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Campaign to stop retailers selling products that prematurely sexualise children - let us know what you think...

(781 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Jan-10 12:58:29

So quite a few folk on the MN campaigns thread mentioned that an issue they'd like to see MN get involved in is the premature sexualisation of children.

So we've put together an outline for a potential campaign, along the lines of Let girls be girls, summarising the issues and some of the research. The aim is to encourage retailers to make a simple, public pledge that commits them to selling only products which do not sexualise children.

Please do have a read and let us know your thoughts, ideas, suggestions.


sophis Thu 03-Mar-11 17:43:44

Ideas I sent to government-

backing David Cameron's campaigns to protect children from premature sexualisation link-

• I agree with the banning of sexualized children’s clothing-padded bra's and other inappropriate merchandise e.g. playboy pencil cases etc.

• Move lads mags up to the top shelf again in newsagents, the shop owners could just select their favourites if there’s not enough room, they shouldn’t be as low that children can easily see them or even pick them up!

• Stick to the 9pm watershed carefully on tv and even radio.

• remove porn and music channels from cable/freeview/sky, with an opt in scheme instead.

• Reduce sexualized advertising before the 9pm watershed

• Cleaner billboards with less sexualized images on them, just keep them in magazines for adults and on tv past 9pm or wherever appropriate.

• Age limits on some magazines for girls so that they read the appropriate content for their age and the same for lads mags, they should be I.d’d at the counter, you get I.d’d for knives, alcohol, cigarettes and dvd’s etc but there’s no strict rules for porn, including soft porn like zoo and nuts, or the sun newspaper.

• Make software more available so it’s easier for parents to control viewing content on internet and tv

• There is however the problem of controlling the downloading of music on the internet or videos from utube, perhaps on the back of an I.d card/learners/drivers license/passport/birth certificate etc they’d have to select the form of I.d and type in a code, even if it were a once they’ve done it once for a site they don’t need to again or something and it’s up to the people around them if they want to cheat this system-could also use a third party to check age like virgin mobile.

• No porn in public- an extension of the usual no porn at work rule, e.g. not viewing rude magazines on public transport and leaving material around etc

•Stricter rules on nudist beaches- I think better sign posting and someone patrolling the cut off line to prevent children wandering into them, like I once did!

claire king

sophis Thu 03-Mar-11 17:44:59

please joing my faceook group i have had for two years on this subject

Bring back the watershed! 9pm-protect children from inappropriate material.

under groups or try this link if it works!/group.php?gid=127951171932

pranged Mon 07-Mar-11 13:53:28

Has anyone seen evidence of this? Walmart seeling Geo-Girl anti-aging make-up to tweens.

I wish I was making this up, but sadly no. Walmart owns Asda. Anyone monitoring them?

OMGyoumustbekidding Thu 21-Apr-11 22:40:22

I am very upset to notice when underwear shopping for my 8 year old girl I came across a lovely little set of shortie panties with a little bit of lace which I turned over and TO MY HORROR had the slogan "NOT AS SWEET AS I LOOK" on them. WHY?!?! I am so disgusted. I had not been watching the programme but when I complained in the shop they gave me the following address to write to:

Life and style retail ltd.
Atlantic street,
Broadheath, Altrincham,
WA14 5FY.

You never know if they receive enough complaints they might remove them from sale!

I did not know about the campaign but I became aware of it because when I complained they looked bemused and asked if I had been watching the sex ed show which led me to your campaign. I have also been horrified to see panties for kids in Asda in the past with the slogan "DIVE IN" on the front.

I do not advocate removing fashion clothes from the shelves as some people choose to dress their children more traditionally than others but there definately comes a point where some of the items are OBVIOUSLY inapropriate and downright abusive towards any child allowed to wear them. there should be penalties for designing such perverse clothing for kids.

curleywurley2 Mon 25-Apr-11 18:01:09

Im a mum of a three year old and i find it so hard to try and protect her from seeing inapropriate images, even during the day. I was disgusted and had to turn off a music video at 2pm cause my daughter asked "why is the woman just in her knickers mummy,can i dance in my knickers?" needless to say i was mortified!!!
This has to stop and i think rauncy music videos and "lads mags" should not be able to be viewed at all by children.
I also work for a well known high street underwear shop and i think that some of the posters we put in the window are abit too graffic for a busy high street window, these should be displayed in side the shop for people in the shop. Please people some thing needs to be done before children become "hard faced" to these images.

TeaMonster Sat 14-May-11 13:38:33

I have done a blog post on this, as I am shocked at the outburst by the Canadian police man this week

TeaMonster Sat 14-May-11 13:39:13

WOuld help if I added the link blush

Trace100 Sat 21-May-11 20:05:33

I do not think schools (and this is obviously a generalisation) handle the topic of sex education correctly. Each child is different and so is their understanding of sex! The schools do not involve the parents and do not have the appropriate material to teach the children.

tineB63 Sun 05-Jun-11 12:42:22

I have only just learned of this campaign in the press and as the mother of a ten-year old daughter who is growing up far too quickly am very keen to lend my support in any way possible. I see that David Cameron is getting involved which is great. What is next on the agenda?

dotcate Tue 07-Jun-11 14:45:29

The branding and design of products targeted at children is controversial accross the board - from food/ clothing/ toys, the consumer culture enables parents or mothers to package and brand their child...consciously or unconsciously.
We have to exercise caution and respect - when we target campaigns like this - economics play a huge part in dictating where many parents are able to shop -
Primark/ Matalan/Poundstretcher/Tescos/ Sainburys and Next - come to a a well seasoned mother shopper's mind -and Mothercare and Laura Ashley were all Durham UK offered at one point.
My daughters have reached an age where they are responsible for their own fashion choices - I take sole responsibilty for mine-
humour apart - as a residential social worker - I learned to hold my first thoughts and look at the bigger picture-The Sexualisation of children in their own minds and in the adult mind is complex.
The sexual predator is not normal and there is a hint of victim blaming - and class prejudice underlying this campaign. We can advocate quality/ design and affordability without targeting and stigmatising...tread lightly -
Peer pressure - bullying etc are nightmares often linked with clothing/dress/ personal esteem ... abuse and rape-are complex and emotive issues
The branding and marketing of 'Little Miss Sunshine' is delicate- please ....

