WHY!?

I thought it was bad enough that I was seeing 7 and 8 year olds wearing string bikinis this summer.  But now, I’m seeing them on infants.  I found a site this week and couldn’t believe there were actually pictures of babies (newborns to toddlers) modeling string bikinis in various poses.  (I am not listing it here or linking to it for fear of linking the wrong kind of people to the site).

As a society at large, we are grossly in denial of the direction we are headed.  Kids (mostly girls) are being sexualized at younger and younger ages.  Heck, there are even pole dancing kits for primary age girls!  And in response to my concerns about these topics, I’ve heard comments like, “clothes don’t sexualize kids – people do,” and “only a sicko would look at a little girl that way”.  Well, those statements are both true and false.  Actually, both people AND clothes sexualize kids – and in this case, babies.  And, sure, mostly only sickos look at kids in a sexual way, but, when we dress our kids up like little under-dressed women, even the everyday man (or woman?) could see them in a sexual light.

To “sexualize” is to give sexual association to something.  When you are putting something “sexy” on your child, you are associating the idea of ‘being sexy’ with their tiny body.  Period.  Don’t try to sugar-coat it.  Whether you think it’s sexy or not doesn’t matter, society has made it so, and therefor, it is.

So many parents (and obviously the manufacturers and marketers of such products) are incredibly misinformed if they don’t think there are a lot of creeps out there, right in your neighborhood.  Child porn is the largest and fastest growing industry online and worldwide.  And, yes, sick adults do lust after very young children – it’s reality.  It’s up to us as parents and consumers of children’s products to boycott companies who make inappropriate attire for kids.

Although I’m pretty convinced their creators do not have harmful intentions for our daughters, their naivety to the seriousness of sexualizing babies and photographing and posting them online is unfortunate and extremely angering.  These precious little ones have no say in who looks at and lusts after their bodies.

Many people I talk to think I’m too ‘out there’ and that I worry too much about ‘the small stuff’.  I would challenge that when we have a society where CHILD porn is the fastest growing online industry, millions of little girls as young as 4 are trafficked in the sex-trade business every year, and children are being raped and molested every day – issues of sexualizing babies is a VERY big deal.  And it is just that.  Whether we like it or not or intend to do it or not – it is what it is.

Ways to take a stand –

1. Dress your baby and children in appropriate swimwear.

2. Do not buy from companies that make or distribute products that sexualize young children.

3. Write a letter.  If you truly want to voice your concerns, write to the manufacturers of such products and voice your concern.  If enough Moms stop buying and enough Moms speak up – maybe these products will fade and be replaced by more age-appropriate clothing.

Everything starts with the “small stuff” – and to some, babies in bikinis is “small stuff”.  But, I’d challenge: If as Moms we’re ok with our infants looking “hot” – where on earth do we go from there?

*Frustrated.*

In case you’re wondering, to me – appropriate baby girl swimwear looks like this:

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