“What does she do, what is she for?” - Is Kim Kardashian the best role model for girls?
- Credit: PA
Mothers of teenage daughters have the most difficult job imaginable. Bringing up girls to be confident, ambitious, self-assured and happy go-getters in 2016 feels an impossible task.
They are the selfie generation; a girl's priority is winning approval from other girls by pouting from social media feeds, crimson-lipped with crayoned-on eyebrows like slugs.
It's all about the look. That's how they judge each other and that's how they feel judged.
It's not about vanity. It's about chronic insecurity and wanting to be different, putting appearance before any other quality to be accepted and feel they fit.
Indentikit girls begging to be judged by other girls. 'Your gawgus' (sic) their friends write under a grotesque photo, feeling far less shame about their lack of literacy than an eyebrow that's not 'on point.'
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Girls as young as seven are feeling this overwhelming pressure to be pretty, with more than a third of girls aged seven to 10 believing looks to be paramount and how women are rated, over any other abilities, a body confidence study by Girlguiding UK warned this week.
A quarter feel the need to be perfect with nearly two-fifths believing they were not pretty enough.
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Anxiety among young girls is shocking. Most of the seven- to 10-year-olds questioned said that what would most improve their lives would be if people would stop judging girls and women on the way they look.
Two-fifths of girls feel they need to lose weight.
This pressure and crushing feelings of inadequacy are causing rocketing rates of depressions and mental illness.
How can it be that, after more than five decades of fighting against the objectification and harassment of women, girls are becoming even more obsessed and insecure about how they look and looks are so critical for success?
Seeing these photos of girls, day in day out, pouting and preening, the eyes pleading 'like me, like me. Do I look good enough?' makes me want to weep.
In the same week, the woman who spawned a whole new ideal of beauty and priorities for a generation of girls and young women was all over the news.
Girls' lives are being ruined, down to the youngest in society, and we are letting it happen by the idolatry of the likes of Kim Kardashian.
Coverage of her hideous ordeal – and no one would wish armed robbery on anyone – threw her into the lives of people who had no idea who she was, bewildered by her hypnotic power over our girls.
'What does she do, what is she for?' one perplexed friend in her 50s who rarely watches TV asked. 'She looks like a cartoon.' She takes naked selfies, records every minute of her day on social media, has made a living out of shopping and ostentatious consumerism – the £8 million of jewellery she took to Paris had been flaunted on her Twitter and Instagram feeds.
That's what our girls, brought up to believe they could achieve whatever they wanted, are aspiring to be. More weeping.
Even feminist Harriet Harman, the closest the Labour Party has ever had to a female leader, has been bewitched by the brand.
Kardashian was 'pioneering and brave', she said earlier this year, for posting nude selfies all over social media.
Yup. Harriet, the grande dame of the left who campaigned against Page 3 of The Sun, praised the queens of narcissistic exhibitionism, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, for 'making their own decisions and own way in the world.'
'They're not going to be told by anybody what to do.' Music to every teacher's ears, I'm sure.
But no mention of the potentially catastrophic impact Kardashian's life by social media had on the young girls who idolised her, aspired to her life of shopping and partying, and spend hours practising the Kardashian-style selfie pout in the mirror.
There was no concern about the effect the Kardashian obsessive consumerism, her overblown-lilo lips, beachball breasts and Jessica Rabbit figure 'trained' into shape by whalebone corset to achieve the 'ideal' female hourglass figure might have on girls.
No advice to girls to see the fakery for what it was and not embracing the cosmetically enhanced as reality and 'girl goals' - that success was more than about looks and money.
Believing looks are more important than achievements, courage, feistiness, guts and adventure is ruining girls' lives.
Girls are too scared to put themselves forward or try new things because insecurity about how they look.
Incredibly intelligent young women are being crippled by insecurities about their appearances, torturing themselves that they are not good enough, missing out on opportunities, shrinking into the background with rock-bottom confidence because they feel they don't look right. Some are even called names.
Kardashian might not understand her responsibilities as a role model. Why should she when her world stops in her mirror? She doesn't have to.
But with 84 million followers on Instagram, 48 million on Twitter comes some responsibility.
The fun of life is being sucked out of girls sinking into nadir of eating disorders or mental health problems while she sways her perfectly-rounded posterior all the way to the bank. Yes, mothers of teenage girls have the hardest job, to take on the mighty Kardashian brand and make their daughters see it for the vacuous fake it is.