Matalan accused by activists of ‘sexualizing’ children with Candy Couture girls’ clothing line
Matalan has been accused of âsexualizingâ children with his line of girls’ clothing.
The retailer’s Candy Couture line is aimed at girls ages nine to 16, but activists say some items are unsuitable for young people this age.
Showcasing crop tops, lace-side denim shorts and a tight black bardot dress, the Let Clothes Be Clothes campaign group says, “ They’re short, tight, and skimpy because they reflect sexual conceptions. adults ”.
Sharing photos of the range on Facebook, the group said, âThis is one of the worst ranges of street child sexualization that I have come across.
“We’re all for choice, and the issue of sexualization can be subjective – but can you imagine boys being offered clothes like this?”
“It is not safe to say that these are not children’s clothes, they are short, tight and narrow because they reflect adult sexual views. Very irresponsible.”
The post drew nearly 200 comments from parents, many of whom agreed.
âIt’s too much,â said one of them. “These clothes start at NINE YEARS OLD. Cropped tops and suggestive lips, lace-up shorts and leopard prints. Who the hell didn’t see a problem with that?”
While another added: “It makes me sad. My almost 6 year old daughter wears 8 year old clothes and I find it more and more difficult to dress her in age appropriate clothes. , so she lives with leggings and boys’ clothes. “
A number of parents have criticized the length of girls’ shorts available on the street in general, wondering why they are always much shorter for girls than for boys.
Some have suggested that it was the society that was the problem, rather than specific clothing, with one saying the problem lay in “ the way the female body has been sexualized. ”
But Elizabeth Evans, an academic psychologist who has studied children’s body image for more than a decade, countered that view, saying, âChildren aren’t oblivious to the signals that these clothes involve, and that’s it. therein lies the problem. Clothes that encourage each other. Goals – and these really do – are a big deal in terms of shaping girls’ body image patterns, especially those ages 9 and up. “
Speaking to the MEN family of Manchester, Francesca Mallen, of Let Clothes Be Clothes, a campaign to end gender stereotypes in the design and marketing of children’s clothing, said: “The question of stylish clothes sex sold to girls has been raised repeatedly No one judges children for what they wear, but we are right in judging retailers who offer very adult, tight, tight clothing for children.
“What’s the point after all of a lace panel headband or micro shorts on a nine year old? Matalan sells these products under the name ‘Candy Couture’ which also features lip designs and ribbed bardot dresses The boys’ section is called “Teenage Boys Clothing” and only has practical and comfortable basics like hoodies and jeans.
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“Why are girls and boys treated so differently? If you didn’t let a boy wear these clothes, why would you want a girl to?”
She added: âStudies have shown that girls are sensitive to cues from sexual images, such as music videos and commercials, and as such believe that they will be more accepted by wearing such clothes. The problem is to know what it says to young girls at such a time. important age? Is our value in being decorative? To show as much body as possible? Girls and young women feel constantly judged, not only on their clothes, but also on their appearance – and these types of clothes only increase the pressure of bodily confidence. “
The criticism comes after River Island was called out last week for selling heels to girls as young as five.
But the retailer said it takes ‘age, style and function’ into consideration in all of its children’s clothing designs, ‘as well as customer demand.’
A spokesperson for Matalan said: âWe are extremely aware and proud of our long-standing role as a responsible family retailer. We always make sure our products are suitable for customers and carefully review feedback on all product lines.
“In this case, these products have proven to be extremely popular among our customers. We understand that not all products will appeal to everyone, however, we aim to provide a range of styles so that there is something for everyone. ages. “