Story: Childhood

The rise of the tween

The rise of the tween

The word 'tween' – derived from a combination of 'teenager' and 'between' – was applied to children (mainly girls) aged between around 8 and 12 in the 2000s. Many commentators have argued that the tween phenomenon highlights the growing commercialisation of childhood, because it was invented by marketers to sell more goods to new consumers. This group of girls in this age bracket (accompanied by an adult) are at a Trelise Cooper Kids fashion parade in Auckland in 2007.

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New Zealand Herald
Reference: 190507NZHTRELISE15.JPG
Photograph by Chris Melville

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Childhood - Defining childhood', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 December 2023)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 12 Dec 2018