Witchery and 'corporate paedophilia'

In an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald, Emma Rush and Caroline Norma discuss Witchery's latest ad campaign and the rising global trend of 'corporate paedophilia.'

Signatories to this article include Barbara Biggins, Australian Council on Children and the Media; Dr Joe Tucci, Australian Childhood Foundation; Steve Biddulph, author and family therapist; Dr Ramesh Manocha, Generation Next; Bernadette McMenamin, ChildWise.

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Sexed up tween advertising shows fashion needs to grow up

For those who might have missed it, Witchery has just launched a new clothing range for eight- to 14-year-old girls called "8fourteen". In a brilliant stroke of imagination, the launch occurred on Valentine's Day – because, of course, girls from the age of eight need to understand that male romantic approval, and attracting it through your physical appearance (euphemistically termed "personal style"), is what really matters in life.

The advertising campaign presents two girls from Sydney, aged 11 and 12, as "little sisters" to Australia's Next Top Model Montana Cox, aged 18. Leaving aside some leopard print, the clothing range itself appears to be mainly age-appropriate (although, curiously, this isn't well indicated in the campaign). The list of "facts" presented about each girl appears unobjectionable enough (about which, more later). The accompanying films of the girls, however, artistically shot in black and white with acoustic music, made us gasp.

The overall mood is romantic, but the moves, and how they are cut together, gave us the creeps. The girls pout and smile, twist and turn in front of the cameras to display their faces and their bodies. "Oh, but they're displaying the clothes!" comes the reply. Yeah, right. They wear only one outfit each.

It's not just the "It's all about me" feel of the thing. It's the "I love to be looked at" and the "make love to the camera" messages. How can the footage not be referencing a male viewer? Read more.


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