90’s poster girl and clothing designer (who knew?) Elizabeth Hurley is facing some backlash about her eponymous clothing line’s children’s bathing suits, which some prudes are calling too damn hot. In fact, some tightwads are arguing that Hurley’s line is sexualizing children by making suits that look like adult lingerie, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about.
The reaction was largely in response to this tweet, which showcased some of Hurley’s collection and led people over to her website to check out the goods:
— Elizabeth Hurley (@ElizabethHurley) April 2, 2014
The actress’s website features several children wearing the skimpy designs while striking poses more suitable for adult models. It includes items for the under eights, such as an animal-print ‘Mini Cha Cha Bikini’ which costs £32.90 and is modelled by a blonde child with both hands placed precociously on her hips. Another design, called the ‘Collette Bikini’ is advertised in the 8-13 age range, and is described as being ‘great for girls who want to look grown up’.
What’s the big deal? So these kids’ suits look vaguely like something out of a Miami-themed erotica novel sold at the grocery store. Don’t kids also have a right to conform to crushing societal pressure to be sexually attractive from birth if they want to? CHOICE!
The outrage here is largely misplaced–I’m personally upset that children don’t have more sexy clothing options. Sometimes, you’re just a kid running around the water park, and you think to yourself “you know what would really make this water slide a fun, youthful time? A little sex appeal!” And I get it. I was just the least sexy child in the world, and nobody would have ever thought to sexualize me prematurely. It’s been hard to deal with over my life, but somehow I’ve gotten past my non-sexualized childhood of mud pies and trickery. Thank you. I know, I’m so brave. But I never want another child to go through what I went through–a carefree childhood without the pressure to be alluring to the other children around me. Can you imagine?
So I’m calling for children’s clothing designers to step up. We want sexier clothing options–bathing suits and otherwise– for America’s children. The time is now. The cause is just. Let’s invest in our future.
Photos: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images