The fight over babies in bikinis has always struck me as more of an adult problem. I bypass the two-piece bathing suits in the kids' clothing store in favor of a one-piece for my daughter because I don't want an adult thinking "that" about my kid ... not because I think they'll turn a 6-year-old into a sexpot. But one look at the pictures of tarted up tots on kids' clothing company Submarine's website, and it's hard not to think "this is selling sex."
Dressed up in two pieces, it isn't the bikinis that are the problem. It's the provocative poses held by pre-pubescent girls. Girls with more makeup than a Kardashian holding a starfish on a bare tummy so it points down to her privates, girls with a pink wig and an expanse of skin cropped so the question of whether she's got a bottom suit piece on is left to the imagination.
Just take a look at some of these pictures, and tell me they're kid-appropriate:
So, how many little girls do you know who wear wigs and makeup to the beach? And how many moms do you know who ask their kids to pose with puckered lips and sultry stares? The girls may not know what they're doing, but the person who set up these shots sure did. And going by Submarine's description of its clothing as something they make to satisfy the demand of "trendy parents and their daughters" from around the world, they think this is what Moms (and Dads) want.
Sexy kids. The very thought makes my skin crawl. I don't know about you, but I want to put that phase off for as LONG as possible.
What Submarine has created is not technically child porn -- at least not according to the legal definition, which only covers images of minors that involve “sexually explicit conduct” or "graphic or simulated lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area." But it's certainly sexy. If Submarine is trying to convince moms that two-pieces are OK because little girls aren't thinking about sex, it's just an adult construct, they're failing miserably.
Do you think these photos are kid-friendly? Do they make you want to buy a bathing suit for your kid?