Just What the World Needs: Kiddie Lingerie

And yet, that’s what the world it is getting: A new line of lingerie for girls 9-14 aunched by Miley Cyrus’ little sister, Noah, and Miley’s Hannah Montana co-star, Emily Grace Reaves. Or so sez BoingBoing. Read all about it here reaakdiyfi
(and here and here).

Does anyone else remember the furor when Miley took those sexy, shirt-free photos with Annie Leibovitz? Basically claimed she had no idea she had no shirt on, and daddy had walked off  to make a malted or something? Back then, I blamed Annie. Now I blame Disney. Sexy young girls sell and don’t they know it. Apparently it’s a hop, skip and a jump from princess to pole dancer.

The salient Free-Range Kids issue here? It’s the KIDS part. Kids love to play dress up — they even love to look grown up and alluring. I sure loved wearing my mom’s old evening gowns! But why foist upon girls this tawdry ideal of sexiness, dredged from the strip club?

Sometimes going Free-Range simply involves rejecting all the junk that companies want us to buy for our kids and using that old standby instead: Imagination.

You have kids who like to play dress up? Wonderful! Put some of your old clothes in a big box. Or go to Good Will and buy some doozies. Let them have a ton of fun…with the TV off and your wallet closed.   — Lenore

One day you're wearing a tiara, next day it's a thong... PHOTO CREDIT: New York Public Library

114 Responses to Just What the World Needs: Kiddie Lingerie

  1. HSmom February 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    I’m stunned… but I shouldn’t be. I just have no words to express my disgust.

    Thank you, Lenore, for continuing to distinguish between “Free Range parenting” and pushing children into adulthood– they are not the same message. The opposite of “helicopter parenting” is NOT exploiting children.

  2. Silver Fang February 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Sick, weird and wrong.

  3. Jen Singer February 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    Every once in a while, I am reminded why I’m relieved to have just boys. This is one of those moments. I can’t decide which is worse: the lingerie for pre-pubescent girls or the photo of them around a stripper pole. Or Miley Cyrus. Or all of it. But as long as no one produces American Idol “Bikini Boy” undergarments, I at least don’t have to worry about it in my house. Thanks, Lenore, for being the voice of reason.

  4. Dragonwolf February 4, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Makes me glad I’m having a boy right now…

  5. kgirl February 4, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    I have many, many issues with this, but one of the biggest is that Billy Ray felt it was necessary that his nine-year-old have a career. Miley is way past the point of no return, but couldn’t the little one just be a kid? Is Miley’s revenue not enough for such narcissistic, opportunistic parents?

  6. Jean February 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    That is totally revolting. What parent would buy that for their kid? Blech.

  7. newbuffalomom February 4, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Thank god my daughter is nearly 17, and still wouldn’t wear that! Unfortunately I do know parents that would buy that crap, because lil darlin’ wants it. Unbelievable.

  8. morninglightmama February 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    This is simply atrocious. I agree with your first commenter here– this is exploitation, not at all letting “kids be kids.” This is also why I appreciate your message being linked with others’ like Diane Levin’s, author of “So Sexy, So Soon”- a book that certainly complements yours.

  9. Denise Schipani February 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    I’m with Singer on the “glad I have boys sometimes” front. We were at a Harlem Magic versus elementary school teacher basketball game the other night, a booster club fundraiser, and all the kids were kindergarten through fifth grade. The fourth and fifth grade girls (and some of the K-3 girls!) were all dressed like mini-teens. I was expecting it, but my husband was shocked. There’s something, surely, between letting them have fun acting like big girls, and blowing the clothes budget at Frederick’s of Hollywood for Kids (which I hope is something i just made up…)

  10. the Rebbetzin February 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    As the mother of 2 boys and a girl, I can say that I am sickened. Not just for my daughter, but what message does it send to my BOYS?? That girls are supposed to dress like hookers to be attractive???? Not to mention THEY ARE FREAKING NINE YEARS OLD. As my father would say, “OY GEVALT”.

  11. JeninCanada February 4, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    This really does make me sick. 🙁

  12. Blake February 4, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

    I see another problem altogether here. We’re so scared of men being pedophiles just lurking for girls. Running on the assumption that this is true (it isn’t, but I’m making an example here), doesn’t it just make the problem worse if we dress little girls up like sluts?

  13. Joette February 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    While we were shopping for my now 8 year old son’s first Christmas, we happened to wander past the Bratz dolls. My husband opined that they looked like BJQs, patted my son on the head, and told him that he was going to have a great time in middle school. This is just the logical continuation of a trend that began years ago. It’s still sick, and I’m thankful I have a boy, I just have to make sure that I suggest abstinence for as long as he can humanly stand it and make sure he knows how to use a condom when he can’t stand it any more.

  14. HappyNat February 4, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    I’d say Disney should be ashamed of itself for being anywhere near this, but by now it is pretty obvious that Disney is incapable of feeling shame.

  15. Robyn February 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    In terms of kids’ safety from sexual predators, I’m a lot more afraid of this soft-core child porn than of letting kids play in the front yard!

  16. Craze February 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Funnily enough, I didn’t blame Anny Lebowitz for the “Photo scandal”. She’s a photographer, its her job to get photographs that are going to get her work noticed, and she certainly achieved that. Her goal was to increase her bottom line and make a bigger name for herself.

    My 10year old HATES Hannah Montana, but knows about those pictures, so Mission accomplished, I guess.

    I blamed Billy Ray. I didn’t even blame Miley, because as a teenager, she’s going to want to rebel against social norms. Nope, I solely blame Billy Ray for this one. He should have stuck around and drew the line, instead of wandering off to do whatever.

    but this…this is just wrong. Some things should only be reserved for adults, and lingerie is one of them.

  17. catgirl February 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    There are so many things wrong with Disney, and unfortunately this doesn’t even surprise me. I think Disney does more damage to girls than all the fashion magazines and air-brushed models combined.

  18. gramomster February 4, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    @ the Rebbetzin

    Thanks for pointing out that this DOES affect boys! The way girls are defined and presented is a huge component of how boys learn to see girls not as people but as hook-up potential, how they treat girls, what they learn to expect from girls. We have to pay as much attention to countering this societal view of girls with our boys as we do to guiding our girls toward more positive activities than lingerie shopping for 5th grade graduation. Ack.

  19. Lola February 4, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Does it really come as a surprise? I don’t know about the US, but here in Spain we’ve been having quite a few “pre-adolescent” magazines that are just pink-powdered mini versions of Cosmo (sex tips included!!!). I even saw one with the cover advertising the poll “Where would you rather lose your virginity?”
    It’s really all about the adult models our kids are presented with. If they are not allowed to interact with real people, their idea of the world will inevitably be what they see within the walls in their homes (which, of course, most of the time will be TV). Plus, the modern tendency to tell kids that there is no good or bad behaviour, but “alternative lifestyles” all worth the same, leaves them with absolutely no certainty as to how they are supposed to behave…
    I could rant endlessly about this, but I don’t think anyone could stand me much longer…

  20. helenquine February 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    That’s horrendous. The stripper pole photo is particularly grotesque. The photos I saw of the clothing was odd though – more reworked ballerina tutu than lingerie.

