Why bikini onesie is not a joke
BY SUE ONTIVEROS firstname.lastname@example.org July 20, 2012 6:22PM
Clothing for little girls — even babies — emphasizes that they should want to look sexy.
Updated: August 23, 2012 10:32AM
It should be just another goofy gift for baby. But it’s not, and that’s what’s got me mad — and for a variety of reasons.
I’m talking about the latest “fun” onesie. Anyone who has a child or has been to a baby shower knows the product — and the evolution — that I am talking about. It used to be that onesies — one-piece cotton bodysuits for babies — were plain and white, like T-shirts. Now, like everything else, that’s not enough, so they come in a slew of colors and prints, many with illustrations or words.
This latest one I’m sure was meant as a joke, but a lot of people aren’t laughing.
Aimed at baby girls, it features a red polka-dot bikini. So it looks like the infant has on an itsy-bitsy teenie, weenie polka-dot bikini, much like the 1960s song.
My initial thought was how silly — and too bad it can’t be dismissed as a harmless joke at a baby shower. But that’s not where we as a society are right now, which is why the appearance of the bikini onesie has the Internet world abuzz.
Sadly, at a younger and younger age — and with this onesie, I guess we’re now down to birth — we’re emphasizing through clothing that girls should want to look sexy. Thankfully I have a son, so I venture into the girls clothing department only at gift time. Which is good, because when I see what’s out there, I want to scream. The overall message being conveyed is: Your appearance is who you are, so look trashy and sexy, girls.
Ahhhh! Is that not a sentiment that brings consequences for our girls? Screws up their thinking?
I know right now someone is saying, ‘Oh Sue, can’t you take a joke?’
No can do, because it’s not just this onesie. It’s everywhere. It’s the push-up tops in bathing suits, crotchless underwear and the padded, strapless black bandeau bras — all marketed to girls 10 and under. The bandeau bra was targeted at ages 4 to 6. Why in the world would a 4-year-old need a padded bra?
Do you see any clothing for boys that’s projecting the sexy slut look? Have you seen a boy’s onesie imprinted with a Speedo bathing suit? Of course not.
It’s no big surprise that the body on the onesie that is wearing that red bikini is a perfectly shaped woman. With the majority of our celebrities now size 0 and under, the perfect body is shown as if that is what one should be, and as if it is easily attainable. The word skinny — not fit or strong — is touted as the new normal, the goal. It’s seldom pointed out to our girls that these actresses often achieve their perfection by starvation or the wonders of Photoshop.
All of this puts tremendous pressure on girls when it comes to appearances.
It’s no wonder we have girls killing themselves to be skeletal and others who are grossly overweight. The first group is obsessed with achieving the look and the other knows that it’s impossible and gives up before even trying for a healthy body, inside or out.
Worst of all, there is little counterpoint reminding them their brains and values are the real important stuff.
Wish I could laugh about that silly bikini onesie. But to me it’s just one more reminder of how American girls are so under fire.