Britney Spears & Jon-Benet Weren't Born In Inappropriate Outfits, You Know

Illustration for article titled Britney Spears  Jon-Benet Werent Born In Inappropriate Outfits, You Know

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]

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My mother wouldn't even let me wear the Underoos with the bralike top. I have a clear memory of that as the first major disappointment of my childhood. Even so, I'm against this crap, and I definitely think it's the parents. I mean, I'm not really all about the "it sells so it must be okay—we have no responsibility" marketing model, but this isn't so much about me being a socialist as it is about parents not being good citizens. They think it's cute and harmless, and what does it matter because it's just clothes, and also, OMG, so cute! And people who think things mean anything just wasted too much time in college thinking and not enough time collecting a paycheck, right? Because it doesn't! mean! anything!

Except it does, and I'm kind of tired of having to make the fine distinction between believing in putting kids in modest clothing and thinking we should all be wearing the future-style jumpsuits with the banded necklines and boots. Maybe I'm tired of the wrong things meaning everything or nothing. And the slippery-slope argument and the child-self-esteem movement. Or maybe I need to sit in the air conditioning for a while.