  21. BMS February 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    I will never understand this sort of thing. Now granted, I am a female engineer – as such I have next to no fashion sense, and I go for comfortable and warm. If it matches – bonus!

    But I know a mom who recently was horrified to find out that her 17 year old, CCD attending, recently Confirmed daughter was sexually active. She went on about how disappointed she was – they taught her better than that! And yet, I have known this family for years. The girls dress in skimpy, provacative clothing – because it is fashionable, and being fashionable is important in their family. The girl not allowed to walk 5 minutes away to get to her job, but is allowed (or was allowed) unlimited access to Facebook and her cell phone. So you are sending the message that religion and values are important, but fashion and keeping up with the crowd is the be all and end all. If you send mixed messages, your kids might pick the wrong one to hear.

  22. gramomster February 4, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    @ Lola,

    Yes, we have that here too. We have CosmoGirl for teens, but of course tweens read it religiously (I myself was over 17 magazine by the time I was 15, and that was 30 years almost ago). A cover headline about 5 years ago was ‘How Sex Makes You Prettier’.

  23. Melissa February 4, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    I know I shouldn’t want to run and hide with my kids because of the garbage in the world. There’s plenty of greatness in the world too. But honestly, this little girl lingere really does make me want to run far, far away. Live on a commune. A bunker. Anywhere but here.

    I’m so disgusted by this crap I don’t even know where to begin…..

  24. catgirl February 4, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    But I know a mom who recently was horrified to find out that her 17 year old, CCD attending, recently Confirmed daughter was sexually active.

    Isn’t that about the average age that teens start becoming sexually active? The more important concern is whether she has the education to protect herself and her partner. And FWIW, teens who dress in non-skimpy clothes also have sex sometimes. There’s a huge difference between 17 an 11, and are we really supposed to be shocked that 17 year-olds have sex?

  25. Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com February 4, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    I think Catgirl has a point – isn’t the average age for becoming sexually active sometime around 16 or 17? At that point, isn’t it my job as a parent to equip my child with knowledge so that when she makes the choice to be sexually active, I can be confident that she’s doing so safely?

    That said, lingerie at age 9 seems wrong. Just wrong.

  26. bequirox February 4, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    catgirl, I would be shocked and disappointed if my 17 year-old had sex. Just because it’s “the norm” or “the average” that doesn’t mean it’s ok for them to have sex. If they’re not ready to have kids, they’re not ready to have sex. But I agree that I will still be teaching my kids about sex and how to do it safely. I’d rather have a sexually active kid who uses condoms, than one who has sex once and gets pregnant.

    And as for teen magazines, CosmoGirl frequently talks about stuff like “friends with benefits” (You really should read the article if you want to be outraged: http://www.cosmogirl.com/blog/friends-with-benefits) and Seventeen had an article about 4 years ago called “Is My Vagina Normal” where they showed ACTUAL PHOTOS of ACTUAL VAGINAS so you could compare yours to the picture.

    I’m terrified of what the world will be like when my daughter reaches high school. Nothing makes me want to home school more than the sexualizing of kids.

  27. jim February 5, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    I’ve been to several parties – either adult friends and relatives invited-kid’s birthday parties or family reunions where moms have encouraged their pre-school daughters to show everyone how well they can dance to “Shake Your Money Maker.” Usually, the grandparents and I are the only ones present who see anything wrong with this “hilarious” spectacle.

    And don’t get me started on kids raised in a household where the adults’ music of choice is gangster rap. We’re talking 1st graders who cannot say a complete sentence without using both the “n” word and the “mf” word – and don’t understand why anyone minds, because that’s the way Mommy talks.

    On the profoundly undertalented Cyrus clan: one more joke from my music-critic days. Merle Haggard and Billy Ray Cyrus are on tour down in Mexico and they get caught doing some damn thing or another and are sentenced to the firing squad. When asked if they have any last requests, Billy Ray says “I just wanna sing “Achey Breakey Heart” one more time.” Merle says “Please, shoot me first.”

    I told Merle that joke when I interviewed him about 15 years ago and I thought he was gonna laugh his lungs out.

  28. Rich Wilson February 5, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    The company is now saying “no lingerie” and that they’d “never do anything inappropriate”.


    I think it will all come down to how this is marketed. I just hope the attention will convince Disney to at least leave stripper poles out of it.

  29. catgirl February 5, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    where they showed ACTUAL PHOTOS of ACTUAL VAGINAS so you could compare yours to the picture.

    Oh, the horror! Women looking at other vaginas in a non-sexual way! Let’s all panic! Honestly, what is the big deal about seeing something that you have one of? What is so terrible about vaginas that we must keep them hidden at all costs, even from other people who also have vaginas? A lot of teenage girls feel weird about their bodies, and it can be comforting to realize that your body, including your vagina, is just like everyone else’s and you’re not some freak.

    I have plenty of problems with teen magazines, mostly with the too-skinny body image that they portray (just like adult magazines marketed to women). But they do actually have some good stuff sometimes, especially when they talk about sex openly in an educational way. I’m especially glad for the articles about safe sex because schools and parents are too afraid to talk about it.

  30. bequirox February 5, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    Believe me, I’m not saying it’s bad to learn aboutt vaginas. I’m saying this world is completely lacking in any sort of modesty anymore, and gossipy magazines are not the place to put those kind of pictures. That is what you have biology class, or parents for.

  31. Andy February 5, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    or not.


  32. catgirl February 5, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    Lol, if school biology textbooks showed pictures of real vaginas, plenty of out parents would freak out and try to ban the book from classrooms.

  33. pentamom February 5, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    catgirl, what possible constructive purpose is there to “comparing” yourself to an external photo of someone else’s vagina? That’s not biology or “information,” that’s promoting the perfection myth again.

    What Disney’s doing here is beyond sick. They are simultaneously promoting their products (aka, living, breathing children) as being kid-friendly and safe, while promoting a version of adult sexuality to the kids. So the message is: “squeaky clean, child-safe behavior involves lacy lingerie.” Gee, think THAT might have bad effects?

    I notice now that the first link says that there is apparently no actual lingerie line being developed or marketed. But the “image” is still there.

  34. daniel February 5, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    Ok, as a teacher of 6th grader this seems to be the norm rather than the exception. There is a point where kids are not kids when nothing is bad there is no good. I work a a k-6 art teacher and I am amazed at the differences in my students and how sexual some are and how others just want to be kids and can be made fun of. Not that we should not give some responsibility and be helicopter parents there is a point where kids need to be kids and roam free and play and not have thing force on them.

    As a father of a 18 month old this is just gross.

    Like one other poster stated we are worried about old pervs and we have this type of ads to look at. what message are we sending. Art is one thing, kiddy porn is another.

