Most right-thinking readers will probably agree with me when I say that 8-year-old little girls do not need to be sexualised! However, certain buyers in well-known, family-friendly fashion stores are, er, apparently, not most people, because they’ve stocked their shelves with itsy, bitsy, barely-there swimwear…for children!
It’s a delicate subject I agree, but one I feel I have to address. You see last week, the light of my life, the child who can do absolutely no wrong, my granddaughter, made her First Holy Communion back in Dublin, and while I’d helped her mammy to kit her out for the big day and had the medal and the special card stuffed with the aul spondulicks ready for her – well what are Nanas for if not to spoil their grandchildren – I decided I’d go one step further and surprise her by making up a hamper of holiday clothes for her week away in the sun.
Now, while I’m all for kids looking fantastic, I firmly believe they should still look like kids, but such was the calibre of skimpy, spaghetti-strapped triangle bras and thigh-high cut-thong briefs displayed on the store rails, rendering me, a very liberal, live-and-let-live type of person, so shocked and disgusted I decided to go out to the front of the store again, you know, just in case my muddled, menopausal mind had missed the memo that Ann Summers had set up shop in Roscommon and I’d unknowingly stumbled into it.
Locating the manager in this well-known chain store, I asked if anyone working in this organisation had children and if so, which of them decided that body-revealing items of clothing were appropriate, informing him that in my opinion his stock was highly unsuitable, unnecessary and potentially harmful; especially given that the age range was from 3 to 12 years.
I mean, some items even had padded cupped bras!!! And no, there is nothing at all wrong with your eyesight, that’s what I wrote. Look, call me stupid, but I was under the impression padded cups were for the sole purpose of providing support for boobs, and what 3-year-old has boobs? But hey, what would I know?
Look, I’m definitely not condemning anyone for putting a bikini on their little daughter (not even you, Kim Kardashian). After all, I was trying to buy my granddaughter swimwear and wasn’t fussy as to whether it was a few bikinis or some fru fru all in one swim suits – and while I know that most parents retain a modicum of common sense and dress their children appropriately – there are obviously some diehards who see nothing immoral in allowing a small child to don a pair of dental floss knickers and a push-up bra, because, as the store manager hummed and hawed, he did have a point when he said, “that’s the fashion madam, shoppers want this type of gear for their kids.”
“Why? Are their 3-year-olds going to get invited to poolside cocktail parties while on holidays? And don’t call me madam!” was my retort!
Look, if this is the case and parents are favouring such skimpy attire, I’m afraid there’s a simple cure for these idiots – it’s called locking up! However readers, while I agree with this manager’s logic, I do have to say that chain stores who stock this type of suggestive clothing are bound to court controversy and criticism – and by the way, who the hell manufactures this kind of provocative fashion for kids? However, at the end of the day, yeah, he’s right, the parents are buying it and it’s up to them to call the shots and protect their kiddies by refusing to allow them dress in the type of sluttish attire that looks like it should come with matching hooker heels, a set of tassels and a complimentary pole!
And, while I’m at it, what parent wants to draw attention to their little girl’s body? None that I know of! Now don’t get me wrong…for the record, I’ve nothing against thongs and sexy underwear at all. I like them, and believe there are two reasons why an adult woman should wear a thong: (1) To look and feel sexy; (2) To eradicate a visible panty line.
However, when it comes to innocent little children who adore wearing the latest fashions on their sun-soaked holidays, like my own granddaughter, I’m all for the good serviceable armpit-hugging pair of Nana-knows-best-bikini bottoms and tankini-style tops being the order of the day.
Our tweenies should never, ever be encouraged to express themselves through their clothing, and while this is probably the most contentious issue that any parent will have to deal with, my advice to them is to stop allowing your kids to use the likes of Rhianna, Kylie Jenner or that shameless exhibitionist and cast-off from the Big Brother house Aaron Frew as a template. It’s up to you, their mammies and daddies, to stop being wimps and stop giving into their demands by just saying NO!