Do Kids Need Sexy Bathing Suits? Elizabeth Hurley Thinks So
Most people will probably agree that seven-year-olds do not need to be sexualized. Elizabeth Hurley is apparently not "most people," because she has designed a line of itty bitty bikinis. For children.
Critics took to Twitter to express their disapproval of Hurley's children's swimwear line after she posted a tweet encouraging followers to check out the latest collection at Harrods, accompanied by a photo showing some revealing looks. Again, for children.
The swimsuit collection includes designs for children under eight years old, including several one-piece designs and bikinis with polka-dots, leopard print, and ruffles. Dr. Katharine Rake, chief executive of the Family and Parenting Institute charity expressed her disapproval of the designs at the Daily Mail:
"Parents have been telling us for a long time that they want their children to be able to enjoy childhood. We’d like young girls to be encouraged to emulate Olympic stars like Ellie Simmonds and Rebecca Adlington when in the swimming pool — not models in leopard print."
A spokesperson for Elizabeth Hurley has defended the designs in the past, citing their popularity with consumers.
The sexualization of young people is a dangerous game. While I believe that girls and women should be able to wear what they want without fear of attracting negative attention (and ultimately being blamed for it), putting children in revealing swimsuits is unnecessary and potentially harmful. When we start encouraging girls to idolize perfection and desire a 'bikini body' at a young age, we set them up to struggle with their body image for life.
Check out the original tweet and some of the reactions below.