I have been achingly cool for almost as long as I can remember, but circa fifth and sixth grade was the absolute low point of my coolness. I know it’s hard to imagine, but I was really, really lame — I’m talking Hot Topic wardrobe, greasy hair, Transitions lenses … it was a rough couple of years. I was weird, and nobody wanted to middle school date me at a time when everyone was middle school dating, and I felt like a total loser. SUCH a loser! But a new study found that early-starting kids who began “dating” at an average age of 11.6 years were reported twice as likely to engage in abnormal or delinquent behavior as on-time (about 12.9 years) adolescents and late bloomers (14.9, holllllller), so maybe I’m better for it? Just kidding, I also engaged in these behaviors myself, but I am a scientific anomaly and also not a part of this study.
My real question is, what is this “dating” at age 11.6? I have no firsthand account, so I can only imagine it is limited to the awkward conversations across hallways and uncomfortable, clammy “hand-holding” that I served only witness to. Are these children allowed at one another’s homes? Don’t these kids have parents? Speaking of parents: parents, do not EVER purchase Transitions lenses for your school-aged children. Do you know what they call that? They call that FATES WORSE THAN DEATH. Social suicide, I’m telling you. [Gawker]
[Photo of happy smiling kids via Shutterstock]
Late last year, Debbie, a woman in the male-dominated field of engineering, became frustrated with what she saw as the link between the gender disparity in her field and the toys children play with. Specifically, that toys which encourage inventiveness are typically marketed towards boys and therefore lead boys to become more interested in subjects like math, science and engineering as they grow up. So she decided to do something about it. She started a toy company called GoldieBlox, with the goal of encouraging girls to love engineering as much as she does. You can watch her introductory video here. But the next step is actually bringing these engineering toys for girls in stores nationwide, especially a major chain like Toys R Us. While the store has stocked some of GoldieBlox’s toys, it’s been in small quantities, dwarfed by the sea of Barbies around them. “We’ve been told that GoldieBlox can’t survive in mass stores next to Barbie,” the company writes on their YouTube page. “Convention says that engineering toys for girls are a “niche” for the affluent, and for the internet. Together, we must prove convention wrong.” You can help them do that in one small way — sharing this awesome video, featuring a bunch of adorable girls singing to the tune of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” about “disrupting the pink aisle” with your Facebook and Twitter followers. Want to do more? Check out more suggestions for how to help at the link! [YouTube via Upworthy]
Allegedly, there is a mom in New South Wales, Australia who is punishing her daughter for lying about having a sleepover when instead she and her friend hung out with older boys. Also, the girl has a “self righteous and lippy attitude.” You know, teenagers.
Anyway, this mom’s chosen punishment is to allegedly sell her daughter’s four tickets to a One Direction concert on Friday, October 25th in Sydney via eBay. ”I hope the scowl on your bitchy little friends faces when you tell them that your dad and i revoked the gift we were giving you all reminds you that your PARENTS are the ones that deserve love and respect more than anyone,” the mom supposedly wrote. “And your silly little pack mentality of taking your parents for fools is one sadly mistaken.” Keep reading »
Just when you thought humanity wasn’t headed down the shitter after all, novelty store It’Sugar thought it would be a fun idea to sell baby clothes with creepy sexual statements emblazoned on the front of them. Phrases like “hung like a preschooler”, “I’m proof my mommy puts out,” and “does this diaper make my butt look big?” stand out, amongst others. Gross. Young people are bombarded with the pressure to be “sexy” before their age even hits double digits these days, but now sexual jokes are starting before the kid can even walk? Not cool. These clothes aren’t just sexual, they’re also flat-out body shaming. Do we really need to be scrutinizing the size of a baby’s butt? I’m pretty positive the company meant for these clothes to be taken as a joke, but that’s how ideology takes root: it starts out as something seemingly innocuous that’s not to be taken seriously, but then all of a sudden it’s totally ingrained into a person’s thoughts and a five-year-old is crying over whether her butt looks big because she’s been wearing clothes with phrases like this on them since before she could talk. Can’t kids just be kids for half a second without having to think about their bodies? If this is a sign of the times, I’m not too excited for whatever nasty ideas people are going to come up with next. [Change.org]
When I was in sixth grade, I’d advanced far enough along in my math studies to be in pre-Algebra. I went to magnet school in Fort Worth, Texas, with a bunch of other smart kids who had tested into the advanced program, but when I walked into Mr. Zoromski’s math class, I felt suddenly out of my league. English and drama classes, even life sciences made sense, but math didn’t.
But instead of powering through, I found a smart boy in my class and had him help me. When I say “help,” I mean he practically did my homework every day. Where I’d previously been super keen on learning everything, that sixth grade year, I decided math wasn’t for me. That, in the words of Teen Talk Barbie, “math class is tough.”
And it may have something to do with the way my smart girl-ness was socialized. Keep reading »