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Little Girls Gone Wild

| June 12, 2009

Just because it’s a thong doesn’t make it sexy!”

I had just posted on my blog at secretkeepergirl.com about my concern that parents are buying thong underwear for little girls. TIME magazine reported sales of thong underwear to 7-12 year old girls in excess of $1.6 million in the year 2003, and the trend continues along with other alarming fashion trends for little girls. The comment, posted on June 1, 2009, was from a self-proclaimed Christian mom who purchases thong underwear for her daughter and continued: “I have a child who is 8 years old and currently owns copious amounts of these undergarments. I am proud as a parent because my daughter is not naive and is experiencing one way of becoming a woman. …I am a great lover of thongs as a comfortable alternative for other uncomfortable and UNSIGHTLY underwear.”

Should a little girls underwear been seen at all? I don’t think so. Of course, my concern isn’t thongs specifically, but the fact that Christian parents don’t understand the risk of letting little girls grow up too fast. Consider the findings of two years of study by an American Psychological Association  (APA) task force on the sexualization of little girls. The APA task force’s report states that music lyrics, Internet content, video games and clothing are now being marketed to younger and younger girls. The smutty content of the marketing is linked to eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. Ironically, this early sexualization presented to young girls has “negative consequences on girls’ ability to develop healthy sexuality.” In experiencing sexuality too soon, they actually lose their ability to experience it in a healthy way as adult women.

In an effort to inform parents of the harmful effects of seemingly innocuous fashion and tween buying trends, I’ve launched The Bod Squad. I’m hoping for 50,000 mothers across the nation to join me. What is the Bod Squad? It’s a group of moms who are incensed with the fashion industries attempt to take our little girl’s childhood away! The messages our girls get from the fashion industry are destructive. Let’s push back at that!

I think we can make a change.  Case in point: Abercrombie. The children’s brand under Abercrombie and Fitch, pulled thong underwear from its line-up after consumers complained that selling it to 7-12 year olds was unreasonable. If you walk into an Abercrombie today, you’ll see boys boxers on the guys side of the store. Noticeably absence is any underwear for girls. That’s because moms said something!

I think I can grab the ear of Women’s Wear Daily, the global “bible” of the fashion industry. Magazine writers have interviewed me twice about fashion and tweens, citing their own concerns that maybe the fashion industry has gone to far, but I need your voice to add to mine.

I was the first to sign the 50,000-Mom Bod Squad Petition on October 1, 2008. Since then, a total of 8,593 have joined me at the grassroots level. Now, we need your name!

Our request will be for the Council of Fashion Designers of America to read the findings of the APA report, and to tell the fashion industry that mothers want to purchase age-appropriate clothing for their girls and would like the fashion industry to evaluate the clothing they design and the messages they send to our daughters through advertising.

My promise to you is that we will stay positive. I think that Christians need to be positive when they confront the world. We will present ourselves as consumers who just want to express our concerns in a positive manner. In fact, this fall we’ll be sending a positive message by initiating a national Shop ‘Til You Drop Event to thank retailers who consistently provide age-appropriate and modest clothing for little girls up to age twelve.

You, as a signer of the petition, will actually vote on which retailers they want to “thank.” After the vote, the Shop ‘Til You Drop Event will be publicized for others to join in on the fun.

Can you think of a way to have more fun while effecting change for our little girls than shopping?

To sign the Bod Squad petition go to: www.secretkeepergirl.com where you can also download a copy of the APA Task Forces study on the sexualization of girls.

© Dannah Gresh

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Comments (5)

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  1. Andrea says:

    This shocked me. I’m glad that mothers stood up to this outrageous world. The last thing young girls should be worried about is underwear.

  2. Will says:

    “I have a child who is 8 years old and currently owns copious amounts of these undergarments. I am proud as a parent because that my daughter is not naive and is experiencing one way of becoming a woman. I look down on parents who think that thongs and other underwear may be inappropriate. Remember that underwear is for making a girl FEEL good and what if the girls just find that thongs are more comfortable. I infact was born with a mis-shapened rear end and therefore wearing breifs became painful and at times impossible, I am a great lover of thongs as a comfortable alternative for other uncomfortable and UNSIGHTLY underwear.”

    how about posting the entire comment.

  3. Julie says:

    I hate thones.Why any girl would choose to wear these I don’t know. It’s like wearing dental floss.

  4. Nicole says:

    I was wearing thongs at 8 myself for for dance or we had to wear no underwear. I must admit I did start wearing them regular after that until I was about 12 then they disappeared into the oblivion.

    I asked my mom about it and she said she’d spoken to her friend about thongs for young girls and wasn’t sure if she’ll allow me to continue to wear them now. She did in the end but for me they were just my underwear no one ever sore them heck my friends didn’t even know until the conversation came up.

    What I am trying to say is thongs for little girls is just underwear to them and nothing else. The reasons from mothers and people that disapprove of them will make the girl look at thongs in a whole different light when at one time they were just her underwear.