You know the commercials. They provide tight shots of taut bottoms and long, shapely legs. Skechers “shape ups” were given an extra jolt of “sexy” when Kim Kardashian was shown, part by part, sweaty and heavily breathing, in the Skecher’s commercial named “Break up to Shape Up” that aired on Super Bowl Sunday 2010.
There are certainly a slew of other commercials that push the envelop when it comes to (typically female) body panning and sexual implications that get the, albeit sometimes begrudging, OK from the female public (and often the enthusiastic thumbs up from the young male public). But what if, the same company made the same shoes touted for their body firming and body shaping properties, for your 8 year old daughter? Would that still be OK with you?
We’ve had similar conversations recently as our elementary school age daughters are being shown offerings from push-up bikini tops, which I spoke about recently on The Today Show, to thong underwear that have sayings like “wink, wink” on them, to toxic botox to keep their faces from seeing a wrinkle, to “sexualized” Monster High dolls, and simulated Celebutant parties with pink virgin cocktails in martini glasses, limo rides, eye-brow waxing, and make-overs. It makes us question “the line,” doesn’t it?
The general consensus tells us a clear “over-the-line” when it came to the bikini tops, thongs, and botox. And a division of opinion when it came to the parties and the dolls.
So what of Skechers Shape Ups for girls? A very frustrated Mom (who happens to be like a sister to me) of an elementary school age girl brought the question to my attention the other day after she saw the commercial for the butt-busting merchandise while watching TV with her daughter. Here is what she said;
…It is DISGUSTING that sketchers is making and marketing their line of SHAPE UPS for young GIRLS! Now the toys and/or music that may have some implicit layer of influencing girls self/body-image are one thing BUT sneakers designed to tone and shape their legs and BUTTS marketed to 8 year olds?!?!? Inexcusable!!
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is the association with the highly sexualized commercials and focus on body shaping/butt tightening too close for comfort when it comes to our girls? Is it yet a manufacturer of negative body image and unnecessary focus on looks? Is it more obnoxious than some of the other sexualized offerings made public recently because the commercials easily slide in between your children’s favorite kid’s programs and are in a multitude of mundane stores? Or, are these merely just sneakers or gym shoes with an extra focus on fitness found in a mundane sneaker section of your favorite department store?
Let’s discuss. Where is the line and how do we know when it’s been crossed?
FYI: The $100 Shape up shoes are leading the market in the company’s sales growth according to investors business daily.
Articles with similar content:
Vamp Tramp Dolls: A Monster Problem (Shaping Youth)
Monster High’s New Low (Peggy Orenstein)
Bitty Boobies, Botoxing Mommies, and Undead Dolls
Skechers Shape Ups for Girls: Crossing the Line or Just a Pair of Shoes? is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System