The time has come that my eight-year-old daughter is no longer cute in head to toe floral outfits and large bows in her hair. Instead of looking like an overly made up four-year-old, she is interested in looking like a teen. I’m sure many of you can relate that making this transition from cute kid clothes to trendy tween clothes that please both you and your child can be difficult. For boys, it might be a bit easier. My son is only five so I will let you know when he gets a bit older.
But for girls, I feel it’s important to watch how tight the clothes are, how short the skirts are and how much skin is showing. With my daughter being only eight, we still aren’t into those clothing issues 100% just yet but I see them coming very soon.
During my holiday shopping recently, I realized instead of shopping at stores like Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister for family members and friends, it’s time to shop at those stores for my own growing daughter. The clothes are cute and seem to be more in her size range. While shopping through Hollister, I enjoyed picking out cute jeans, hoodies and ruffled sweaters for her. She’s in a t-shirt phase right now and they had plenty of those too! I know she is going to love the great clothes I picked out for her, especially when she keeps telling me, “I want big kid clothes, no baby clothes!” It seems even Justice isn’t her speed anymore.
So my shopping experience was good overall and I found some great “big kid clothes” for her that I know she will love but, I’m really glad I didn’t take her shopping with me. The store had a young male model at the front door only wearing his swim shorts (as they celebrate surfers in their marketing campaign). The model had no shirt, no shoes, tan muscles and just swim shorts. He didn’t seem very confident being there and the girls were acting quite awkward around him. I felt his presence had nothing to do with surfing. “The whole time I thought to myself, ‘I wonder what Livia would think?’” If she were shopping with me, I would probably just glaze over the scene like I usually do. But if you have an eight year old, then you know how many questions are flying around these days. There are often so many my head is spinning.
When I got home I realized the images on the shopping bags didn’t quite fit into our home environment. These were definitely not images I want my daughter to carry around while shopping or even have in her room after a shopping trip. The scene on the shopping bag is a young, and I mean young, male teen with no shirt on passionately kissing a scantily clad female teen. As an adult, I understand what the photo is implying. One could say our kids don’t know what we know but unfortunately at age eight they are starting to put together the pieces and soon enough they will know what we know. As a mom and an adult, I feel the image on the shopping bag is too sexy and too provocative for kids at this age.
I feel the need to complain about this brand’s marketing efforts. What does a store that sells jeans, hoodies, t-shirts and swim clothes have to do with teenage sex? Nothing? Then why do their marketing images convey such a sexy message? Why do our kids have to see these images while shopping for clothes? I understand sex sells, but I do not agree that sex should be used to sell clothes to the young generations. Sex should not sell at this young of an age. When is enough, enough?
I’m sure many of you are already aware of the campaign and it’s not news to you. Please, write in and let me know your thoughts. I would like to hear if there are other parents out there who agree that this image is inappropriate for its targeted audience.