Do Inappropriate Fashion Trends Sexualize Children Too Young?

baby-bikini-150x150-3 Everyone who has a child, whether an adult child or a young one, has experienced “bad fashion” for their kid’s age group at one point or another. Some of it I, personally, don’t think is too bad, but some of it DEFINITELY needs to go!

I read an article on Yahoo! News that had fashion trends for kids that they thought should go this year. It ranged from Baby Bikinis, to “sexy” Halloween costumes, to Monster High’s clothesline, to a couple other things. Overall, 2011 had some really bad fashion trends for kids that just need to go away. There’s currently a heated debate going on, about the appropriateness of baby’s in bikinis. A lot of people find them cute and adorable and feel that people “need to lighten up”. There are just as many people arguing the opposite, that it IS inappropriate for a baby to wear a bikini because of perverted people and sex offenders.

If a child is in a backyard playing, then ok, but outside of that, I don’t think a BABY should be wearing a bikini. How long ago was it that a one-piece bathing suit was the cutest thing on a baby? It’s not easy to be the judge of what a child should wear, and what a child SHOULDN’T wear, but every parent has the right to determine for themselves what their kids and babies should be allowed to wear.

I came across the Monster High books when I was at a Border’s bookstore close to my home. I looked at the cover, flipped through a couple pages and put it back. Now, it’s this huge phenomenon that has become a television series, as well as having its own clothing line for kids, preteens and teenagers. The debate isn’t so much about the books themselves, just the message that they appear to be sending to young adults about self-esteem etc. While the show and clothes might be popular among kids, it’s definitely not as popular with adults. These dolls wear skimpy clothes, are super-loaded with tons of makeup, and are definitely something you should think twice about letting your kids wear.

Remember that t-shirt that said “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me”? There’s a whole line of clothes for both boys and girls which are just as appalling. One boy’s t-shirt says, “Buck Fuddy” while a girls t-shirt says, “I love the woody”. I haven’t seen any kids wearing those particular shirts, but just knowing that parents are actually buying them for their kids, is kind of scary. There are graphic t-shirts available that are cuter for both girls and boys, that aren’t so sexualized. I don’t see these kinds of t-shirts in the cheaper stores like Kohl’s or JCPenney, but they seem to appear more often in the more expensive stores like Hollister or Abercrombie.

Luckily I still have time before I have to start worrying about my daughter needing bras, but for those parents, who are worrying about it now, be careful of where you shop. Yes, both Abercrombie and Calvin Klein have bras for your 7 year old daughter that has lots of padding in them. Calvin Klein also has a kids “demi” bra with an underwire AND padding. Why would a child need that? Not even a preteen would need that much. Women don’t start worrying about getting a comfortably padded bra till they’re in high school sometime, and even later than that.

Low-rise jeans are back, and not just for wearing but also for huge discussion. Jeans are apparently getting lower and lower on the hips with each new generation. I remember being in middle school and needing new jeans. I found some cute jeans that I liked but my mom was reluctant to buy them for me because of how low she thought they were going to fall. What happened to that concern about clothes fitting properly on kids? I miss seeing parents waiting outside the dressing room to see how the clothes fit on their kids. Nowadays it seems like parents just give their kids money and let them choose their clothes for themselves.

Another fashion trend that I’ve seen in middle school kids, is tying the back of their t-shirts. If a t-shirt isn’t “tight” enough, or body fitted enough for a lot girls, they (for some reason) feel the need to tie the backs of their shirts to make it that much tighter. I don’t know why that is, as dumb as it looks, but all you have to do to make a shirt fit you better (if it’s been stretched from wearing) is run it through the dryer on high heat for a good 30 min; plus it makes it nice and toasty warm. The one fashion trend I’m glad that I haven’t seen is kids grabbing the bottom of their t-shirts and pulling them over the tops, to make a halter-like shirt/top.

As terrible as a lot of these fashion trends are, we all know there’s going to be some this year that are going to be even worse. I just hope it doesn’t get DRASTICALLY worse. Whatever the case may be, we have to make sure that our children are dressing appropriately for their age, whether they fight us over it or not. I’m not willing to sacrifice my child’s self-esteem and self-worth for a $10 t-shirt that their classmates might find will make them more popular.

Guest post written and submitted by Heather P. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow Heather P, and engage with her and fellow Hush Hush fans and Twilight book fans.

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