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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Prosti-tot Chic

Everyone knows Beyonce. She's had amazing successes as a singer, both with her group Destiny's Child, and as a solo artist (check out her awesome duet with Shakira, Beautiful Liar). She's done some work in movies, and has been a champion for us curvy ladies out there (hallelujah, a celebrity who eats!).

She recently decided to add "fashion designer" to the mix, with her House of Dereon clothing line. She recently released her designs for little girls, and well... I guess I can't say that I'm completely surprised.

Here's the ad that has so many people outraged:

And a little close-up:

Well, I'm not entirely sure where to start with this. Here's some of the reaction from around the blogosphere:
[W]alk through the Mall on the weekend or go to a public pool. Mothers are morons. And where are the fathers? It starts with Bratz, morphs into Hannah Montana, and then we're surprised when our little girls think it's normal to be slutty?
- Dr. Melissa Clouthier

Well if that doesn’t just scream class, good taste, innocence, and childhood, I really don’t know what does. This makes me want to have many girl babies, so I can dress them up like whores and make Beyonce more wealthy than she already is. It’s a win-win for everybody.

What makes this especially touching is that I remember seeing Beyonce in an interview years ago, talking about how she was all about empowering young women to be independent, self-sufficient, and smart. I’m guessing she’s been hanging out with rappers too often and has somehow decided that the path to female independence starts in preschool and involves 5-inch stilettos, heavy makeup, and feather boas.
- Rachel Lucas

As for the mothers of this new crop of Little Girls Gone Wild models, they were undoubtedly thrilled to see their daughters painted up and posing like Victoria’s Secret angels-in-training. If we’ve learned anything from Lindsay Lohan and her hard-partying mother, it’s that the Lolita-posing apple doesn’t fall far from the bosom-flaunting tree.

So, what’s next? Nine-year-olds performing stripper routines? Oh, wait. It’s been done already. I saw that very nightmare last fall on the cable TV reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”—featuring the grade-school-age daughters of Olympic star Bruce Jenner strapping on stilettos and twirling around a stripper pole in their parents’ bedroom as friends and family cheered them on. Future House of Dereon clients, no doubt.
- Michelle Malkin

Unfortunately, this ad and this clothing line for girls doesn't shock ME in the least. Remember what I wrote just a few short months ago about thongs and padded bras being sold at Target to seven-year-olds?
The Bratz empire is based around four dolls, but has grown into much more, with a TV series, games, and a movie. The dolls have abnormally large heads with big eyes, a tiny, upturned nose, and full lips (basically, every celebrity's plastic surgery dream), are usually dressed like hookers, with chokers, "Bad Girl" t-shirts, halter tops, feather boas, thigh-high fishnet stockings, and lace-up, high-heeled boots or stilettos. The Bratz dolls are centered around a love for all things superficial -- gossip, shopping, clothes, fashion, make-up... it's all about making sure your appearance is perfect, because that's the most important thing. Dressing up like your favorite Bratz doll is now a popular Halloween costume. At least Barbie could be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher... Bratz dolls seem like the Lindsays, Nicoles, and Paris' of the world -- kept girls who do nothing and aspire to nothing, except to be able to party and shop to their heart's content.


We live in a capitalist, free market society. Parents complain constantly about the over-sexualization everywhere, but who is it that is contributing to it? An eight-year-old girl does not usually have the money to buy herself a Bratz doll, thong underwear, and shirts screaming the words "LUSCIOUS" accompanied by two cherries across the chest. Parents are the ones buying these items for their daughters. Parents are the ones letting their daughters get swallowed whole by this culture. All of this is driven by profit. If no one bought these things, then companies would stop making them because it wasn't profitable. But millions of parents nationwide are buying these products for their daughters, so companies across the market keep churning them out. It's a gold mine. If it wasn't, then they'd invest in something else.

I never could understand why parents seem so blase about letting their daughters wear shirts that say "Flirt", "Porn Star", or one I saw that proclaimed, "So Many Boys, So Little Time", why they let them buy bras when they haven't even started developing yet, why they let them become sexualized so young. I just don't get it. Maybe it was the way I was raised. I wasn't allowed to wear a two-piece bikini as a kid, much less thong underwear and bras. Even as a senior in high school, if I wore an outfit too risque, my mom would make me throw it out, even if I bought it. I couldn't wear high heels or knee-high boots, let alone hooker heels and fishnets.


Parents should stop being their daughters' friends, and start being their parents.

Maybe, just maybe, if parents tried being parents, we wouldn't have to worry about the oversexualization of our daughters quite so much.

Those same words are relevant to this.

I'm not going to sit here and point a finger at Beyonce for putting her name on these ridiculous clothes. That's her bad taste. That's her slutty style. I mean, come on -- is anyone surprised that a girl who dresses like this would come out with skanky clothes for little girls?

I mean, seriously -- celebrities are the most shallow, superficial, image-obsessed (and usually slutty) people on the planet. Of course the clothes they come out with will reflect that.

But who is forcing mothers to buy these clothes for their daughters? Is anything about this clothing line much different than the clothes already being marketed to young girls and tweens? Um, not really. Girls are already being sexualized at an alarming rate, and their loving parents are just sitting back and letting it happen. But it's the designers we're howling at.

Someone explain that to me, because I'm not getting it.

It's just this simple: don't buy the product. If mothers weren't buying into this brand of prosti-tot chic for their daughters, it's likely that we'd stop seeing these kinds of things. Why? Because businesses exist to make money, and if no one was buying this crap, they'd be losing profits. What a concept! If no one bought anything from Beyonce's clothing line, then the entire thing would be considered a tasteless, tacky joke and eventually, the line would stop being manufactured. But we all know that won't happen.

Because no, mothers and fathers couldn't possibly be expected to say that evil word NO to their children, so we'll undoubtedly see plenty of little girls walking around wearing this kind of crap.

It's sad that little girls aren't allowed to be little girls anymore. I mean, jeez, I would SO have been the odd kid out if I was growing up today. Check out my sexy style as a kid:

Tucked-in t-shirt. Knee-length shorts. Tennis shoes. Maybe the outfit's a little dorky (OK, a lot dorky), but I'd take that over an eight-year-old slut any day. I mean, jeez, parents. What's the damn rush? Trust me, your daughter will be more than eager to skank it up and sleep around once she gets in high school, if you're so anxious to encourage that kind of behavior.

So, we're all shocked and apalled by these clothes, as we should be. Before we get all huffed up with breathless indignation, there's something we need to remember. The people we should be questioning, the people who deserve our disgust, are the parents who buy this crap for their daughters. Shame on you.


Deuce Geary said...

Funny, your clothes in that childhood photo look very similar to what my daughter wears to kindergarten every day.

Parents today are indeed idiots. They end up introducing their daughters to things like Bratz (something I will never allow near my daughter) because they are offering substitutes for their own time. Why actually spend time with your kids when you can divert them with other things, no matter how unhealthy?