Why This Mom Is Livid That Her 5-Year-Old Wants a Bikini

little girl playing on the beach
iStock.com/CasarsaGuru

Christmas will be here before we know it (it's less than 10 weeks away!), which means that soon our kids will be gifted with presents from friends and family who love them. Obviously we appreciate every gift our child gets, but what do you do if your kid gets an article of clothing as a present that you're just not comfortable with her wearing? One mom turned to a message board for some advice on how to handle her 5-year-old getting a bikini she wasn't ready for her to wear, and moms are definitely split on the issue. 

  • A mom posted on Mumsnet to seek advice after her 5-year-old daughter was promised a bikini for Christmas by her godmother.

    The little girl saw her godmother's 6-year-old wearing a bikini, and wanted one of her own. The mom doesn't want to be rude or seem ungrateful, but at the same time she has serious concerns with putting her young daughter in a two-piece. She asked other moms for their opinion. 

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  • Some people suggested letting gravity be the bad guy, instead of telling her she can't wear it.

    No matter how cute a swimsuit is, you won't wear it if it's not comfortable. Bikinis are notorious for their wedgie-giving ways. 

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  • Others pointed out that bikinis on little kids are actually way practical.

    Peeling a wet tank suit off a child so she can use the bathroom hardly counts as "summer fun." Two-piece swimsuits make restroom pit stops a little easier. Plus, if you pair those bottoms with a rash guard top, now your child has even more sun protection than with a one-piece swimsuit. 

  • There were those moms who said there was no way they'd let their 5-year-old wear a two-piece swimsuit.

    Citing comfort, sunburn fears, or just not wanting people looking at their little girl as a potential sex object, these moms said their daughters would have to be way older before they'd even consider it. Some even said they'd only allow it when their kids could buy it with their own allowance money.

  • Some parents said that for them, the decision depends entirely on the type of bikini.

    Not all bikinis are created equal, or with equal amounts of fabric. A string bikini with only triangles on top might not offer enough sun or skin protection for some parents, but a sports bra or halter-style bikini is a different story. 

  • A few suggested that Mom be more direct with the godmom about her feelings on kids in bikinis, as it never crossed their minds as a possible issue.

    She said she brought the issue up "gently," but subtlety flies right over some people's heads. And not everyone would think that a little girl wearing a bikini, especially one that's more sporty than string, would be a big deal.

  • Finally someone came right out and said it. It's not the actual clothing that's the issue -- it's the implication that comes with it.

    Clothing isn't sexual. It's the assumptions society makes about women who wear skimpy bathing suits that are the real problem here. This mom's fear isn't that putting on a bikini will change her little girl in any way, it's that by allowing her daughter to wear a two-piece swimsuit, people will sexualize her little girl. It's a crappy reality, but a valid fear, nevertheless.