Early 2000s

Tween is a blend of between and teen, but exclusively refers to teenage girls. The age range of tween is blurry, with the common reference to 8-13 years. As an age category, tween emphasizes on the time period between a girl’s childhood and puberty. She is too old for toys and games, but too young for boys and sex. 

It’s rather easy to detect that tweenhood becomes a new idealized period of girlhood: tweens are described as (mostly) white, beautiful, and innocent. They should not be sexualized and commodified. This idealization seems like a social projection of the idea that young girls are fragile and constantly need protection. On the other hand, tweens are also a specific group of girls that corporates and consumerism often market at. Clothes, magazines, dolls often brand themselves as tween’s perfect choice to catch up with fashion trends. Such marketing reflects that tweens, as young girls, constitute consumers with spending power who make their own purchase choices. Having such a contradictory status, tween girls continue to navigate their identity under the influence of social ethos, feminism, and consumer culture.

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