For the last year or so I have been trying to be more mindful of the message I am sending to my girls about body image, self worth, and gender stereotyping. I no longer make mean comments about my body (at least out loud… it’s a work in progress!), I don’t head straight for the pink areas of the toy store if I am buying a gift for a little girl, and I am a lot more aware of the marketing that is directed at our girls. This morning a new line of Sketcher’s Shoes came to my attention. Here is the commercial:
I will give you a second to close your mouth and your brain to try to comprehend what you just saw. It looks like some awful 90’s commercial that you would see on SNL. Swag? 2-inch high heels? DADDY’S MONEY?! W.T.H?!
I realize that kids should be able to be fashionable, heck I am the one who just 2 days ago used Kool-aid to dye my 5yr old’s hair! But there are so many things wrong with these shoes, the ad campaign, and the intent that I don’t even know where to begin. And thankfully, I am not the only one. Hop over here to Sketcher’s Facebook Page and scroll through…. there’s a serious public outcry going on.
But the ramifications of these shoes are not important to everyone. When I posted about these shoes on my Facebook page I was met with the comment, “But they’re just shoes.”
And to me, no, they are not just shoes. They are a symbol to our girls that they are not tall enough to be cool, that Daddy makes all the money, that to be cool you have to dress sleazy, wave money around, and wear lots of heavy gold jewelry. It is blatent sexualization of young girls.
People are wrong when they assume that shoes are just shoes. Objects send messages to the world about yourself. They imply things, whether intended or not. My job as a mother is to protect my girls from those messages, explain why we won’t allow questionable items in the house, and help them to see through cheap marketing ploys.
So I am going to take a stand with my voice and my money, I sent a letter to Sketcher’s corporate office regarding the entire line of shoes, and hope that by sharing the commercial and such others will take a stand as well. We can’t sit by and let products like this slide and at the same time wonder how come our girls are growing up as fast as they are.