Last week I took my girls bathing suit shopping because they had an indoor pool party coming up.
Perfect! They’ll be plenty of bathing suits to choose from because it’s so early in the season. We shouldn’t have a problem.
Boy was I wrong. Who knew shopping for a bathing suit for a seven-year-old girl (not so much my 5-year-old) could be so tedious and disturbing at the same time?
As we looked through the racks, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of one-piece bathing suits available for my daughters.
Hmmm. Okay, perhaps a tankini? I’m a fan of those myself.
Hmmm. A few of those out there.
As I continued to survey our options, one disturbing animal print bikini after another, my daughter chimed in that she found one.
Great! I thought. Boy was I wrong.
She proceeded to show me a teeny weeny bikini, made just for her size. When I immediately said no and was questioned why I wouldn’t be buying that so-called bathing suit. I told my daughter, “There’s no reason for a 7-year-old girl to wear something like that.”
Meanwhile, my 5-year-old went straight for the Shopkins one-piece bathing suit and said she wanted that one.
Sold! That one was easy.
Back to the 7-year-old who has now picked up a crocheted number, bikini-style of course. I just looked at her and shook my head. This cycle went on for a few more suits through some ruffles and leopard prints until we found and agreed on an appropriate tankini set that even came with a matching skirt. It covered everything and was cute at the same time.
By this time I was mentally exhausted. I thought the days of difficult bathing suit shopping were still at least another six years ahead of us. Boy was I wrong.
Here’s the thing I have an issue with…when it comes to bathing suits for little girls, why are manufacturers producing such sexy numbers? Is there anyone on the decision-making team who has children and who may think that it’s inappropriate? Or is it a case of “anything goes” much like a lot of things these days?
When little girls see these bathing suits out there made in their size, of course they’re going to want them. Of course they’re going to think it’s okay to wear them. Call me a prude, but I have a problem with that. I think we’re just feeding into a culture that is making it too easy for our kids to grow up too fast. All the innocence that existed when I was a kid is long gone. As a parent that’s downright scary.
Some may say to lighten up, it’s just a bathing suit. But, it’s really not. It’s troublesome that these teeny bikinis are more the norm rather than the exception. If you thought they didn’t exist for my five-year-old too, think again. There were plenty of bikinis for her, but she was blinded by Shopkins as usual. If parents weren’t buying those suits, clothing makers wouldn’t still be putting them out there. That tells me that many parents don’t find issue with this.
As a mother, it’s not easy to explain to your daughter why she can’t wear something that everyone else seems to be wearing. I constantly tell her I don’t care what others kids do and to be her own person when it comes to bathing suits and everything else in life. That’s the best I can do as a parent…that and write blogs like this to express my frustration!
Would it be so bad to provide clothes and bathing suits that show less of our young daughters’ skin? You don’t need a bikini to swim or make sand castles at age seven or any other age for that matter. Clothing makers, can you hear me? Can you help a momma out?