Young girls in particular seem to be embracing this noticeable trend to wear increasingly ‘barely-there’ shorts.
Chances are you’ve raised an eyebrow and felt a tad perplexed. After all we’re at the shopping mall and not the beach, correct? Maybe you put your confusion down to being old fashioned.
Turns out it wasn’t just you.
Retailer Target have been at the receiving end of much online criticism over their clothing targeted at young girls. It was reported in the news last week that a Port Macquarie resident, Ms Amini who is the mother of an eight year old, took to her keyboard and complained on Target’s facebook page with this comment. She was not prepared to shop at Target again because it was selling clothes that made young girls “look like tramps”.
A collective hallelujah was heard in the online world. The post quickly attracted 79,000 “likes” and 4,300 comments. Someone was finally saying publicly what many of us had been quietly thinking.
As Fairfax noted,
Patterson Lakes mother Gretta Hawkhead took to Facebook to support Mrs Amini’s call for clothing that did not sexualise young girls.
Mrs Hawkhead complained that much of Target’s 7-year-plus range was made up of short shorts and dresses, low-cut necklines, sheer lace, or ”grungy” clothing.
”It’s very provocative and not appropriate for young girls at all,” said the mother of six-year-old Mia.
As reported in news.com.au,
“looking for shorts for my 9-year-old daughter and could only find ones that looked like undies. So I had to go somewhere else, pls no tacky shorts this summer!” posted Michelle Kelsen.
As a mother myself I share their sentiments. I have to admit that back in the day I wore what would have been considered age-inappropriate clothing. Around the age of 15 I recall wearing hot pants that would give Kylie Minogue’s infamous gold hot pants a good run for their money (except mine were emerald green). However – my much coveted green shorts were pretty hard to get my hands on and I certainly couldn’t find anything like them at my local department store!
Nowadays though, as our culture has become sexualized, sexy clothing for young girls has become mainstream. We’ve all seen the underwear with sexual innuendo splashed across them, the butts hanging out and the jewellery branded with the global pornographic brand Playboy.
Higher visibility creates a sense of normalcy and I firmly believe that because family retail stores are selling age inappropriate clothing targeting young girls, they are part of the problem.
Marketing a leopard print skirt that looks like a belt to a seven year old? It’s simply not right.
Target’s response to the whole situation has been fairly predictable. The Age reports,
Target Australia’s general manager corporate affairs, Lynn Semjaniv, as saying: “we believe in taking great care to ensure that our range is both age-appropriate and something that our customers’ children will love … We are taking the feedback we have received from our customers on Facebook very seriously … for current and future product decisions.”
The thing is, retailers know what they are doing. It is sad that Target has to be encouraged to exercise corporate social responsibility.
Call me old fashioned but I’m a little over considering it fashionable to wear what looks like just a t-shirt -shorts nowhere to be seen. If we continue to see sexualised clothing targeted at children under the age of 10, I dread to think what we may find ourselves raising an eyebrow at in the future.
Let’s put a stop to the increasing sexualisation of our culture. Retailers need to be held accountable and exercise a duty of care in keeping our children safe. It is not appropriate for retailer to be encouraging children to look sexy and they should be ashamed of themselves. One way of doing this is to vote with your dollar. Another way is to join Collective Shout, a group that campaigns against the sexual exploitation of women.
What’s your opinion? Do you think retailers should be held accountable for the style of clothing they sell?