Undie achievers?


AN article under the headline, ‘Paedo Bikini’ appeared recently in The Sun, which described how the UK retailer, Primark, was selling a skimpy, padded bikini top for kids. And then a backlash against sexualised clothes for children started kicking into overdrive in a number of British newspapers.

At the risk of putting out a sweeping generalisation, it’s probably the same people involved who buy these clothes and then protest in the streets with poorly made signs and banners saying ‘Deth To The Peedos’, demanding to know whose house to trash when some Chinese whisper has gone around that someone who may have looked at a child at some point in his/her life has moved onto their estate. And, under Sarah’s Law, they feel entitled to torch, tar and brutalise the offender. Then go back to buying the ‘Future WAG’ emblazoned T-shirts aimed at three-year-olds.


But why is everyone blaming the shops? When the real issue is why are parents buying their children these clothes in the first place? Surely this says more about the appalling standards of parenting amongst Primark shoppers than the ethics of the business? I wonder if the same complaining parents stop their children watching Hannah Montana (or any other pop culture female artist for that matter) or buying ‘Bratz’ dolls or Barbies. Parents who blindly buy sexualized clothes for their kids are responsible for those items selling and showing up at stores. Parents need to resist ‘pester power’. If there is no demand there is no supply.

If we, as a society, had not created a market for such items by buying them, they simply would not be there. We need to stop blaming retailers for the moral flaws in our own society. People in the UK need to start taking responsibility for themselves again.

After all, who makes the decision what children wear, watch and games they play? There are, depending on your point of view, many offensive products on sale. TV programmes and ‘reality’ shows are far more influential. Parents should just stop blaming teachers, schools, retail outlets and everyone else and get on with being reasonable parents themselves.

Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, gave his backing to the Mumsnet campaign against over-sexualized clothing for children, adding: “All of us parents can recognise there’s something wrong when companies are pushing our kids into acting like little grown-ups when they should be enjoying being children.“

And, for once, I agree with him. Let children be children. Adulthood comes soon enough and lasts long enough.



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