Parents Fume Over Sexy Toddler Dress

The sexualization of little girls in our culture continues unabated as an online retailer based in Australia offers a skimpy black tulle outfit for 3 year-olds with a sexualized slogan across the chest.

The Sun is reporting on the outfit that has sparked a social media firestorm among parents who are outraged by the outfit being listed for sale by the Australian store OZSALE. The black tulle dress with spaghetti strap top, available for girls ages 3 to 9, sports a slogan across the chest that reads, “I’m sexy and I know it.”

According to The Sun, the item was spotted by Facebook group Let Clothes Be Clothes, who posted a picture of the dress to their page.

“Sent by a supporter in Australia … Is this THE worst item of clothing on sale to 3-year-olds, in the world? … Very very concerning,” they wrote in the post.

“Can’t believe anyone even suggested this, let alone it being approved, made, stocked and (I can only presume) bought by anyone!” said one parent, while another added, “Who in God’s name thought this was a suitable item for a small child??”

Another respondent wisely pointed out, “We sexualize little girls and then wonder at the problems women face in terms of image, self-esteem, self-worth, equality in the workplace, victims of misogyny etc etc etc.”

“And I have to blame the parents who actually buy stuff like this or allow their children to wear it.”

Another simply said: “This is disgusting. I don’t even have words.”

Thus far, the only response OZSALE made to the ruckus is the pull the photo of the dress from the site and mark the item “Sold Out.”

Even though some adults might think this kind of sexualized messaging on children’s clothes is “cute,” in addition to attracting the wrong kind of attention to our little ones, it also teaches young children that being sexy means being pretty and getting a lot of attention. As they grow up and learn what sexy really means – and start dressing that way – it can lead to all kinds of problems.

In addition, this kind of sexualized messaging can be very disturbing to girls, especially in the delicate pre-teen years when they are so self-conscious about their bodies. It makes them feel pressured to look like the underweight and over-airbrushed models depicted in teen magazines

This pressure is very real! As our Young Women of Grace study reports, one in four girls say they feel pressured into having the perfect body. Seventy four percent say they feel pressured to be “super girls” who have to please everyone.

And we all know where this pressure has led too many of our young women – to an epidemic of eating disorders.

OZSALE should be much more careful about the kind of clothes it offers the public.

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