My Problem with Childrens Clothing


Anyone else find it slightly disturbing when seeing 13-14 year olds who could almost pass for 18? Alright, let’s rephrase this. So as an 18 year old, when I see people a lot younger than me, who also sort of look my age, it does make me feel a little uneasy. But deep down, we all know it is pretty sad that young teenagers are feeling this pressure to dress as if they are a lot older in the first place. And while of course there are going to be a good number of reasons for this, it doesn’t help that shops seem to be filled with clothing geared toward young children.

It All Starts From When you were Young

I imagine we have all seen it. Slightly short and very sparkly dresses, punchy pink ballet pumps, and tops which show half of someone’s mid section. All being sold in the under 12s area. Yeah, I know… However, after reading this post, this will sound like nothing… For instance, do you think that it is safe, not to mention practical for 8 year olds to be wearing 3 inch heels. It is certainly not appropriate when padded bras and padded bikini tops are sold for pre-puberty aged children, not to mention the “future hag” Te-shirt which was sold in Primark’s kids section. Just as one Mum states, “most daughters want to aspire a little more than to being a hag”. Especially when they are (hopefully) too young to know the meaning of such words…

What Actually Caused this

Obviously I don’t really have any idea as to what children’s clothing looked like 40 years ago, but I would imagine that it was; well, let’s use the term more practical compared to what it is now. But there has got to be a reason for this change. For a start, due to the “tech savvy” and “visual” world we are living in now, there is that bit more pressure on parents to be taking “nice pictures” of their children, to show them to friends. Which has never been easier than before, due to easily being able to post anything online where the pictures are likely to reach more than just the parent’s close friends. Along with “reality stars” and all sorts of adverts, be it online or on TV, this enhances the pressure on parents to go out and find the “right” clothing for their children. And with cheaper alternatives, which stores like Primark have to offer, it means that most parents don’t really have an excuse. Therefore in time, it only makes sense that children will be influenced by their parents buying habits, as well as images the children themselves are exposed to from a really young age. Meaning in time, they will naturally become more aware of, and choose to pay more attention to their appearance, leading to them to want to start picking out their own outfits …

But When does this Become a Problem?

The obvious argument for there being an increase in proportion of these rather “mature” clothes, would be because this is what the public want, therefore the market is going to have to respond. Nevertheless we know there have been, well “accidents”, where online brands have got it wrong, and have instead brought out something which is actually really inappropriate.

But if parents want their children to look pretty, then while these “accidents” are pretty gross, at the same time, a young girl wearing a short skirt really shouldn’t be seen as so problematic. Because they are of course far too young to be sexualised. Yet at least one Mum will disagree! She didn’t like the fact that these dresses were “slutty”, but she also stated that it wasn’t just about the dress in itself, but it was also about the way the model was “in a sexy pose, with tonnes of makeup.” Sadly this is just one of many times where in many cases very young girls have been sexualised. And while a model is a model, the poor girl shouldn’t have to be posing inn this manner considering her age, and it sends out a really negative message to other girls who may see this advert. Not helping how they view themselves, now or as they get older, and not helping with how young boys, then men may see them.

See the source image
Controversial young model who has been over sexualised in the media
Makes life harder in other ways

It makes my teeth grind, when I hear about so many schools prohibiting the younger years from wearing short shorts, vest tops and other items of clothing, on non uniform days. Including outings where the weather is hot, and there is a lot of exercise involved. Because these are literally practical items off clothing, therefore what kind off message does it send out for these young children? Because of this, it makes it increasingly difficult for young girls and then young women to be able to dress for themselves, due to the fear they will only be viewed sexually.

To Sum up

To sum up, I hope you can see why the market for kids clothing (especially for girls), is so problematic. Yet it really shouldn’t have to be. A large part of the inappropriateness seen and possibly unintentionally incorporated into the design of some of these items, is a wider reflection of the society we are in. With the hypersexualisation of many women, as well as the enhanced pressures to be keeping up with trends.

