Are little girls dressed in two-piece bathing suits being sexualized?
That's the charge being thrown at a line of children's bikinis manufactured by actress Elizabeth Hurley's swimwear company.
The director of the British child safety organization Kidscape (whose motto is "Preventing bullying, protecting children") calls some of the items in the star's catalog "disturbing" and "inappropriate."
"The pieces that are very adult and which contribute to the sexualization of young girls -- especially in the poses portrayed -- do not take account of the child protection concerns that have been well-aired," Claude Knight told the Daily Mail.
The founder of British parenting website Netmums agreed, telling the paper that she and many other parents are disturbed by the "commercialization of children’s sexuality" they feel the kids' bikinis promote.
Siobhan Freegard said she knows many mothers who "would be horrified by their daughters dressing like mini-strippers."
Well, yeah. Certainly almost any mother (or father) would be. But is that what's going on here?
A spokesman for Hurley disputed the characterization of the swimwear as tawdry or problematic and asserted that "most of our customers are repeat customers who report that their kids adore the designs." She added, "Our collections sell extremely well in Harrods and in numerous stores across America and the Middle East."
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