AS THE WORLD TURNS: by Lesley ThomasNews Weekly
Why do we dress children like miniature adults?
, July 21, 2007
There are some dress rules to which we should all try to adhere, argues Lesley Thomas.Platform shoes and skinny jeans are fairly standard attire for little girls in our parks and playgrounds these days - hardly the most practical of play clothes.
I'm not a fan of fashion diktats, but there are some dress rules to which we should all try to adhere.
Since the advent of the so-called tweenager, it has become acceptable to dress children as miniature adults.
Little boys wear camouflage cargo pants; girls wear sparkly lip-gloss and show lots of flesh.
Even at Clarks, the trusted sensible shoe shop of my own childhood, it is depressing to survey the racks of high-heeled shoes aimed at my two small daughters.
And to play with, we give them Bratz dolls.
They're the ones that look like Barbie's slutty big sister - all lipstick and pelmet skirts - and are a favourite with five-year-olds.
I feel like the most po-faced parent in the playground when I say how much I hate them. ...
We are told, pretty much weekly, by surveys and think tanks, that our children are unhappy with their bodies and that it leads to low self-esteem and depression.
They turn into fat teenagers or anorexic teenagers: either way, something must be done.
Why, then, are we steering our children towards body consciousness at such a young age?
Why do we put three-year-olds in mini skirts and babies in bikinis, and tell them they look adorable?- extract from Lesley Thomas in The Telegraph (UK), June 26, 2007.