This item originally appeared in the April 22, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
Whatever happened to "little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice?"
I recently made a trip to the movies and discovered one thing: although I was one of the oldest individuals there, I was the only one not baring my belly, back or legs.
I felt as if the middle school bus dropped off all the kids and made them leave one prominent item of clothes behind as insurance that the children would come back.
I don't think I was even aware that they made crop tops in children's sizes. These girls were dressing more provocatively than I do when I go out to a club. I guess the movie theater is the hot spot when you're 14.
I also noticed that cell phones were attached to almost every under-age ear in the joint. I overheard one such conversation that went something like, "Mama, I need you to pick us up at about 9:15. Misty's mom said we could go to her house and spend the night."
Why do these kids have cell phones?
They can't drive. Their parents have dropped them off. Do their parents really need to be able to get in touch with them?
When I was a teenager, I got a car phone (it looked like the one Zack Morris carried on "Saved by the Bell") for safety and emergency purposes only. It was only used when I got lost around town or to let my mom know I was on my way home.
I was required to obtain a learner's permit, a driver's license and make a solemn vow before I was given a car phone.
It seems like the teenage rite of passage is no longer getting a driver's license, but getting a cell phone.
And let me not forget the pounds of makeup being worn by almost every young girl in the theater. They were wearing more makeup than I was, and I was probably 8 to 10 years older than most of them.
I was first allowed to wear makeup when I was in the eighth grade, and eyeliner was not to be included in my makeup bag. Maybe I am just too traditional, but I don't think 13-year-olds should be wearing eyeliner. That is for girls who at least have drivers' licenses.
In the aftermath of the movie theater episode, I made a trip to the mall with a friend and was yet again bombarded with youngsters who were dressing beyond their years.
After walking into a very expensive surfer-type shop, my friend replied, "Who brought in the field trip?"
There were nearly 10 girls, all of whom knew each other and were looking at semi-sheer T-shirts on a table. I immediately felt overwhelmed and after a quick glance at the shirt, I realized they were meant to fit my body a decade ago.
My eyes darted up from the table, and I realized the store company was obviously targeting the young group of girls in the store. After all, the shirts would fit perfectly on their pre-pubescent figures.
I guess I should be glad young kids are hanging out at movie theaters and malls and not getting into trouble. I just wish they would dress their age and not be in such a big hurry to look like a grown up. There is just something endearing about a young girl who looks and is dressed like a young girl.
Jennifer Watson is a junior journalism and history double major from Shreveport and serves as associate editor for The Tech Talk.
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