The Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Bikini Controversy
Why are people up in arms over a bodysuit?
Blame it on the heat. This summer’s latest outrage—we’ll call it bikini-gate—is over a baby bodysuit with a buxom bikini-clad torso printed across the front. Some shoppers who caught sight of one at a store in Mississippi say it’s inappropriate for children’s clothing; others say it’s no big deal—and even kind of cute.
What’s your take on bikini-gate? Is it just a case of questionable taste—or is there something else swimming beneath the surface?
Katrina Fleming, a mom from Baltimore, MD, can see the bikini bodysuit’s appeal.
“[It's] not my taste in baby clothes, but I could see some moms thinking it’s cute, especially if they’re at the beach and wearing a bikini themselves,” she says.
Amy Dillard-Macon, a mom from Nashua, NH, gets the concern. “I can understand why parents are hyper-sensitive,” she admits. “So it’s not the worst example out there, but it’s still part of the bigger problem of sexualizing children at younger and younger ages.”
And it seems like quite a few moms are siding with Dillard-Macon on this one. But why?
Is the issue that bikinis are somehow too sexy for the little ones? Tori Spelling recently posted photos of her super-cute baby in a bikini—and the response was way more “aw” than “OMG!!”
Is it that the image printed on the bodysuit—that of busty woman wearing a tiny bikini—is allegedly sexy?
And where does this stack up against those controversial Gymboree bodysuits that read “Pretty like mommy” or “Strong like daddy?” Are those messages more or less problematic? Even Dillard-Macon admits, “Whenever I see the one that says, ‘I drink until I pass out.’ it always brings a smile to my face. I know that’s probably a total double standard.”
Plus, when it comes to the issue of sending kids the wrong message about sexuality, aren’t there bigger fish to fry? In the world where we have bikini wax kits for girls under 15—is this bodysuit really the problem?
Or, is it something else entirely? Suzie Cooper, a mom-to-be from Colt’s Neck, NJ—not far from the crowded beaches (and wild fashions) of the Jersey Shore—thinks the bodysuit debate may be a case of manufactured outrage during the slow summer news cycle.
“Meh,” she sums up.
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