Preschoolers turning themselves into sexualized "mini-adults" by wearing bras, nail polish and lipstick are requiring psychological help in increasing numbers.
Child development experts said young girls were now entering their "tween" years at the tender age of 6. In previous years, girls entered the "tween" phase at the age of 11.
Experts said that by age 6, girls need branded clothes, at 7 they want styled hair, by 8 they are beginning to diet, and by early teens they are engaging in sex or sending sexually explicit text messages.
The alarming trend is taking a heavy psychological toll, said Louise Newman, professor of Developmental Psychiatry at Monash University.
"I've seen children suffering from clinical depression in primary school because they don't feel they are pretty enough or thin enough or able to be popular," Newman said.