  35. Lisa February 5, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    I wonder how much of this is for the kids and how much of this is for their moms. Case in point: I recently saw a post on a neighborhood mom’s listserv where the mom was looking for “hip underwear” for her 2 year old. This was to be the girl’s reward for potty-training!

    Hip underwear? At 2 years old? I would’ve thought she’d be happy to have pink undies with penguins or ballerinas or something on them. But no. They must be hip.

    Other moms were responding with suggestions, including a place they knew that sold bikini underwear for toddlers!

  36. SKL February 5, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    We have to keep talking to our girls about these things. Why we don’t approve of them, why they are not healthy, not practical, won’t make them happy in any way.

    Yes, the instinct is to hide. Which we know won’t do any good. We simply have to give our kids more credit. If we talk to them, they can understand and even learn from others’ mistakes. I know I did. Just don’t be afraid of telling your daughters what you “really” think. If you don’t, who will?

    But at the same time, we must be consistent. We can’t buy “Hanna Montana” gear for our kids and then say we don’t believe in the implied messages she sends. We can’t do A because we “have to fit in” and then expect our kids to shun the highly popular B. Independent thinking has to be a lifestyle.

  37. catgirl February 5, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    catgirl, what possible constructive purpose is there to “comparing” yourself to an external photo of someone else’s vagina?

    Well, if you think that your vagina is abnormal or freakish (because it’s not something you can easily compare with other women), then seeing that other ones look just like yours can be comforting. It’s better to see real ones than compare to some photoshopped or even plastic-surgeried one that you’d find on Google.

  38. gramomster February 5, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    @ pentamom

    with you on that one. What exactly is a ‘normal’ vagina? It’s the fear/anxiety mentality for girls. ‘Mine doesn’t look like that! It’s not normal! I have to ask Mom for that surgery that makes your vagina/vulva prettier, cuz no way can anybody ever see it like this!’ Just increases the dissatisfaction with body.

    hip underwear for toddlers?! Are these pageant moms?! I teach Sociology, and I use stuff like Toddlers & Tiaras and Little Miss Perfect to teach gender socialization and sexualization. Those moms take 3 year olds for mani-pedis, spay tans, and hair extensions.

    and @ Jim… that’s a funny joke! Also, totally with you on the gangsta rap little people. Or for that matter some of the I-don’t-even-know-what-genre-it-is stuff like Beyonce. I know a one-year-old who LOVES Single Ladies. Really?! Why? I mean, yeah, my kids heard Dead and Dylan and other old stuff, but also had tons of kid music, and no tv. Now it’s my kids who can’t stand most rap, and turn me on to great current, often acoustic music. I’ve also known 5 year old who knew every word to good ‘ol Sir Mix Alot’s Big Butts song. That was just disturbing…

  39. gramomster February 5, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    Oooops…. spray tans, not spay tans.

  40. Lisa February 5, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    @gramomster The weird thing about the hip-underwear-for-two-year-olds crowd is that they are not at all pageant moms, at least not where I live. Rather, they are highly-educated, upper-middle-class, left-leaning helicopter moms.

  41. pentamom February 5, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    catgirl, It’s better yet for the mag article to tell girls to talk to their mothers or doctors about it if they’re concerned. Theoretically, you’re right, it could be used that way — but at the cost of a whole lot more “negative” comparisons going on. Think about it — what percentage of the time do you think that encouraging young girls to compare themselves, sexually and otherwise, to others, has a positive rather than negative effect?

  42. Jacqui February 5, 2010 at 1:31 am #

    This is wierd. These clothes are definitely crap, but I don’t see them billed as lingerie anywhere except the sites that are trashing them. Those pictures do not look provocative to me. Like everyone’s saying, they’re nine–who are they trying to provoke? And how? They look to me like they’re playing dress-up. Doesn’t anyone here remember putting rolled-up socks in your shirt to pretend you had breasts when you were nine? The point is that sexuality means something completely different to a nine-year-old than it does to an adult, and the adults who interpret that child’s sensibility as provocative are the ones being inappropriate.

  43. Jenne February 5, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    I think bloggers and celebrity chasers may have made this into a bigger story than it is.

    I thought stripper poles were smaller in diameter than overhead light poles, too.

  44. BMS February 5, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    Personally, I would not be surprised that a 17 year old was having sex. But this other mom was just completely and utterly shocked by the concept that teen hormones applied to her child.

    And I know that kids who don’t dress provacatively can also get into trouble. I just find it interesting that people who preach modest behavior think that immodest clothing is ok. It’s ok to look sexy, but not think about sex. It’s ok to try to attract hormonal teenage boys, but not to follow those hormonal urges.

    I guess I would rather see parents convey to kids that the way you dress and act can influence behavior. I tell this to my college students – if you are giving a talk, and you dress like a slob, it’s harder to feel like an authority. If you dress professionally, you feel professional, you sound more professional. Similarly, if one is trying on the ‘sexually available’ look, then it is pretty easy to begin to slip into the ‘sexually available’ mindset and become sexually available. Obviously there is not a 1:1 correspondence. But if I dress like a doctor, I can’t get mad if people ask me health questions…

  45. Davonia February 5, 2010 at 2:55 am #

    The clothing is tank tops attached to tutu skirts.

    Like colorful dance outfits:

    Are we making a big deal out of the word “lingerie” rather than looking deeper just like our opposition makes a big deal out of the word “stranger”?

    Most things are not as they seem.

  46. MFA Grad February 5, 2010 at 2:58 am #


    *blink blink*


    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  47. Snarfy February 5, 2010 at 3:24 am #

    It isn’t actually lingerie. It is tutus and spandex.

    I am disappointed that you didn’t actually look into this before blogging about it.. You are just feeding into the same “shock, panic, spread rumours” tactic that the media currently uses when talking about stranger danger.

  48. Mae Mae February 5, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    The stripper pole is ridiculous but not surprising since Miley did it on national TV. Little sis is just following in her footsteps. Those parents should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t understand why these types of parents are never investigated by CPS for exploiting their children.

    To any parents, guardians, teachers who are concerned with this trend please read “So Sexy, So Soon” It’s a fantastic book that looks at a lot of these topics. I found it in my library. Well worth the read.

  49. Jackie February 5, 2010 at 3:49 am #

    I hear the, “it’s just tutus and spandex,” crowd. But my issue is first – the pose with the pole is VERY suggestive of a stripper pole, especially the way the girl to the right is gripping it. Second, I would never let my kid leave the house in a skirt that short.

    The hypocrisy here is massive – we think all men are pedofiles, then we dress our young girls in clingy tank tops with super short skirts to make them look sexy…

    Um, maybe if we weren’t so busy marketing our daughters to men we wouldn’t suspect that all men want to have sex with our daughters. I’m just saying.

    I have forbidden my 5 year old from watching Hanna Montana and the other parents, including my SIL, think I’m an uptight dork. I’m okay with that.

