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Mum's fight to keep young innocent

MAKING A STAND: Naomi Harris, pictured with Pania Preston, Jazmine Alexander, Meg Rutzon, Summer Harris, Georgia Russell, Sophia Rule and Georgia Woods, has established a social network called Savvy Girls,
MAKING A STAND: Naomi Harris, pictured with Pania Preston, Jazmine Alexander, Meg Rutzon, Summer Harris, Georgia Russell, Sophia Rule and Georgia Woods, has established a social network called Savvy Girls, John Mccutcheon

THE mother of a 13-year-old teenage girl has banned her from watching music videos and TV programs that may encourage her to have sex before she is ready.

Caloundra resident Naomi Harris said her daughter was being robbed of her innocence and childhood because of pressures to wear sexualised and skin-revealing clothing which society depicts as "cool".

It follows the release of a column by Fathers4Equality Australia president Ash Patil, where he speaks of young girls being allowed to wander the streets wearing "skimpy-sized, 'Daisy Duke' cut-off jeans".

Ms Harris said conversations with her daughter revealed the pressures she was feeling to look and act older than she was.

"We don't have a TV. My children aren't allowed to watch music video shows and my daughter is not allowed to wear inappropriate clothing such as the high-waisted shorts with the bum hanging out," Ms Harris said.

"We are subjecting our girls to a culture that is continuously reinforcing the message they need to be sexy, hot and thin to be accepted and cool.

"With the relatively new introduction of the world wide web our children can and are accessing anything and everything, including pornography in various forms.

"I truly believe that our girls are under siege."

She said one of the most shocking revelations was that girls of similar age to her daughter were sending pictures of their genitals to friends in the playground at school.

"Our girls are constantly being bombarded with hyper sexualised images and messages that are reinforcing that they need to be sexy, hot, and thin and most importantly conform to expectations within our culture to be considered cool and accepted," she said.

In an attempt to bring back children's innocence, Ms Harris has established a social network called Savvy Girls, aimed at teenagers between the ages of 13-15. She said the site provided a safe place for young teenagers to be empowered and inspired to take control of their lives.

"Savvy Girls offers girls a place to voice their opinions, share their dreams and learn just how amazing they are without the over sexualised hype of our culture," she said.

"We need to go back to basics and start telling our girls how beautiful, intelligent, capable and worthy they are.

"We need to give them the self worth they need to believe in themselves."

Topics:  music videos, sex, tv


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