Can We Talk?, Parenting

Are People Being Too Sensitive About This Ad?

So this ad from Land’s End apparently has some mothers up-in-arms:

They say it’s too suggestive and provocative – the way the girls are standing, the way the boys are looking at each other as if to say, “hubba hubba.”

And I’m having a hard time … seeing it. Maybe I’m missing something, but other than the lollipop (which could be construed as suggestive given how the girl has it in her mouth, which, okay, I can buy that, I guess), what’s the big deal?

I have a bigger problem with the girls’ clothing more than the way they are standing. Do girls that age really need to wear clothing that short? (Don’t even get me started on shortie-shorts and mini-skirts that hardly cover the pubic bone). And given the way the girls are standing, doesn’t that length just make it look even more inappropriate?

But as far as the poses, I really don’t have a problem with it. It just looks to me like the girls are being sassy (actually, the girls look like they are giving each other fake “I’m being nice, only I’m not” smiles) and the boys look mischievous – like they’re plotting, telepathically, to take away their backpacks or something.

In other words, the boys are getting ready to torment the girls because they think they’re cute and that’s how boys show girls they like them at that age and the girls are trying to pretend they don’t notice the boys but are very aware of their presence, hence the flirty, cutesy poses.

Normal girl-boy interaction, in my opinion.

I just don’t see anything that outrageous about this picture that warrants contacting Land’s End and making a huge fuss about it.

Though after this mother (and perhaps others, I don’t know), complained, Land’s End did take the lollipop away and post this picture instead:

(That wasn’t good enough, I guess, because they’re still complaining).

Maybe I would think differently if I hadn’t just read about the sexualization of THIS 10-year old girl.

Now THAT, my friends, is clearly wrong. Making our children look like grown-ups and posing in revealing clothing and in provocative poses all to sell a magazine is CLEARLY wrong. When you compare the pictures from this article with the picture above, well, there’s really no comparison.

(Or maybe I’ve gotten so desensitized that I don’t even see it anymore. Lord, I hope not).

But I understand being sensitive to this issue because I completely agree, that as a whole, the fashion industry has been steadily working toward making it seem like it’s normal for kids to act more like adults, and to wear more revealing clothes at a younger age which is CLEARLY NOT ACCEPTABLE, on any level. And I agree, we need to stamp out this “trend” immediately. Our kids grow up way too fast today as it is, we certainly don’t need companies helping to speed up the process. (And that’s not even touching on how that affects our children when it comes to body issues, etc).

Then again, parents need to stop buying too-short-revealing-inappropriate clothing for their tweens, too. If no one buys the product, then they naturally go away. That’s how it works in business – no profits, no products.

Of course, it’s easy for me to say that because I don’t have girls and I have never had to deal with the whole trying to buy appropriate clothing for girls issue – maybe finding appropriate clothing for girls is harder than I think it is?

But that’s just my two cents, for what it’s worth.

What do you think?

Are people being too sensitive about this ad? Am I missing something?

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