  50. Mae Mae February 5, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    I agree, Jackie. How about those pants with sayings across the butt like “Juicy”, “Sweet”, etc. I cannot stand those pants! There was one store at one point that only carried those pants so we had to leave to find another store.

  51. Michelle The Uber F****n Haus Frau February 5, 2010 at 4:11 am #

    Aren’t I happy I have a boy, the clothing for girls is getting pretty ridiculous. Once I saw bras..BRAS! In the little girls section of a Sears. Seriously, wtf?

    Some of those clothes don’t look much like langerie to me. Since when you go to bed in a big puffy skirt?That said, the clothes are not appropriate for children. Kinda creepy that there are people who actually designed those. I don’t even think some of the clothes in the pics are the same brand.

  52. helenquine February 5, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    Jackie – I agree about the stripper pole photo. But I don’t think the clothes are bad – at least for a 9 year old.

    The thing is, I don’t think all men are pedophiles. So a pre-teen in a short skirt doesn’t seem sexually provocative to me by itself. It’s like I’m quite happy with my very young girls going in the swimming pool with just a swim diaper, but for a 15 year old that would be rather different.

    When I actually look at the collection it looks like dress up clothes to me. I wouldn’t be spending $90 on them, but I wouldn’t be horrified at seeing a 9 year old wander around one if the context didn’t seem unreasonable (like the stripper pole).

  53. Renee February 5, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    The thing is when you dress sexual, it gets attention. We know it, but the attention/shock value wears off fast. Nothing wrong with dressing attractive, yes even for the attention of young men. No one is going to approach you if you’re wearing the equivalent of a burlap sack. For women there has to be more then her sexual body, and the man has to know and respect that person within (and vice versa).

    It’s probably the reason, why so many people meet their spouses at work. You see them as a person functioning in rather non-sexual settings (sober in a gray cubicle with bright florescent lighting).

  54. pentamom February 5, 2010 at 4:36 am #

    Yeah, okay, don’t call it lingerie. Call it “showgirl outfits.” Which gets me close to rant about what goes on in dance school performances…but I’ll stop.

  55. Renee February 5, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    I looked at the pictures. Usually these styles try to highly breast and hips in a woman, but because she is a rather small pre-pubescent nine year old with flat chested and no waist line, all it does is highlight her tummy. It just completely unflattering for her body shape overall.

    It doesn’t make her look older or sexy, just probably make a young girl anorexic though thinking she’s fat when she isn’t.

  56. Cassyt February 5, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    To counteract that, um, lovely story, how about checking out http://www.prettybrainy.com. The owner was nonplussed with clothing she saw in the stores and decided to make a line of tops designed for intelligent tweens. They come in adult sizes too! I love mine.

  57. dahlia February 5, 2010 at 5:37 am #

    what we’re really talking about is context, here. that’s what bothers me. my chubby-bellied 4.5 year old in the supermarket in one of these tutu dresses in her dora sneakers and frog backpack would be hilarious and cute. my 4.5 year old in the supermarket in one of these tutu dresses in thigh-highs, makeup and kid-heels is grotesque. surely most parents know the difference, but perhaps i’m assuming too much.

    speaking of, now that she’s out of toddler sizes and into the smaller girl sizes, the selection of clothes out there has gotten surreal. boot-leg, lowrise jeans? really? last summer i had to buy her a swimsuit and almost plotzed. i’m grateful that so far her fashion sense extends mainly to wearing things that sparkle, mismatched a bonus. i pray she grows up a nerd.

  58. dahlia February 5, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    @cassyt hey! i know the background of that picture on the http://www.prettybrainy.com website, that’s my town! awesome. 🙂

  59. Babs February 5, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    If you all think this stuff is bad, you certainly wouldn’t want your daughters to enroll in their local dance academy. The current trend, aside from ballet/tap, is ‘hip hop’ dancing, which often means young kids learning those sexy moves that many of the Disney machine starlets (think Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera) famous. Even the dance recitals can be a bit racy — my sister un-enrolled my then-9 yo. niece when she felt the last dance recital had a few numbers that just weren’t appropriate for a family audience (and this was for tap/jazz dancing!)

  60. Randy February 5, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    I’m torn between sharing the fairly legitimate outrage expressed here, and shrugging it off as overblown hysteria about what is essentially gaudy fashion marketed to rich white girls. I’m a guy, and even I can see that this is a far cry from lingerie. A see-through lace teddy is lingerie. This is more akin to a cross between a Halloween costume, dance costume, and prom dress.

    I’d be more embarrassed for the kid simply because the outfit is hideous, rather than overtly sexual.

    To be honest, though, there have been some excellent issues raised in some of the responses here; it’s just a shame that I don’t think society is ready to respond to them. Ask yourself why the cosmetics, health and beauty, and fashion industries make billions of dollars transforming women into over-sized pre-teens (complete with large eyes and lips, fragile jawlines, anorexic curve-less bodies, and hairless body parts). In my eyes it’s simply the flip side of the coin in the race to sexualize children.

    Are we really ready for some social examination of that issue, or are we still going to write it off as a fashion trend, or better yet, demonize anyone who suggests it? I don’t think we are. I know Maybelline wouldn’t be happy about it.

  61. fawn February 5, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    That is not lingerie. Sorry but try and find lingerie that even covers that much! Those dresses could be cute if worn the right way. Put leggings on(not fishnets or thigh high boots) and a pair of mary jane shoes and I don’t think its bad. The length doesn’t look any different than any other summer dress its what the girls were doing and wearing with the dresses that makes them look like hookers. I would prefer that to the heels and belly shirts I see on girls nowadays. On a side note I think they should be made into ballet costumes since that’s what they look like anyway, and a place where they would be appropriate for a girl to wear them.

  62. fawn February 5, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    @babs- when my 5yo decided she wanted to take ballet we enrolled her in a ballet/tap academy. The tap routine they are learning is the good ship lollipop and in part they lean back on their heels and shake their hind ends back and forth a few times. It is definitely NOT something Ithink is innappropriate but if I did I would speak with the teacher before just pulling my child out. I think sometimes it is adults who see something sexual about things like that where it really isn’t. Not that I know what kind of dancing your niece was doing in her class

  63. Jaynie February 5, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    @ pentamom and gramomster, re vaginas in magazines. I think it depends on what exactly they’re defining as normal here, but I *can* see an advantage to showing a wide range of non-porn-star vaginas, if that’s what they did. I know I would have suffered a lot less anxiety about TMI *** my uneven labia if a teen magazine had told told me, visually, how normal it was *** /TMI whereas my biology textbook had a pretty symmetrical “ideal” drawing and my doctor, I knew, was obligated to be nice to me. The only young teens I knew who would talk to their mothers about this stuff were already confident, so that’s a bit useless too. Between those failures and the internet, I spent a long time feeling like I was repulsive even though I *knew* I wasn’t. Having a superficial girl’s magazine reassure me would have been a lot more…well…reassuring.

