Top Five Artistic Things That Make Me Fear for the Sanctity of Childhood

Mass culture denigrates toddlers

5. Maggie Goes On a Diet

The self-published picture book by author Paul Kramer made a splash on the Internet earlier this year. Marketed to the 12-and-under crowd, the book encourages young girls to diet, because, you know, you are never too young for body-image issues.

4. Where Children Sleep, James Mollison

James Mollison’s photographic essay illustrates the stories of children worldwide through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms. The project turned a set of childrens’ bedrooms into a stark commentary on class and poverty, and gave unwanted gravitas to your old Power Rangers sheets.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2

The final “Harry Potter” installment signaled the end of childhood for many people, which makes one wonder if long-running popular children’s series are really just ticking time bombs of reality. In other words, be prepared for the discontent of the Twi-Hards come the release of “Breaking Dawn — Part 2.”

2. Avenue Q

The long-running Broadway musical parodied “Sesame Street” by turning the Muppets into foul-mouthed young-adults facing very real problems. Is nothing sacred? The eleventh number, “You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You’re Makin’ Love),” replete with puppet-on-puppet sex and full-on puppet nudity, answers with a deafening “yes.”

1. The Muppets (2011 remake)

The critically acclaimed Jason Segel vehicle has done the Muppets justice. They are as sweet and innocent as ever. In fact, the only reason it makes the list is that the need for a Muppets remake is a reminder of how old I am, making me fear for my own childhood. Welcome to the Vanity Issue.

—Hayley C. Cuccinello is the incoming covers executive. She is young at heart, which is convenient, since she stands at a youthful 5’3”.

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