DOVER — "They grow up so fast," a friend of mine commented recently, her eyes trailing her 3-year-old daughter as she took a juice box out of the refrigerator, opened it, and maneuvered her way onto the couch to watch a cartoon. But we both knew this little display of independence was just the tip of the iceberg. It's no secret teenagers can push the envelope by dressing and acting older, and having been there ourselves not too long ago, we both see that time looming ahead of her daughter. But it might be sooner than expected, as now it seems to be happening at younger and younger ages. Knowing there are products out there like thong panties for girls ages 8 to 12, Somersworth Middle School substitute teacher and Girl Scout troupe leader Nicole Marcin recently felt compelled to give a lecture to her and year-old Scouts regarding the expected dress code for an upcoming trip to Georgia.
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Asuka Izumi was modeling for a DVD in July when the director asked her to put on a string bikini. She was just 12 years old. Izumi, now 14, went on to pose in thong bikinis in four photo books and several DVDs. She looks back on that first time in a revealing bikini and said she had no reason not to do it. From pornographic animation to raunchy dolls, Japan leads the world in eccentric products and media that sometime push the boundaries of what people consider to be decent — or even legal. This latest trend of preteen girls striking provocative poses in slinky bathing suits has some people questioning whether this is child pornography and if the parents are actually selling their children for sex.
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The father was absent from the situation, and the mother appeared overwhelmed. The kid ran the show, and he got what he wanted by throwing fits, stomping his feet and pouting. The mother doted on her son, and spoke to him in a syrupy baby talk that made my skin crawl.