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Bikinis sexualise little girls, mum says

9Honey logo 9Honey 14/06/2018 Larissa Waterson

a couple of people that are standing in the grass © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd One mum has condemned the use of bikinis on toddlers saying the basic swimwear item sexualises little girls.

In a Mumsnet post, that has since sparked heated debate, one user said she is fed up with seeing bikinis on young girls.

“Urgh, I keep seeing these in the shops and I don’t get it,” the mum wrote.

“I don’t understand the bikini trend for toddlers - why does a three-year-old need something to cover her chest on the beach or at the pool?

“Urgh, why are we trying to turn our children into mini adults at every turn?”

The mum added, “Three-year-old boys don’t need to cover their chests.”

a screenshot of a cell phone © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

The post sparked heated reactions from hundreds of users. Some attacked the mum for overthinking a basic item of clothing while others aligned themselves with the view and called for the bikini top to be removed from little girls’ swimwear pieces.

“It does sexualise them because it draws attention to what they don't have - breasts. The real question is why would a parent want their very young girl aping the appearance of an adolescent in the most obvious way, i.e. breasts?” one user added.

“I agree with you. Little girls should wear just pants like boys. The top half of a little girl’s bikini is redundant,” another responded.

a person sitting on a beach © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

“I genuinely don't agree with the tiny versions of adult bikinis, the ones that an adult woman would wear in order to look sexy, why would you want your kid to wear one?”

However, not everyone agreed and a significant number of users hit back at what they thought was a “judgmental overreaction”.

“Some people like them [bikinis]. People are allowed to have different tastes regarding clothing. I don’t know why that confuses you,” one commenter said.

“I dress my children for comfort as probably most people do. I think you sound a little judgemental. It is a free world,” another posted.

“When my [daughter] was two, she tried on a bikini that she loved, and gazed at herself in the mirror, grinning like a fool and rubbing her adorable baby belly. I didn't even hesitate to buy it! It's a swimming costume...I can't get too wound up about things like that.”

Ursula Andress standing next to a body of water posing for the camera © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

“I don’t get why a rash vest and bottoms is ok but wearing both bits of a bikini is suddenly wrong,” another user posted.

The argument reflects an age-old debate in Western societies over whether or not the bikini is an item that empowers or limits women.

While the swimsuit item is more than 1,700 years’ old, the bikini took off in fashion during the late 1950s.

a person standing in front of a mountain © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

"Le bikini", a suit of four triangles made from only 30 inches of fabric was fashioned by French engineer Louis Reard in 1946 after he noticed women on the beach rolling up their swimsuits to get a better tan.

Controversial in its early days as an item of clothing no ‘decent’ woman would wear, the bikini slowly gained popularity with some women seeing it as a form of female emancipation.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

As American writer and former model Kelly Killoren Bensimon told the BBC, "It really gave people confidence. The bikini is emblematic of freedom. It's about fun, it's about play, it's a lifestyle. It celebrates athletes, models, dancers and real people.”

However, others argue the swimsuit is a figurative ‘noose’ on girls and women both psychologically and physically.

“Girls and women have been stripped bare by a sexually expressive culture whose beauty dictates have exerted a major toll on their physical and emotional health," wrote US social historian Joan Jacobs Brumberg.

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