    HOWEVER, if by “normal” they mean “slight variation around the ideal” then I agree it’s quite damaging to anyone who doesn’t fit the mold, and quite inappropriate too — not because they’re vaginas, but because that particular route would make girls like me feel even more pressured to save up for expensive and often pointless surgery just to please the men that, scientifically speaking, don’t really care anyway.

  64. gramomster February 5, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    Okay, everybody who doesn’t see the lingerie go to the second link. These things are connected, not the same. Noah Cyrus has the beddy type stuff, and in the second link there are pics of her in a ‘dress’ that is sort of Elvira-ish, in knee high, goth-type boots. Below that is a pic of her and a friend in little jammy type things that I suppose could be called lingerie. Not the dresses, which are by the other girl from Hannah Montana, according to the articles. Emily Grace Reaves. Which Lenore notes. I too think the tank top/tutu things are kinda cute. Not at all inappropriate with tights or leggings or even jeans. The thing Noah is wearing… well… I had issues when my then 13 year old wore a similar dress on Halloween. It appears as though this might be something Noah wore to an awards do of some sort. Kids Choice perhaps?

    On the dance thing… has anyone seen Dicky Roberts, Former Child Star? There is a great scene in that where two girls are trying out for cheerleader. The ‘popular’ girl does a ‘dance’ to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Dirty’, and all the parents except her mother freak out. The other little girl is soooo worried that hers won’t be good enough, but she does nice little 9 year old dance/cheer things, not Junior Cowboys Cheerleader things, and she wins the place on the team. But it is really creepy to see this other kid doing this basically stripper dance.

    And the stripper pole thing is no surprise either. They sell DVDs now so you can purchase your own pole, and do Strippercise. I kid you not.

  65. gramomster February 5, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    @ Jaynie

    What I have seen of Cosmo Girl is not of the, ahem, supportive nature of female relationships. It is very much focused on pleasing the guy, looking a certain way, dressing a certain way, sacrificing your own desires to make a guy feel good about HIMself, what makeup to buy, what sex moves ‘drive guys wild’… I agree that what you put forth would be ever so helpful to many. New Moon Girls is more in line with this sort of thing. There’s a slightly older girl version of same too I believe, but it’s very much self-discovery, getting and staying grounded, dealing with peer pressure, and social pressure to look pretty over being intelligent. There are no ads… it’s pretty awesome.

    Oh, and funny story with the comparing thing, and images on Google. My son (almost 18) called the other night right after I dropped him off at his house (he’s in college, living on his own with roomies about 5 miles from us). He says, “This is gonna sound like a weird question, but am I circumcised?” I told him he is not, he replied, “Are you sure?” I explained that as he was born at home, and I never took him in for such a procedure, unless he snuck out at 12 and got it done without my knowledge, he is, in fact, intact. As it were. And if that were the case, he’d have no need to call me. So then he says, “You don’t need or want to know how this came up, but me and *roomate T* were talking, and we looked on Google image to see what they look like, and according to Google image, I’m circumcised. That’s what it looks like.” I said, well, I haven’t seen yours since it was 5 and you banished me from the bathroom when you were in any state of undress, but I would encourage you to put more stock in your mother’s word than in Google image. He agreed that I probably had a better idea of whether or not he was circumcised than Google image did, and that’s the last I’ve heard.

    Totally surreal phone call, man.

  66. RobC February 5, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    “I solely blame Billy Ray for this one. He should have stuck around and drew the line, instead of wandering off to do whatever.”

    What makes you think he would have stopped it anyway? He’s been whoring out these girls for years. Have you seen video of his daughter’s concerts? She’s twirling around a stripper pole and sticking her backside out at the audience for half the show, and he’s sitting in the front row cheering her on while mentally calculating how much money’s he’s making from it all.

  67. lonedattyof3 February 5, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Excellent movie to point out the hypocrisy:

  68. RobC February 5, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    “Seventeen had an article about 4 years ago called “Is My Vagina Normal” where they showed ACTUAL PHOTOS of ACTUAL VAGINAS so you could compare yours to the picture.”

    And this is a bad thing how, exactly?

  69. RobC February 5, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    “That is what you have biology class, or parents for.”

    Yeah, right. How many uptight soccer moms in middle America are actually going to be comfortable talking about that kind of thing with their daughters? I’m sure there are some that would be, and that’s great. Their daughters aren’t the ones articles like that are aimed at. It’s all the poor girls who grow up in households where they’re not even allowed to say the word ‘vagina’, let alone talk about them who need articles like that, and I’m glad that kind of information is being made available to them.

  70. gramomster February 5, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Looooove Little Miss Sunshine!

    and @ RobC… see above discussion of this.

  71. RobC February 5, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    “catgirl, what possible constructive purpose is there to “comparing” yourself to an external photo of someone else’s vagina? That’s not biology or “information,” that’s promoting the perfection myth again.”

    My impression of this article would be that it’s not pointing out, “This is the one, perfect model of what a vagina should look like, and if yours doesn’t look like this YOU’RE A FREAK!!!” Rather, it would be pointing out that they come in all shapes and sizes, with various examples of different-looking, but all perfectly normal ones.

  72. Lafe February 5, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    There are so many issues here, it’s hard to know where to start (and I don’t mean just with the original post, but with the wide range of responses to the wide range of issues!).

    1) We all knew it was only a matter of time before another Cyrus had some claim-to-fame tacked onto her and found herself shoved out into the limelight. It’s shameful, but let’s not all act so surprised.

    2) Randy hits the nail on the head — this raises all kinds of social issues that run very deep in this nation of ours (I’m speaking of my fellow Americans). We need to stop oversexualizing everything and flying into a panic at the mere suggestion of a body part; the most negative part of this story is that the reaction to the clothing, and the pole, and the vaginas in magazines is more frightening than the things themselves. I don’t think that these clothes qualify as ‘lingerie’. Some blogger just said that to rile people up. That’s not a stripper pole, either. It’s a prop for a photo. If you see those things as sexual, the problem might — just might — be within you, and not necessarily with the thing you’re looking at.

    3) That being said, those are some strange-looking clothes, and clearly designed to look more than a bit outrageous and appeal to spoiled, bratz-obsessed, wealthy pre-teens. Ick. I can agree that they are not our style, and not something my kid would want, but I can’t bring myself to say that they are sexual hooker-wear, because that would be taking my dislike for them into a strange realm.

    4) Anyone who thinks today’s clothing leads immediately to kids having sex on street corners needs to take a deep breath and relax for a moment. Then visit Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Prague, Brazil . . . you get the point — on a summer day, and just watch people walking all around you. Females of all ages will be wearing whatever they find comfortable, and if all you’re used to are American ‘fashions’, you will be quite surprised. Females you think are old enough for bras will not be wearing them — and it will be quite obvious. In fact, some garments will leave nothing to the imagination at all. Not just young girls, but teens, college-aged women, grown women, etc. But guess what . . . no one cares. No one is shocked or horrified. It’s just what that person wanted to wear. It’s just clothing. And no one is being raped, molested, chastised, shamed, or whatever. People in more sensible places just do not run out and buy nine-year-old Suzy a “bra” (I have to put that in quotes, because that’s not really what it is) one day when she gets a mosquito bite above her navel, and therefore just might be developing. People in more sensible places to not freak out when the latest offerings in the Barbie clothing line are clingy or have a bit of lace in them.

