Loss of Innocence in Big Little Lies

HBO’s new series, Big Little Lies, focuses on the lives of three women and their families living in California. One of the women, Madeline, has a sixteen-year-old daughter, Abigail who offers to sell her virginity online in order to raise awareness about sex trafficking. While this is a very real issue, Abigail’s parents are very upset by her decision because she is under age and they don’t think it is the right thing for her to do. Legally, she is still a child, but she is trying to make a very adult decision, and her parents want to protect her innocence. Abigail claims that she is old enough to make this decision on her own, and that if people care about her losing her innocence, they should care about young girls all over the world being forced to lose theirs. Marah Gubar states “assuming that all children everywhere share [innocence] is dubiously essentialist.” This is what Abigail is trying to raise awareness about because although she gets to choose when she makes the decision to lose her virginity, many children around the world don’t. As a privileged white American, Abigail has many advantages over other people her age around the world. People assume that children are always innocent, but this is unfortunately not the truth. Abigail has good reasoning behind her actions, however I agree with her parents that her execution in raising awareness is not the best way.

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