Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Let Girls Be Girls!

I am too old to be part of Mumsnet - but I am certainly behind them on this latest campaign.

image I was appalled three years ago, when Tesco sold 'Pole Dancing Kits' [unleash the sex kitten inside said the blurb] in its Toy Section.

And Asda were selling padded bras for seven year olds.

And Next have been forced to withdraw teeshirts for six year olds declaring 'so many boys, so little time'

And now Primark have had to withdraw padded bikinis for 7 year olds

primark bikini primark bikini2

The Mumsnet website says

It's hardly news that the worlds of entertainment and celebrity encourage girls to believe their sexual attractiveness is paramount. But, increasingly, this same trend is visible in products marketed at young children. A growing number of toys, clothes ('sexy' slogans on young girls' clothing) and accessories (Playboy-branded stationery sets, anyone?) encourage children to enter the world of adult sexuality.

Reasons to be worried by this trend

  • It introduces children to the world of adult sexuality, when elsewhere we are rightly encouraging them to resist the pressure to become sexually active at a young age
  • It tells girls that the most important quality they need is 'sexiness' and that female sexuality is all about pleasing others
  • It encourages a culture in which children are viewed as sexually available
  • I think Mumsnet are right to raise this issue, and offer retailers a positive course of action. I am still amazed that they can actually put these goods on sale in the first place without considering the implications. I know they spend a fortune on market research - surely somewhere along the line their buyers must have picked up on the fact that we find this objectionable?

    But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't. You'd be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don't have to make it worse—and it's doomsday to you if you do.

    [Matt 18:6,7 from The Message]


    1. I have ranted about this before. I HATE it. I will not buy my boys slogan tee's, unless they are ones like I love my mum!

      They sell them, cause people buy them. Sad but true. If there wasnt a market for them then things would be different.

      We need to send the message out that this is not acceptable dress for a child

    2. How very sad. It's hard to believe that there are people who want to buy these awful things, but I remember even 7 year olds at the school where I taught giggling over 'boyfriends' etc.
      I'm so thankful I grew up in a different age.

    3. Thanks for this post Angela it's so good to know that people speak out about these things.

    4. I'm so glad the young moms are speaking up! Unfortunately modesty and decorum are seriously lacking even in many churches. Young moms are very discreet when it comes to nursing their baby, but there is too much cleavage with their regular clothes and such a huge emphasis on being in with the latest fashions. This can also contribute to little girls wanting to be like mommy and/or other pretty ladies. The Lord gives wisdom to those who ask, but many are not asking. Sigh......

    5. I'm always stunned when I see this sort of thing. Who are the people who think it up? Who are the people who buy it?

      I think as a culture we've done a very poor job of making our children feel safe. We expose them to images and ideas they're not ready for and find disturbing. Sexualizing young girls is sick, and yet it's accepted. What's wrong with us?

      By the way, I'm back!


    6. I watched a Fox news article on this (I was bored of the election stuff on BBC News, lol) and was shocked to hear the female newsreader actually comment, "Well, that's up to the parents to decide what their children buy, in a free world the shop should be able to sell what it likes". What, products that sexualise children? Even in a free world we need sensible boundaries.

      The other area I have noticed more and more is the sale of occult items in the toy section. For example, not so long ago my Mum complained about the sale of a ouija board in the toy section at Morrisons. The manager was very nice and moved the items - I'm not sure if they were moved to another section or discontinued. Obviously it is up to adults to decide whether a ouija board is worthwhile or not, but they shouldn't be marketed at children - in my opinion anyway.

      It think we are going to be seeing this sort of thing more and more.

      Great post. :)

    7. Well done Sarah's Mum!!
      I have yet to find anybody who ISN'T angry/frustrated/annoyed by this sort of marketing


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