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‘Girls of eight feel pressure to be sexy’

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MARIELLA Frostrup afp

AFP

File photo: British television presenter Mariella Frostrup during a parliamentary Question and Answer session.

London - Mariella Frostrup has told of her sadness at the way her daughter’s generation is forced to grow up too soon.

The TV presenter, who has an eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old son, believes children face pressures today that didn’t exist in her own childhood.

“One of the saddest things for me is looking at children of my daughter’s generation already trying to look sexy even though they’re only eight or nine years old,” she said.

“When I was young, if we wore a polo neck and a pair of jeans we thought we were cool, but they’re all about short skirts and high heels.”

Frostrup also told how the abundance of overtly sexual imagery in our society tests parents trying to ensure their children enjoy the innocence of childhood.

“The hardest thing for me is going into a newsagent and having to explain to my daughter why there are naked women everywhere on the covers of magazines.

“I mean how do you explain that to an eight-year-old? I try and say, ‘don’t pay attention; focus on doing well at school’ but it’s tricky for parents”.

Frostrup, who turns 50 in a few weeks, came to motherhood relatively late in life. She married the human rights lawyer Jason McCue in 2002 and they are parents to Molly and Danny.

While parenthood may have its challenging moments, it also has some rather fortunate side effects, she explained. Her figure, for example, is better now than it was in her younger days.

“When I was single, my weight used to go up and down depending on my mental state,” she said. “But since I’ve had the kids, I don’t really think about it.

“You know, getting them to school and then getting to work and making sure we’ve got some food. I just don’t really have time to do that binge eating.”

Frostrup was speaking after hosting a party in London for the launch of the Great Boodles Bangle, a £200 silver bracelet designed to raise money for her charity: The Great British Initiative.

Founded in 2010 by Frostrup and her business partner Karen Ruimy, the charity raises money to help women in the developing world. Frostrup, who presents Open Book for Radio 4, says ageism remains a problem for women.

“You’re supposed to carry on looking like you’re 12 until you’re 112 which is just not possible. I am just me to be honest, and I don’t see any point in chasing a dream that I can never achieve. Eternal youth is beyond all of us.” - Daily Mail

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