Thursday, November 24, 2011

Remove the Market

Kmart made headlines earlier this week for responding to pressure to remove a line of children’s underwear from their retail outlets.

The underpants, geared at girls 16 years and under, brandished slogans such as “I love rich boys”, “I love boys in uniform” and “call me”.

Melinda Tankard Reist, spokesperson for Collective Shout, an organization which campaigns against the objectification of women and the sexualistion of girls, said the underwear was "part of a trend of sexualing girls by treating them as older than they are. It's reducing them to sexual playthings for someone else, and encouraging them to think of themselves in that way."

What is perhaps more disturbing than the confirmation that a big company is trying to make money out of the sexualisation of young girls is the fact that there are parents prepared to buy the products. As with all products of this nature, if there was no market for them, they would cease to be manufactured.

The retail giant removed the line from all of its stores after a brief but vehement public reaction, mobilized through Twitter and Facebook.

© Eva Whiteley 2011

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