Back in the day when we were kids, we wore stirrup stretch pants and Keds. Also? The word "tween" did not exist. Kids nowadays? Well, apparently there is no such thing as a "kid" nowadays, insists the Arizona Republic. As if shopping for a teen or tween wasn't difficult enough, now there's a new category: the pre-tween.

Yes, a child goes directly from toddler to pre-tween, skipping the 'plain old kid' level altogether.

In addition, the newspaper complains, the options in stores for this age-group are borderline-inappropriate, like the "white, crocheted string bikini you'd likely see Anna Kournikova wearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue" from GapKids. (Marketed, naturally, for a 12-month-old.)

The usual suspects are blamed: Britney Spears, Bratz Dolls. But there's one big omission: Parents. Sure, as the Republic notes, the 12-to-19 year old demographic has more "spending power" than it did back in our day, but unless we're talking about Elle Fanning (Dakota's younger sister), younger kids don't bring home paychecks (or hoochie shorts) on their own. Memo to the Republic): Your readers are the ones partly responsible here. And if they don't like what's on the shelves for their little girls, they should take their cash elsewhere!

Exasperation Rises As Suggestive Clothes For Girls Spread From Teens To Toddlers [Arizona Republic]