lives forever. I cannot see the positive angle to it. I sometimes watch Boogey Woogey, a dance show on Sony I think that we get here. Often times, you see tiny tots prancing and shaking and moving like the sex sirens of our Indian screen or other acrobatic dancers. My heart aches. No harm in dancing if done aesthetically and for the art of it. But they are made to emulate the ruling screen idols. What are they thinking ? What are their parents thinking ? Money and fame are such strong pulling powers.
    All I can do is, pray for those little ones.

    L, Kamla
     
  5. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    dear twinsmom
    nice post. and interesting read.
    we can make a difference by not taking part and not being supportive of such events and such parents.
    regards
    anandchitra
     
  6. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Hi friends,

    I am happy so many of you feel the way I do... I know times are changing... I love watching children of any age performing classical dances or singing... but there was an ugly scene in one of the TV channels when a young contestant was dropped at the end of a level... the mother fought with the judges... the whole thing looked ugly with millions of people watching the episode... The mother said her child should not be weighed against other older contestants... Then Why did she let her child participate in the first place... The child looked so embarrassed.... They were being doubly cruel to the child...

    Okay... times have changed... tastes are changing... but gyrating for filmy music or catwalking at the tender age of 6 0r 7 is hardly the right hobby for a child... I strictly believe in this... May be I'll be tagged old fashioned.... but that's the way I am...
     
  7. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    I fully agree with you .I also fully there should be competitions in things other than catwalks and singing and dancing to filmy tunes since the age of 6 or 7.There are better things to do.I really admire your writing capacity.You have so many amazing facts to write about.Hats off...............
     
  8. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Hi kanaka,
    Thank you... :smile: :smile: :smile:
     
  9. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Twinsmom
    I am in Abudhabi now.Had come to Sharajah several weeks back.It looks more green now.Corniche is lovely.That city is growing and growing......
     
  10. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    I am not saying that children should not take part in such activites.They have to go along with the crowd.Importance should also be given to other events as well.
     

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