The above photo would be Suri Cruise (daughter of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) at age three. Fashionista and high heel regular. Retailers are meeting this new hip trend, with many shoes stores participating.
A spokesman for Asda, which is currently selling a pair of Disney Princess children's sandals with a 3cm heel, said the retailer had received no customer complaints. A Next spokesman said: “Their popularity suggests many parents agree we’ve come up with a look that’s special without seeming inappropriately grown up.” GapKids said their child heels had been tested to ensure safety.
The subject of Suri Cruise's footwear has become a hot topic on parenting forums. Her mother said they did no harm. "Like every little girl, she loves my high heels. They are actually ballroom dancing shoes for kids. I found them for her and she loves them."
In April, Primark withdrew padded bikini tops aimed at girls as young as seven following criticism that the items were sexualising children.
David Cameron, then leader of the Opposition, described the clothing as "completely disgraceful" and condemned the "early commercialisation and sexualisation of our children."
Mr Cameron is right. Safey is not the real point, and everyone knows it. The bizarre thing is that kids' clothes overlap with increasingly sleezy trends, and some adult women dabble in childish clothes, blurring lines in a particular area which is highly problematic. Looks like some of the mums in England are aware of this, and making a fuss. From their webside:
A growing number of toys, clothes ('sexy' slogans on young girls' clothing) and accessories (Playboy-branded stationery sets, anyone?) encourage children to enter the world of adult sexuality.
There are plenty of reasons to be worried by this trend:
- It introduces children to the world of adult sexuality, when elsewhere we are rightly encouraging them to resist the pressure to become sexually active at a young age
- It tells girls that the most important quality they need is 'sexiness' and that female sexuality is all about pleasing others
- It encourages a culture in which children are viewed as sexually available
- Authorities as varied as the NSPCC, the NUT and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams have all weighed in on this issue, calling for a halt to the premature sexualisation tre
Sadly, until modesty is prioritised once again (and all promiscuity is discouraged, not just below a certain age) they'll be standing before the cultural steamroller, but bless them for speaking up. Someone has to. [Btw, Nora Cyrus, age ten below. I believe those would be called "dominatrix boots" in the shoe industry.]