    I have kids (a teen daughter, a teen son, and a soon-to-be teen son), and my wife and I have observed this insanity in our country for a long time now. People are just weirded out by human anatomy. Maybe it looks so obvious to us because we’ve been to some of those other places, and we’ve seen how normal everyone else in the world treats the sight of a human body.

    This wrong-headed thinking is what killed that poor girl who texted a photo of her breasts and ended up killing herself. I don’t get it. It’s like saying “Someone saw your bare ankle so now you’re untouchable for life.”

    I probably have lots more to say on this issue, but I’m taking up too much space here. I appreciate the more level-headed commenters on this one. Disturbing apparel? Probably, on some level. Lingerie? No.

  73. DJ February 5, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Tried the link for oohlalacouture above and got the message that the site is temporarily unavailable and down for maintenance. Yeah, right.

  74. deanne February 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I don’t think the people who object to these clothes are a bunch of prudes who see sex in everything and can’t accept some girl’s innocent self expression like some bloggers have implied. Little girls will always play dress up and be drawn to their mother’s and older sister’s things.

    This clothing line is not about what kids want, its a marketing campaign put out by a huge and very slick corporation who spends millions figuring out the most effective ways to sell products to kids and their parents.(Don’t tell me the pole was the kid’s idea!) Part of free range parenting is teaching children to think for themselves, which can be hard for even the most well educated, media savvy adults at times.

    I totally agree with the people who say that things like this make them want to move to a commune or a cabin in the woods. How do you teach your daughter that she has the right to make her own decisions and grow up at her own pace when child psychologists are designing marketing campaigns aimed at undermining her self esteem and planting doubts about whether she is “cool” or stylish enough to make the grade? How many “God made you perfect the way you are” messages does it take to counteract the pre-teen queen in the ad looking down her nose at your daughter with a “you’re wearing that??” look on her face messages she sees every day?

    Sigh, my daughter’s only one, but I’d better start sending those messages now. That or start looking up communes in the woods!

  75. gramomster February 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    @ deanne

    I don’t know how many it takes, but more than I gave my own daughter. The media won.

    Of course now SHE’S the one living on a commune in the woods…

  76. Jaynie February 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    @gramomster: you’re probably right about cosmo, but in my experience they once in a while do a “serious, not vapid, not demeaning” article to prove to all the naysayers that they *do* care about the massive self esteem issues amongst the readers. I’m mostly just saying it’s difficult to know which it was without seeing the pictures in question, and that if it *was* the more positive version then that meets my approval, easy. That said, I’d certainly endorse magazines like the one you mentioned over cosmo any day. 😉

  77. helenquine February 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    gramomster – I looked at the second link and followed that to a blog that I think the photos were taken from. It doesn’t look like they are anything to do with the clothing line. In fact even the stripper pole photo doesn’t seem to be a clothing line photo (the credits are unclear but indicate the photo was taken last year, and the clothes they’re wearing, even the tutu isn’t the same as the ones on the Oh La La site).

    I have totally ignored the hype around these girls so I’m assuming from the comments they (or their handlers) are frequently publicity seeking. It looks to me like most of the photos we’re actually seeing are ones previously taken of the girls and most of the criticism would be more accurately framed as being about the girls’ image in general rather than this line of clothes.

  78. Kristine February 5, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    I think this is all a bit blown out of proportion to be honest. It’s just dress-up clothes, not lingerie. My kids always wear short skirts in the summer, it’s to avoid being hot, not to look sexual. In fact, a lot of the time, they run around in the garden with no clothes (they are 7 and 3). As for the stripper pole? I would never have seen that thing and thought about strippers – I’d be more likely to think about firefighters. And anyway, it is the parents that need to set the limits for their own children. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. That’s how simple it is.

    My daughter is 7, and she likes to wear nice underwear. But to her, nice underwear is girl boxers with a picture of a cute dog or something on them. She doesn’t wear it to show it off, she just likes them. If she came home and wanted lacy underwear or g-strings, I’d just tell her it wasn’t happening, and that would be the end of that discussion. We have already had the bra discussion, I told her I’d buy her one when she needed it, and she was fine with it. It is not down to big corporations to raise our children, we need to do it ourselves.

    As for the pictures of girly parts in magazines – I think it’s good (as long as they are real and not airbrushed or something). We had books at home about childbirth, and about the human body, so I could always look in there, but not everyone has those, and not everyone feels comfortable talking to their parents about these things.

  79. muhyar February 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    nice article.
    hope this may help me
    very useful.
    Thanks for sharing.

  80. Tifenn February 5, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    I have a rule, I never buy any Disney Clothes for my daughter (5) or my son (9). They make enough money as it is with the toys and all. $ matters more to them, its a shame for Miley’s little sister to be used and abused this way. I’ll keep the Hanes in our family!

  81. indosungod February 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    We are all stupid to think any company will have shame, this is 2010 the year after everything imploded? the bigger problem is parents who fall over themselves to buy these things for their kids.

  82. TressaRay February 5, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Here’s what I think about the opinion that these aren’t lingere and it’s not a big deal. When I was growing up, we pretty much had a rule that if it’s not modest for a teen, it’s not modest for a tween. It doesn’t matter if you have breast and curves or not, if it shows too much skin, it’s not modest.

    As to the vaginas in cosmo: That is absolutely inappropriate. If there is such a demand for young girls to see other vaginas for comparison, there should be a pamphlet in the doctors office. Or, even, a biology book. I know you guys think that high school biology books are so tame. So, if it’s really an issue to a young girl, don’t you think she could go to a library and check out a sex and gender textbook?
    The other issue of vaginas in gossip magazines, that I’m surprised no one mentioned, is that these magazines aren’t sold in adult stores. I know that some boys look at porn, but some boys don’t want to. There is so much risk that a young kid, innocently looking through his sister’s magazine, could come across pictures of vaginas. I know some of you think it’s not a big deal if a young man sees a vagina, but it should be up to him if and when he does.

  83. RadiantLux February 5, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    I looked at those websites. I would not call this lingerie. Madonna and her wannabees were a lot worse. The stripper pole was a very bad choice, however.

    Our culture has it all wrong. We dress up little girls like prostitutes and neglect to teach sex education. We still have the Madonna/whore complex when it comes to female sexuality. Or should I say, princess/bratz girl? Under the Bush administration, abstinence education was all the rage.
    I read this article a few months ago http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article5208865.ece

    It opened my eyes to how they look at sexuality in Europe. Some of it made me a bit squeamish. I haven’t felt squeamish in a long time!

