Thursday, 21 February 2008

Does my bum look big in this?

Yesterday, I called in at the supermarket. In addition to a vast array of highly processed food stuffs, it also sells a range of clothing for both children and adults. It currently has in stock some long sleeved tops designed for little girls of age 5 and under. Emblazoned across the front of these tops, in pink glittery writing, is the question 'does my bum look big in this?'

Do we really need to instil body consciousness in children so young? Or is that in fact the way the beauty/diet industry works - by catching them at such a tender age? By the time our girl children start school, have they already learnt to measure their own bodies against the airbrushed images offered up to them by an ever-more celebrity obsessed culture? Do they even then feel inadequate in comparison?


Kim said...

How awful. Left to their own devices, think girls up to about 5th grade are the most self-actualizing women in society. What a shame to stuff that down by planting the idea that their bum might be the wrong size.

I work with elementary school girls though, and most of them seem to have pretty good body images, thankfully. I love that if they have a crush on a boy and he, for instance, steals a favorite pencil from them, they kick him to the curb. If only I'd had such good sense - at age 20!

Malloryn said...

Wow, I think that is one of the more frightening things I've read in a while. I can't believe someone would buy that for a child. Girls don't need to be second guessing their bodies at such a young age. It reminds me of Greg Kinnear's character in "Little Miss Sunshine", when he gives his daughter (who is 8 or so?) a hard time when she orders ice cream.

luna said...

that's horrible, shameful! girls have plenty of time for inappropriate self-conscious hypercritical body imagery when they hit their 'tween and teen years. hope you gave them an earful. ~luna

J.J said...

I also wonder about the message such a tee shirt gives out to paedophiles. Think you should name and shame the supermarket who is stocking this item so we can all make a fuss about it.

(Found you via Lisa btw - like your writing.)