In typical American families, parents display photos of their teenagers — innocent yearbook shots and department store portraits — on the mantel of along the stairway wall.
But there’s nothing typical about the Kardashians: Matriarch “momager” Kris Jenner is drawing fire for allowing Kendall, 16, and Kylie, 14 — her daughters with second husband Bruce — to be photographed in precociously sexy attire.
Do a Google image search and you’ll find pages of bare skin, such as in Kendall’s erotically-charged swimwear spreads for the Australian brand White Sands, and Flavor, a Parisian magazine that, uh, has nothing to do with recipes.
“Kris totally encourages it,” an insider tells OK!. “She’s proud that Kendall and Kylie are so sexy.”
Here’s one of the unintended consequences of our society’s encouragement of a Neverendering, NeverNever Land of adolescence: when men and women are allowed to remain teenagers in their level of maturity then they carry with them their teenage sexual attractions and attitudes. And of course markets arise to fulfill those needs. So sexual images of children become further mainstreamed.
There is only one group on this planet who should be looking at Kendall and Kylie Jenner with any manner of erotic desire: other 14 and 16 year-olds. (And they don’t need pictures to do it.) That’s puberty. A burst of hormones that provokes both physical transformations and strong emotions. The natural tendency is to see members of the opposite sex as objects to satisfy these new lusts. Of secondary importance: grasping the emotional, physical, and new-person-on-the-planet consequences of acting on those feelings.
But as we grow older and mature beyond the shock of puberty we’re supposed to transcend this animal nature. (See point #2 here in my review of Dennis Prager’s new book Still the Best Hope for more on the subject.)
A question for the men out there: at what moment in your life did you stop finding young women attractive? (And I don’t mean just jailbait. I mean 18-22-year-old — legal — but still looking young and girly.) When did the thought of youthful sex shift from a fantasy to a stomach-churning nightmare? When did the natural thought shift from “mmm… good time” to “I wonder what the daughter I have someday will look like at that age?” When did you stop being attracted to “sexy” girls and only interested in mature women?
Do women have this same dichotomy? A change in being attracted to serious men vs exciting boys?
And what role does the culture have in all this? What are the consequences for demeaning grown-up, married people sexuality while celebrating moms flashing their nipples on stage?
I suppose all of this relates in a round-about way to PJ Lifestyle’s recent debates about whether to have children: