Move over Miley Cyrus and Brittney Spears (you old hag!), there's a new sexy teen photo making the rounds. Proving their insistence on pimping their five beautiful girls at ever younger ages to keep their fame train on the track, the Kardashian clan has released new "modeling" shots of 14-year-old Kendall Jenner.
While this picture is causing the usual and predictable moral sparring -- "What is happening to today's youth?" hysteria versus "If you find young girls sexy, then it's your problem you perv!" retort -- my problem with it is, naturally, all about me. To heck with the "Will no one think of the children?" pearl-clutching! Why isn't anyone thinking about the older women? And by "older" I mean all of us over 18.
Let's get this out of the way: the bikini picture is racy, despite older sisters Kim and Kourtney calling the shots "innocent" and "this is what girls look like today." (Dear Kim, I have a 14-year-old sister myself and I can tell you that in the other 49.5 states of the union outside Hollywood that most girls today do not look like this.) Side boob squishage = sexy.
But like I said, I'm not particularly bothered by the younger Kardashian/Jenner's passage through the Lindsay Lohan tollbooth on the Highway to Hell. All teenagers of that age like to take sexy pictures of themselves -- my friends and I used to snap pics of each other in dressing rooms at the mall showing off our budding cleavage in, oh yes, bodysuits. (While I'm dating myself, we also used actual film that had to be developed. Ah those wacky '90's!) Fortunately we were blessed with parents who if they even saw those illicit photos never felt compelled to release them to the public at large.
No, these pics scare me because I'm worried about us old women. See, Kendall et. al. have plenty of good therapy years ahead of them and after all the money she's going to make her parents, she'll be practically honor-bound to keep the field of psychology in business. The problem for me with underage skin pics is that it is one more message in the avalanche of propaganda saying that to be hot, or even conventionally pretty, you need to look as young as possible: smooth skin, toothpick cellulite-free thighs, 23" waists, and arms that are widest at the elbow. The only womanly concession allowed to women are breasts (but not the hips that go with them).
Some might say that this is the classic older-woman's lament. 'Tis true that there is always a crop of hotter babes coming up. But the kicker is that men don't necessarily find 14-year-olds sexy either. A recent survey conducted by The Daily Mail (I know, I know) showed that 70% of respondents consider a woman sexiest at age 31, due to a combination of style and confidence.
So if women don't like underage bikini pics because they make us feel bad about ourselves and men don't consider them to be the epitome of sexy, then what is the point of doing this to your 9th grade daughter? Oh wait, could the Kardashians be doing this for fame and money? You cynics. I prefer to side with one erudite commenter:
"Kendall + Justin Beiber = Love!!!"
Of course -- they sexed her up so she could attract another precious teen! Perhaps he can give her product tips for perfectly mussed hair.