as soon as i step outside to begin my street urchin filled journey to lunch, a crowd of people passes by forcing me to wait. waiting is not something i do terribly well, so as my impatience forces me out into the throng of hapless urban ambulators, i begin glancing around so as not to accidentally touch one of them in some way. as my eye comes around from looking left, then right, then to the ground where I’m about to step, it gets caught on something horrific.
among the flow of citizenry and wasted flesh wades a small group of children accompanied by two adults who appear to have the kids in their charge. my eyes were locked onto something in that group that my brain was having a very very difficult time registering, let alone justifying. the group of children was at a very young age of approximately five to six years. they were all dressed like you would expect little kids to be dressed. the boys were in jeans and shirts featuring such wondrous characters as giant fighting robots, bmx bikes, and dinosaurs. the girls were in the typical cutesy froo froo attire with lots of pinks and frills and pig tails and kittens. except for one little girl belonging to the absolute worst mother to every bring forth life from an inch past her pooper.
this unwitting five year old participant in one of the worst aspects of american society was sporting the typical little girl version of sweat pants and a sweat shirt, all in pink of course. but what snagged my eye in a similar fashion to the way a nail snags the soft fleshy part of your back-arm when walking through a smashed doorway was something printed, nay, stitched in giant letters cleanly across her posterior. here i was staring helplessly, and possibly inappropriately, at a five year old’s butt for more than a passing second because some adult in some corporation thought it would not only be appropriate, but sell like blueberry muffins laced with crack if they placed the word “cute” in giant university lettering across the ass of sweatpants designed for five year old little girls.
few things confound me the way this did. as i stood there, ineffectively attempting to divert my gaze and ignore this blatant violation of everything women have been fighting for for the last century, i was simultaneously filled with rage and sadness. somewhere on this miserable excuse for a planet a fashion designer thought it would be a great idea to advertise a little girl’s ass as cute. somewhere in the retail chain, thousands of people decided to purchase, manufacture, shelve, market and sell a pair of sweat pants that will direct the eyeballs of everyone to the ass of a five year old girl. but most egregiously of all, some mother walked into that store and decided that it would be a good idea to advertise her own five year old daughter’s ass as “cute.” like a piece of meat, such as a filet mignon. this, in my opinion, is wildly inappropriate anywhere at all, but here we are in the middle of a city. in downtown. on a sidewalk filled with homeless alcoholics, everyday sickos, closet perverts, sexually repressed business men, and a whole lot of just regular dudes trying to go about their lives without being distracted by one more slutty outfit designed specifically to up-heave desires and feelings that we as men are taught to keep to ourselves lest we be labelled chauvinist pigs. seriously. its hard enough, no pun intended.
but why would any mother do this? why would anyone force the eyes of god’s worst directly onto the most precious thing a mother possesses, her baby, and do so in an egregiously sexual context? this little girl will grow up into a woman and experience for herself the tribulations of being appointed a sexual object against her will. there is no need to turn her into a walking advertisement for pedophilia. but that’s not the worst part. this mother is doing her best to set women back 50 years into a time when women were still considered property to some degree and were only seen to be good for typing memos, home making, and fucking. but not too much fucking, that would make you a dirty whore. women have come a very, very long way since then and to see evidence of backsliding like this hurts my head in ways that i thought only an evening spent mixing jello shots, cheap vodka, and even cheaper champagne could do.
but worse than that, it made me feel filthy. well, filthier than usual. it also made me feel like somehow i was supposed to be the target of this advertisement, which is not only absurd, but insufferably disgusting. i’m a grown fucking man in my 30’s. why the hell would i be interested in the idea that a five year old’s ass is cute? we’re not supposed to look at children that way. its fucking wrong and horrible and potentially illegal. so if we’re not supposed to look, why the fuck are you deliberately dragging my eyes there?
to the mother who woke up and dressed her daughter as a billboard advertisement for pedophilia: go home and think about this logically for a minute. if at any point during the purchasing process you had to tell yourself “oh its cute. nobody’s going to think anything of it” then you were already aware of the situation you were creating and you already knew it was wrong. now please, for the love of your higher power, go home and dress your little kid like something other than a college age whore. maybe something with kittens or flowers or voltron or something age appropriate.