One of the things that the authors stressed is that parents are most certainly responsible for the children's behavior, but that the media isn't exactly helpful. Regarding children who parents KNOW that they're dressing inappropriately:
"...the CCFC (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) presented the 'Have You Lost Your Marbles Awards' to companies that employed marketing practices deemed most harmful to children. The Most Harm to Families Award was given to the advertising agency that did research on how to encourage children to nag parents to buy the products advertised. The headline on the ad company's press release proclaimed, 'The Fine Art of Whining: Why Nagging is a Kid's Best Friend.' The copy below said, 'The Newest Nag Factor Study Reveals 21 to 40 Percent of Sales of Jeans, Burgers and Other Products Occur Because a Child Asked for It.' The complete report gave marketers the information they needed to take full advantage of the Nag Factor in their marketing campaigns--all at the expense of the adults who care for the children." (74)Like I said, parents are responsible, but advertisers sure aren't helping any.
My friend Brooke mentioned over at FB about walking around the other day and seeing tweens in short shorts with attention-seeking text on the back. The authors mention in the book a story about tweens at a sleepover talking about ways to get their parents to buy them the inappropriate clothes that they wanted. I remember having at least one friend in high school who left the house wearing one outfit and changed as soon as she got to school, so this phenomenon doesn't seem limited to tweens today.
And here's an interesting fact about why play has changed since many of us were kids:
"But the floodgates truly opened with the FCC's deregulation of children's television during the Reagan administration in the mid-1980's, when pressure mounted to get government to deregulate all aspects of industry. Deregulation made it possible for marketers to develop products for children directly linked to children's television programs. And the program-length commercial, a program made for the sole purpose of selling products, was born. More specifically, programs were now used to market toys to children that replicated everything they saw on the program." Think He-Man (36).
And moms of boys? You're not immune. All that garbage advertising to girls to convince them that they need to wear certain clothes and be obsessed with shopping and generally woo males with their appearance just serves to make boys value those things in women as well.