It’s all designed to be provocative, but I don’t think they really know what they’re provoking.”American girls are entering puberty earlier.
For decades, it was generally accepted that girls hit puberty at the age of 11.
The girls wear Uggs and Juicy Couture sweatshirts and are discussing boys, Lady Gaga and blow jobs. ” Keep up with this story and more “Wait, you guys – what’s going on at school? ” asks Madison, then 11, who had recently left the local middle school for a private school. The result terrifies many adults: American women, age tween. Tweens range in age from 10 to 12 years or 8 to 14 years, depending on whom you ask. The nickname “tween” references a vaguely defined life stage (somewhere between childhood and adolescence) but it also delineates a dynamic marketing niche.
She has long blond hair, arched eyebrows and a gigantic smile.“I’m not dating anyone right now,” says Sarah, 11, who lives across the street and says she wants to be an interior designer. After practicing their supermodel walks and screeching comments like “Rearrrrr! ” they discuss what sexy means.“When you’re sexy, it means you show off your body,” says Madison, who wants to be either an archaeologist or a Victoria’s Secret model. At the same time, the word has become so common that it allows many adults to distance themselves from this radical transformation in the sexualization of young girls, as if it were just another life stage. For the last few years, I have been following this stunning transformation, talking with girls, parents and experts.
” Brianna says, referring to the singer’s controversial performance at the recent American Music Awards. And yet it was clear even then that tween girls were totally plugged in to popular culture, trends and sex – an education their parents were constantly – and sometimes desperately – scrambling to monitor.
She sits next to me and plays with a pair of magnets.“You know when I was saying like, our generation is earlier? You’ll know soon enough.” - yes, a toy horse and a board game - got sexy makeovers.
They realize it, too, and quickly migrate to the other side of the playroom, where they practice handstands and check themselves out in the mirror.
”“I was talking to my mother earlier today about Ruby, and she was basically like, nun-ify her.
Put her in a habit,” Marcelle Karp, 49, says about her 13-year-old daughter.
In 1997, a landmark study of 17,000 girls found that the mean age for the beginning of breast development was 8.87 years for African-American girls and 9.96 years for white girls; for pubic hair, it was 8.78 years and 10.51 years, respectively.
Then, in 2010, another study found that by the age of 7, 23 percent of black girls, 15 percent of Hispanic girls and 10 percent of white girls had started developing breasts.“If you’re 11 and you look 15, people will interact with you like you’re 15 – but you’re only 11. You’re more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors,” says Dr.