  84. NJMom February 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    In the second site, doesn’t she look like a tiny Morticia? Eeewwww! Those boots…. And isn’t Noah a boy’s name? The clothing line is really just dressy tutus, etc., nothing wrong with that. It’s the parents and the PARENTAL SUBSTITUTES, aka, the stylists, who have sexualized the clothes and the girl. Sad, very, sad.

  85. helenquine February 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    “I know some of you think it’s not a big deal if a young man sees a vagina, but it should be up to him if and when he does.”


    I’m not a proponent of forcing anyone to look at vaginas. But why can’t they just say “eww” and close the magazine if they find it unappealing? It’s no different than if they were flicking through their sister’s biology book. They won’t be scarred for life.

  86. montessorimatters February 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    One of my three-year olds at school wears leopard print underwear. There’s something just a little wrong about that… 🙁

  87. NJMom February 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    Just looked at RadiantLux’s link…wow. Wow, again. Now that’s a discussion!!!!

    I think the point about Noah Cyrus and the clothes is that 1. Adults put her look together, she didn’t. 2. It’s not her own private exploration of what it means to be a grown up…it’s grown-up’s ideas of what a stylin’ kid should like like–which turns out to be a mini sexy chick.

    Not sure if I’m being clear…I guess what I mean is none of it was HER idea. She’s been manipulated by her parents and Disney.

  88. Jen C February 5, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    After seeing those pictures, all I can think is, sure, what parent doesn’t look at their young daughter and say to themselves, “You know, little Suzy would look sooooo much cuter if we dressed her up like a cheap hooker from a bad 80’s movie!”

  89. The Mother February 5, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    I only have boys, so I haven’t been watching this stuff all that carefully.

    I also think Americans have a puritanical sense of sexuality, and get their panties all worked up about stuff that in Europe would get not a snicker.

    But I don’t see the point in sexualizing our kids. They figure it out, soon enough, without our help.

  90. Renee February 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm #


    no, there isn’t

    back in the 80s it was the gold and silver lamee for many of ourselves. it really is about context, the whole package/lifestyle that is marketed to our children that if we don’t give that yeah, they will be shunned by their peers.

    For example Abercromie & Finch, the topless male models do nothing more then get attention rather to actually model clothes. It’s the whole frat boy/hook up lifestyle that is presented in the whole image. A&F isn’t just clothes, but a way of life.

    It’s about realizing we’re being sold something, and probably walking through the mall with our children rather then hiding we need to explain to them all about market research geared to their age.

    Nothing wrong with style or even enjoy the current trend either, but to what extent will we allow ourselves and our children be bought into something to feel acknowledged. I bet we all have a story of wanting something so bad, so we could fit into school/peer group. Somethings are nice looking and no one wants to wear outdated or frumpy clothing, yet can’t become dependent.

  91. Sky February 5, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    While this particular story may have been overblown, the trend toward sexualization of girls is very real. I am a mother of a six year old. I find it difficult to find non-skany clothing for her, especially in the summer and spring time, though I manage. Shorts are another matter; it’s almost impossible to find anything but short, short, shorts. There are no normal length shorts out there! And of course we’ve have the words all over the buts, and remember that Abercombie & Ftich fiasco, selling girl’s underwear with the words “eye candy” printed on them? But this is not true for BOYS. Why is this? Because there is no PARTICULAR effort to sexualize children and girls are, in fact, only imitating older girls and adults. Girls have always imitated older girls and adult women. Our society as a whole has increased its sexualitzation not of girls, but of WOMEN, and it has merely trickled down. Women have become increasingly valued according to their sexual appearance and function, and have become increasingly tolerant of the idea that men will value them primarily for this reason. Sex is splashed on every channel, every billboard, every advertisement, everywhere. Crude sex talk is more socially acceptbale in public than it ever was before. Going to strip clubs is more normalized than it used to be. Pornography is more easily accesible, more plentiful, and more widely tolerated by women than it ever was before.

    Kids just imitate what they see in grown ups. You can try to put the kids in a bubble all you want, but the only way things are going to change for kids is if they change for grownups. When grownup women stop dressing like whores, kids will too. When grown up women stop tolerating their husbands and boyfriends looking regularly at pornography and going to strip clubs, there will be less pressure for women in general to dress and look like strippers and porn stars, and there will be fewer such looks for girls to emulate. When women stop feeding into the over-sexualization of women, girls will imitate them. Not before.

    There was an update on one of the blogs you linked, a correction of sorts:

    “Update: the photos are real, but the clothing company involved says there’s no lingerie line, and they’re not responsible for how the child celebrity linked with their line is accessorized or portrayed. “We just make tutu dresses, tank tops attached to tutus,” says the founder.”

  92. Uly February 6, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    Tressa, why would a boy be reading Seventeen magazine? I mean, there’s no rule against it, but I would think that even if a boy were interested in it that he’d be reluctant to “act like a girl” in our culture.

    It’s roughly akin to putting on makeup and a dress and going out like that. Most guys really would think twice before doing that.

  93. Rich Wilson February 6, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    Re: attitudes to sex in Europe, and we’re all just prudes.

    Keep in mind that France has some of the highest rates of Anorexia in the world. And no, I don’t think it has anything to do with their attitudes towards sex. The sexually schizophrenic USA also has extremely high rates of anorexia.

    I do think it has a lot to do with how girls and young women (and boys and young men) are targeted in marketing.

    Oh and here’s another trivia bit. Know what the difference is between the European and North American releases of “Eyes Wide Shut”? Tom’s penis. Nicole’s vagina is there, but as for Tom’s penis, I guess “We can’t handle it”.

  94. pentamom February 6, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Uly, I have an eight year old boy who will pick up and read anything that has print on it and isn’t moving and doesn’t look like some massive tome beyond his comprehension, or something he’d find “boring.” Especially if it’s a magazine and has pictures in it or bright colors, it will grab his attention. No doubt when he’s a few years older a “girl’s” magazine will hold no attraction for him, but for now, as long as it looks interesting, he gravitates.

    So that’s just an example of why a boy might be looking at Seventeen.

    At any rate, it’s a nice theory that pictures like that in a teen magazine could be used constructively. The point is, overwhelmingly, they do anything but.

  95. LindaLou February 6, 2010 at 2:02 am #

    1. THE PROPER NAME FOR THE EXTERNAL FEMALE GENETALIS IS: V U L V A. Unless there is a speculum involved, no one is looking at a vagina. The vagina is an internal organ.

    I think it’s beyond naive to think that a teenager is going to ask mom or the pediatrician questions about the appearance of their vulva.

    2. The company in question is being seriously maligned and it’s wrong. This isn’t some huge, slick corporation. It’s two SAHMs who make tutus and all the slander is hurting their business. How about some fact checking before slapping things on the blog or maybe a retraction of sorts up top where people can see it, Lenore? I mean, I read that the lingerie claims were wrong yesterday. The info was out there.

