Trend of making up girls to look like ‘little women’ raises some disturbing questions

Trend of making up girls to look like 'little women' raises some disturbing questions - The Nation, September 8, 2006
[Peculiar editorial by a foreigner who does not like the Thai dance performances where little girls are dressed up like women.]
...Cultural events, such as the opening temple fair sequence, provide fertile ground for such performances, which blur the line between the adult and child worlds. "I often see it in shopping malls. Events parade the kids while moms apply makeup to their upturned faces," says Chotirawee. The demarcation between adult and child has been breached by popular culture and it is this blending of once separate and distinct spheres that has lead to the sexualisation of children in Thai culture according to the professor.
"In the past there was not the same emphasis on glamorising children. We took part in cultural events but it was pretty innocuous." The shift began about 20 to 25 years ago when people started to identify more with what they saw on television and then tried to replicate it in their children.
In many instances the presence of "little women" is seen not only as harmless but as a propagation of Thai culture itself - teaching girls the finer points of Thai dance, feminine mystique and behaviour. While this may indeed be an expression of Thai culture, it's just one version. Culture is continuously evolving, and these days Thai culture is so adulterated, you can't say what is truly Thai, admits Chotirawee...
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