busyMouse Wed 03-Aug-11 15:14:21

My local Debenhams (Clapham Junction) is selling padded bras for 7-8 year olds and yet Debenhams are one of the retailers who agreed to back Mumsnet's Let Girls be Girls campaign!
So what does it actually mean for a retailer to back this worthy campaign? Apparently absolutely nothing. I guess they just agreed to support the campaign at the time because it made them look good and they got a bit of free advertising.

Snuppeline Fri 12-Aug-11 20:23:21

Verbautet sells a two-piece sexy looking swimsuit for girls as young as 2 years old. I'm disgusted! Can we turn up the heat against them?

missorinoco Fri 12-Aug-11 20:29:38

A relative kindly bought two GAP tops for my children. The long sleeved tshirt for a 4 year old boy is just that. The girls version is fitted. She is TWO! Why am I not surprised to see GAP has not signed up.

malovitt Wed 17-Aug-11 07:42:14

Good lord - look at this

Fluffymonster Wed 17-Aug-11 11:32:34

Yes I saw some of the pics from another site discussing it this morning - which is what brought me here. It's so gobsmackingly wrong I'm lost for words. Created by a woman stylist too, which seems even more obscene and disappointing. For children from as young as four, fgs.

Anyway I'm so angry I want to do something - but what?

IsSamNormansDad Sat 10-Sep-11 20:17:18

I ahve also posted this in AIBU too.
Was buying wellies for DS in Brantano today, and those hideous shoes caught my eye. I asked the duty manager if they were dressing up shoes as I had assumed, she replied 'No. They are for general wear.' She also mentioned that this style was extremely popular.
My DD is only 6m, so this kind of thing doesn't really affect me yet, but surely shoes like this worn regularly would damage a childs feet?
I also think that they are highly inappropriate for small children (available from kids size 9) as high heels are seen as 'sexy' shoes by many people.
I do NOT think that high heels for children neccessarily encourage inappropriate behaviour, but surely Mumsnets' campaign 'Let Girls Be Girls' is against this?
I am quite prepared to be flamed and told that it's none of my business, but if you feel the same, let Brantano know.

Nattie Wed 14-Sep-11 20:46:54

I know this is an old thread but I went in to M&S this morning and was shocked to find padded bras for 9-11 year olds in the children's section in my local branch in Bury St Edmunds. I thought that M&S had 'signed up' to the campaign???

sebeck Thu 29-Sep-11 09:21:03

Just went on to Matalan's website- did a search for girls clothes for under 5s, and the first product displayed was a bra! Have emailed the company & will see how they respond.

Maamaa Thu 10-Nov-11 11:43:05

Just made a complaint to offcom and BBC for showing parts of a Pixie Lott music video (and more than a few parts of Pixoe Lott!) on the BBC Breakfast programme at 9.00 am! Unbelievable, we can't even avoid this crap by avoiding music channels. Totally inappropriate sexual content. I find it so depressing how some female "artists" feel the need to do this rubbish in order to sell records.

MrsAlexE Wed 28-Dec-11 22:34:31

My 18 month old daughter received this awful TY doll for Christmas. Looks like a prostitute! Are TY signed up to the campaign? I'm guessing not...

Isntitironic Wed 22-Feb-12 13:23:14

I can' find it on their website otherwise I'd link to it, but I got send a catalogue by Vertbaudet last month, and there was a tie-fronted bikini top on a toddler. I notice I'm not the first to mention Vertbaudet here; perhaps it's time for a letter to them?

notaniphoneownerjustabadtypist Wed 04-Apr-12 11:14:15

I have written to Dulux to complain about a colour called "sexy pink". Will let you know their response!

notaniphoneownerjustabadtypist Thu 26-Apr-12 14:44:50

Well 3 weekks on I still haven't heard from Dulux. I phoned them and the customer service advisor I spoke to said they would email the mrketing dept who deal with the naming of colours. Still no news. Don't know what else to do - just wait or start a thread about it? Am wondering if IO am being oversensitive about this? Any advice welcome please!

airforceone Sun 30-Sep-12 17:50:36

Brilliant idea. My daughter is one and I'm already worried.

wilhecang Sat 06-Oct-12 20:09:51

Have you seen the latest in little girls under 10's underwear being sold in Marks & Spencers such as Padded bras !!!!!!!!!
I have sent the following e mail to M & S and hope others concerned about the premature sexualisation of children will lobby M & S to have a re think.

"I am contacting you to express my most sincere concern to find M & S selling inappropriate underwear garments and other fashion items for sale in your stores targeted at young females under the age of 10 eg padded bras, bikini vest tops etc. Whilst I am fully aware there are some young girls for whom puberty starts very early 9 + however the majority of young females do not .
As adults in a civilised and caring society, which I would hope includes the mangement of M & S , you must recognsie to keep our children safe, and indeed children, it is important that we do not sexualise our children inappropriately early in their development. Please review your policy to sell such lines and consider these points when looking to introduce new lines for children. M & S must not shirk there responsibility to our young. I will also be raising my concerns with Marc Bolland (CEO), Robert Swannell (Chairman)and Amanda Mellor (Group sec and Head of Corp Governance),Mumsnet, and various media contacts".

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