  96. fighting for my children February 6, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    little girls clothes are way to sexy for children these days. Its just wrong.

  97. sonia February 6, 2010 at 3:03 am #


    1. Thank you! My first thought when reading “pictures of vaginas” was “how amazing! wonder what the pics looked like… a tunnel with pink walls?”, then I realized they meant “vulvas”. That’s the word I’m teaching my kids, though my husband finds it a bit much…

    2. Yes, I saw the retraction on the cbs blog Lenore linked to, and was expecting to see it on Lenore’s front page as well.

    3. I agree with the point someone made that all this hullaballoo is a mirror image of the “helicopters” shrieking about “stranger danger”.

  98. bequirox February 6, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    Plenty of straight teenage boys will read teen girl magazines, especially if they have a sister who subscribes. I have 3 brothers, all straight, and they all read my magazines so they could tease me about the silly articles, but also so they could learn how a teenage girl thinks.

  99. Jaynie February 6, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    @LindaLou: Well now I’m ashamed. And I’m meant to be a biology student! 😉 Vulva, okay.

    I get the point about uninterest boys “accidently” seeing a *vulva* but I’m not convinced that anybody would be horrified, or even any more than a tiny bit grossed out by one. A plain, unglamourous photograph is not the same thing as highly sexualized pornography, so whereas the latter one (though still not, in my opinion, likely to be scarring) would be, in a way, “forcing” sexuality into the situation (and thus onto the unsuspecting boy), the latter would be more like catching sight of something a little unplesant on the discovery channel, which I’m sure happens all the time.

    I also tend to think we’re a bit prudish as a society, oddly (considering things like, oh, children’s lingerie?), which in turn leads to having a skewed perception of sex — mostly built around mainstream porn and schoolyard whispers. I suspect that treatingthings like a selection of vulva pictures as if they were no big deal would at least help us to be more comfortable with our sexuality and with talking about sex — provided, of course, that it was consistent, which obviously being Cosmo it’s not.

    Again, that’s just taking the “blue sky” view in leiu of the actual pictures.

  100. Emaloo February 6, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    @Rich Wilson

    The same editing happens in video games too. Versions of games released to the US have nudity/sex taken out, while the version released to Europe will have the violence/gore/blood spatter reduced. I didn’t know it was done in movies.

  101. Tobias February 6, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    I’m more outraged at the idea of paying $100 for children’s clothing. Dress up or not, that’s a little ridiculous. Give the kid old gowns, discount Halloween costumes, and fun accessories. If they haven’t already been trained to think that more expensive means more fun they’ll be fine.

    Re: Tom Cruise’s penis, it’s actually because the MPAA has ruled that the penis is a “violent” organ and therefore cannot be shown in films below an X rating (possibly NC-17, I’m not 100% sure). I don’t fully understand why a penis is any more violent than a vulva, but I also can’t figure out why saying “f*ck” more than twice will get a film an R rating while murderous rampages can be considered PG-13.

  102. TressaRay February 6, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Like I said, “I know some of you think it’s not a big deal if a young man sees a vagina.”

    To me, though, sex is a very personal issue, and it should be up to the person involved whether they see genitals. I probably am a prude, but when I was 8 there was a pop-up on my computer that showed a penis. I wasn’t scarred for life, but it definitely made me feel sad and icky.

    I know that some boys would be resilient if he saw a *vulva,* and probably just say “Yuck” and close it. That doesn’t mean that they should have to see anything they aren’t ready to see.

  103. Michele February 6, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Hear, hear Lenore! So well put. This all makes me sick and Diseny, Miley AND Miley’s adult parents should be ashamed. Too bad parenting doesn’t require a license. These folks surely would never pass the test.

    ***The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood is a great website to join for fighting these fights.

  104. Amber B February 7, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    @Davonia I had some dresses like the ones pictured on that site when I was eight, but the skirts were LONGER, the sleeves were puffy ( yes I’m an 80’s kid), and they were not so low cut like some of the pictured dresses are. Also I wore tights and Mary Janes with my dresses- not fishnet stockings and high heels like little girls do today.

    I’m noticing a trend recently of clothing styles from the 70’s and 80’s coming back but are “sluttified” versions by designers.

  105. Margo February 7, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    These outfits (and the makeup, and the high heel boots and the poles) are all rather over the top and inappropriate for 9 year olds. I just showed the photos to my nine year old daughter and she was pretty offended too!

    Having said that, I am just as offended by the padded, underwired, push-up training bras that I saw for sale at Walmart – these are definitely marketed to the tween crowd. I am neither prudish nor anti-sex, but think that I would prefer my tween to be enjoying sports, kid appropriate-play etc. rather than worrying about how her cleavage appears in the midriff-baring tops also marketed to this age group.

  106. Essie February 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    ACK! I was in Target recently and in the pre-teen section I saw bra’s…… not just any kind of bra….. PADDED bra’s!!!! FOR CHILDREN!
    Just vile.

  107. Lea February 7, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    I read some of the comments before I read the actual article. I wanted to see the pictures because from the comments I was expecting little girls in thongs, tassels and teddies. Imagine my surprise when they were wearing tutu dresses and not sexy undies! Am I missing something here? Sure some of the poses were provocative and did the job of getting the pics noticed. The girls could have been in full body jumpsuits and posed provocatively though and it wouldn’t make the actual outfits kiddie lingerie. My seven year old loves tutu outfits and would love one of these dresses although I’m sure like all of her friends she wouldn’t be blowing kisses and hanging off a pole in it no matter what the heck the ad showed. It’s just not them, they don’t see sex when they see something like that just cute clothes. I’m scratching my head at the uproar (ad is a bit questionable but not end of the world associated with hookers and sluts type thing) maybe I missed something or maybe people were just commenting based on the title and editorial opinions without reading it for themselves?

  108. Christy Ford February 9, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    @Rayney, thanks for that link.

    Looks like all of this was just a huge misunderstanding.

    They’re making tutu dresses, not lingerie.

  109. pentamom February 9, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    “I think it’s beyond naive to think that a teenager is going to ask mom or the pediatrician questions about the appearance of their vulva.”

    And I think that it’s short-sighted to think that a teen who is unwilling to ask an appropriate source for information (and I don’t disagree that many of them are) is going to benefit from getting the information from a source that exists to market body image enhancing products by ginning up insecurities. Sometimes if immaturity or inhibitions prevent someone from getting information the right way, she’s not going to find it in a helpful form any other way. It’s just an unfortunate reality. Learning it from Seventeen magazine isn’t actually any better than “learning it on the streets,” as the old expression goes.

  110. Non-kiddie lingerie March 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    This can’t be for real, can it? Lingerie is for adults only. ‘Nuff said.

  111. sexualdelights March 10, 2010 at 3:33 am #

    lingerie for children, disturbing! Lingerie is for adults only!

  112. hot lingerie July 1, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    You joking? For kids lingerie? It is not good. Do you have kids?


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