There are so many things wrong with Skechers new Shape-ups shoes for little girls, I don't even know where to begin. I'm still kind of stuck on the fact that anyone could even conceive of making butt-toning shoes for kids. Yes, they're the same ones Kim Kardashian pimps, but pint-sized.
First, there's the fact that shape-up shoes for anyone don't work. Countless medical professionals have told us the benefits are pretty much nil and that they may even be harmful to us. So now we're offering up this mythical magical pill for fitness and happiness to little girls who can get started early on their potentially dangerous quest for something that doesn't exist.
And yes, they're just for girls. There's no version for little boys, which is another enormous flaw with the product -- the message they send to our little babies that looking good is what matters when you're a GIRL. The boys will chase you if you do (in this case, the boys are food, which is even stranger).
Even though the smallest size starts at a 2, which typically fits a 7-year-old, the commercial for the shoes is played on Nickelodeon and other channels watched by toddlers who are soaking up all these great messages too. If the girls' shoes sell, I doubt Skechers would have any scruples making a toddler model. Here's the commercial:
The price is ridiculous -- Amazon lists them between $52-90 -- for shoes that bring false promises and potential foot problems. Nice. And the message is just so wrong.
The fight against childhood obesity is a dire one, and I believe we need to utilize all the tools we can to help our kids remain healthy. I don't think talking to children about the need to eat right and exercise is going to doom them to a lifetime of eating disorders and self hatred, but I do think the WRONG (oh so very wrong in this case) approach to those issues can. As the Parents Television Council told Fox:
We’re all aware by now of the growing problem of childhood obesity, and the importance of encouraging children to exercise ... but it’s going too far when little girls as young as eight are made to worry about having toned legs and buttocks. Encouraging health and fitness doesn’t require sexualizing children, or making little girls more body-conscious than they already are.
What do you think of Skechers Shape-ups for girls?
Image via Amazon.com