Model and actress Julia Fox is raising eyebrows again with her controversial theory on childhood.
The Uncut Gems star went on a TikTok tirade where she lambasted the concept of childhood. She claimed it was just a capitalist scam to get parents to buy toys. Fox said her 19-month-old son Valentino was better off with a broom and mop than toys.
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“I’m just coming on here to remind you that childhood — the idea of childhood, the concept of childhood — was only invented in the 18th century. Prior to that, children were just regarded as little adults,” Fox stated.
It’s true that society wasn’t quick to acknowledge that children’s minds weren’t the same as adults — but that’s because the field of psychology barely existed until the late 1800s.
She claimed that children were depicted as adults in medieval paintings because of this. But that isn’t necessarily true. Medieval depictions of children were based on Christians’ (at the time) conception of Jesus as a homunculus — or being born a fully formed man instead of a baby.
She alleged that the concept of childhood is to trick adults into buying toys that are “not really teaching your kid anything” and that will result in children being “helpless.” Meanwhile, the experts at the Child Development Institute believe toys “are more than just fun and games for kids” and that most of them provide the “opportunity for children to learn.”
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“I suggest everyone buy their kid a little mini mop, a little mini broom, and start teaching them those life skills really young,” she said. “So that when they enter the real world, they don’t have to outsource for everything, and they know how to do things for themselves.”
Let’s be honest: Very few children in America will have the financial opportunity to “outsource” their chores, let alone “everything.” So most parents don’t have to worry about that.
Treating children like adults is dangerous because children are not adults. That’s why we have child labor laws. That’s why children aren’t supposed to go to the same prisons as adults or get the same kinds of sentences. It’s why we have a legal age of consent. It’s why we have separate health guidelines for children.
Moreover, treating children like adults can be psychologically damaging. People in the 18th century did not live in a society as informed as ours today, so Fox — and parents alike — should take advantage of the fact that we live in 2022, not 1722.
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