From saying this, it is also understandable as to why parents may want their children to dress up from time to time, yet the fact that a campaign, was even launched by “mumsnet” called “Let girls be girls”, calling on retailers not to sell inappropriate products, shows that parents really do not wish for their children to be sexualised. And after all, it shouldn’t be down to parents to have to complain when big brands seem to mess up. It should be down to the brands to ensure that no girls get shown in a provocative manner, and that “accidents” really should be spotted before the clothes get sold.

Sources:

Inappropriate children’s (particularly girls) clothing (netmums.com)

Too much, too young? Retailers still selling over-sexualised clothing to kids | Children | The Guardian

11 Inappropriate Pieces of Kids’ Clothing – Oddee

Are kids clothes getting out of control? – Today’s Parent

Children’s clothing increasingly oriented towards adult trends (lunajournal.biz)

Too many children dressing like adults (jamaicaobserver.com)

Published by victoriarose002

Hiya, I am an 18 year old blogger from the UK. I generally post about topics surrounding social, cultural and political commentary although I also aim to write some personal posts too... I am currently studying A levels, and as well as writing I like music, complaining and going to cool places. I encourage any comments, constructive criticism or any blog post suggestions. While don't hesitate to contact me at vickyyrose.02@gmail.com for anything blog related :)

15 thoughts on “My Problem with Childrens Clothing

  1. I think the buck stops with the parents, literally. Yes, society can try to sexualize young girls, but those kinds of clothes remain in stores because they sell. Kids that age don’t have independent purchasing power, so it’s on parents to step in.

    I agree with you about school dress codes. By prohibiting things like vest tops, they are implying that a basic item of clothing is sexual, which is absurd.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Good point πŸ‘. I was not aware about this scenario.

    Kids are our flowers 🌷 and it’s bad to sell them short clothes.

    Even adult should also avoids short clothes.

    If they do their kids are with them and subconsciously they think that this is something good and we should try.

    Kids eyes always look after thier parents.

    I don’t think that I can explain my thoughts as you did.

    Thanks, and come up with more details, and spread awareness.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well written πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
    The fact is that it’s in the market because people are buying it….. The young girls are too naive to try and fit in this so-called ‘fashionista ‘ industry πŸ’–πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  4. πŸ’œ Yup, very “disturbing” EveryOne; evoking concerns not only about a Childs Attitude to Sexuality when They Become a ‘Grown Up’ Adult but also Childhood Sexual Abuse, Paedophilia, Statutory Rape (Lolita Syndrome) and so on; yet while Companies Do Have a Duty of Collective Community Care I Agree with “the buck stops with the parents” who ARE Totally, Ultimately Accountable and Responsible for Their Childs Welfare, for example what sort of message does it send to a Child who is Forced to take part in Child Beauty Pageants like the Tragic Case of Child Beauty Queen Jonbenet Ramsay…on a lighter note “much younger” and ‘really old’ ARE a Matter of Age Perspective; a 5 year age gap is an eternity for Kids and Teens while a 25 year age gap is Definitely No Barrier to 50 year young Ladies CHOOSING!!! to marry 25 year old GentleMen πŸ™‚πŸ™ƒπŸ˜πŸ₯°β˜ΊπŸ˜‰

    …πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a seasoned lady I couldn’t agree more. 40 years ago we were very modest and reserved in our dress. Mini wasn’t so mini and that was the extent of dressing inappropriately. I think what we are seeing today is a set up for attention craving behaviors later on. However, I’m glad to know there are young ladies with values that are not afraid to speak up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou for the comment. I personally think dressing in a non modest way is only an issue when it concerns children (especially anyone under 16), however personally I don’t have a problem at all with anyone over 18 dressing in a revealing way.

      Like

  6. Brands, advertisements, television, even social media forcing the kid’s parents even to go with the particular model or fashion. What forcing kids or their parents to go in a particular way of dressing. Even most of the teens feel disturbed and getting down in confidence because of the parents on dressing issues. If their should be a solution than, it should be included in the education. At least the upcoming generation should be way better than us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Humanity is lesser in this faster growing society. We had to be overcautious sometimes to take care of the kids and teens. Market race making most of them vulnerable to make ads like this

    Liked by 1 person

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