Sexually suggestive kids clothing — Wait, What?
Let's start off with 3 quick facts.
- I'm not prude. I've never had a bathing suit rule in my youth group. I've actually never had a clothing rule of any kind in nearly 15 years of youth ministry.
- I live in Southern California. Clothing-wise, it's the most laid back place I've ever lived. At almost any church on Sunday morning it is perfectly acceptable to wear a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops. At all but the most posh restaurants you can get away with beach attire.
- In my own house, we couldn't be less fashion forward, so that plays into my reaction. My kids go to a school that requires uniforms and as a result we buy almost no children's clothing. Overall, our families wardrobe consists mostly of hand-me-downs, thrift store scores, and the occasional nice outfit for events like Easter.
Maybe these factors are why I've been disgusted with a trend we've noticed at the mall, at Target, and on TV: Sexy clothes for little girls. Kid-magnet chains, including Limited Too and Abercrombie Kids, as well as discount stores such as Target are focusing their marketing efforts on a much younger demographic, luring young girls into ensembles that in years past had been reserved for their teenage sisters.
Bikinis for babies?
GapKids recently featured a white, crocheted string bikini you'd likely see Anna Kournikova wearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
The bikini was for a 12-month-old.Racks at Target held several bathing suits perfect for a Hawaiian Tropic bikini competition. The crocheted and camouflage-designed suits started at size 4 in the little girls' section. Read the rest of the article
Wait. Wha-aat? Bikinis for toddlers? Someone would put their baby in a bikini? Why? How did we get to a place where “sexy” and “toddler” are in the same sentence without talking about an arrest warrant?
I'm the father of a 9 year old girl. She's thinks boys are disgusting. She gags when people kiss on TV. In other words, she is a normal 4th grader.
When I hand her a Target gift card and invite her to pick out clothes she picks clothes because they are purple and easy to play in. Phrases like “Do I look hot in this?” Or “Is this sexy?” aren't even in her vocabulary. For a lot of reasons I'm hope this phase in her cognitive development lasts a few more years.
Bikinis for babies? Blech. Neither of us are ready.
What does this have to do with youth ministry? Get ready for the Bratz Pack!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.