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Every week Gwyneth Paltrow promotes her Goop exclusive, limited-edition clothing your fishmonger cannot afford, and there's always some complaining about $500 headbands or some such. But holy vegenaise, people were bitching about something totally unexpected last week: Melissa Odabash bikinis for girls ages 4 through 8. For some people, that's dangerous business.
A child abuse prevention group called Kidscape says Goop's kiddie bikinis sexualize children. "We remain very opposed to the sexualization of children and of childhood. The dangers have been discussed at length, so it is a great pity that such trends continue and that they carry celebrity endorsement," says a spokesman for the group. Seriously? Little girls have been wearing bikinis forever and it's perfectly innocent.
Do bikinis sexualize little girls -- or is it the pervy grown-up doing the sexualizing? Because almost every time a little girl is kidnapped, raped, or molested, it's when she's fully dressed. If you're going to draw a line between the way little girls dress and how sexual deviants behave, we're going to have to start dressing little girls in Kevlar vests and inflatable tubes.
I wore bikinis when I was a little girl. It wasn't because my parents wanted to sexualize me. Please, they're Mormons. That's the LAST thing they wanted. They just wanted something cute and comfortable for me to swim in.
I think the Goop bikinis are fine. They're simple, with a few ruffles and a respectable amount of coverage (and they're not even that expensive, for Goop clothing). The model wearing them is just hanging out doing kid things, not slurping a daiquiri in leopard-print mules with Bradley Cooper, for crying out loud.
If we really care about protecting our kids, let's go after the creeps who prey on them. Not the parents buying swimsuits for their kids. I know Kidscape means well. Lord knows the problem of child sexual abuse is intractable and complicated and just plain scary. But I think their concern is very much misplaced.
Do you think bikinis sexualize little girls?
Image via Goop