Abercrombie Kids Push-Up Bikini and Other Products that Sparked Public Outrage
Abercrombie Kids, a clothing line marketed to children ages 7-14, recently began selling a “push-up” bikini top. Needless to say, many people were disgusted. Thanks to the power of the Internet, it only took a few days for Abercrombie to change the name of the bikini to “padded,” although that doesn’t seem much better to me. Here are some other kids’ products that have sparked similar public outrage.
- Baby High Heels
Heelarious sells soft baby shoes designed to look like high heels. Oh-so-cutely described as “her first high heels,” the shoes have inspired a lot of anger since their 2008 debut. Critics argue that high heels, which have long been associated with sexiness and femininity, inappropriately sexualize young girls. As the article linked to above points out, this isn’t the first time that high heels have been targeted at very young girls, but it might be a first for heels “aimed at the under six month set.”
- Kids’ Prepaid Debit Card
In November 2010, Mastercard launched a prepaid debit card for kids, with the Kardashian sisters as the faces of the product. The debit card was riddled with exorbitant fees–as the article above points out, it would cost a minimum of $99.95 to use the card for a year. Thankfully it was pulled from the market after less than a month due to everyone in the world hating it.
- Credit Card Teething Toy
Heelarious strikes again, this time with a teething toy designed to look like a credit card. The pink toy, obviously intended for baby girls, is imprinted with the name “Ima Spender.” Once again, many people were not pleased. Critics of the product pointed out that the toy not only perpetuates stereotypes of women as “gold diggers,” it also makes a cutesy joke out of consumerism. The product is no longer available on the site, although I’m not sure whether or not public anger had anything to do with it.
- Breastfeeding Baby Doll
The breast milk baby is a doll with which little girls can simulate breastfeeding. The girl wears a halter top with flower “nipples,” from which the doll can “breastfeed.” The doll also burps and cries. The website touts the product as a good tool to teach young girls about nurturing babies. However, many people–parents and non-parents alike–feel that the doll encourages girls to simulate activities that are much too adult. Whichever side of the argument you fall on, I think we can all agree that the doll and accompanying halter top is undeniably creepy.
- Miss Bimbo Online Game
Miss Bimbo is an online game in which players “look after a Bimbo character as she goes through life.” Targeted at young girls, the game lets players dress up their Bimbos, make them flirt with “hot guys,” and compete for popularity. Needless to say, Miss Bimbo received a lot of flak for being full of terrible messages. In 2008, the game’s objective was to be “the hottest, coolest most famous bimbo ever!” Since then, they’ve changed it to “the hottest, coolest most intelligent and talented bimbo the world has ever known!” I assume that adding “most intelligent” and “talented” were half-hearted concessions to public pressure. But with the word “bimbo” used over ten times on the site’s home page, it’s hard to believe the company is too invested in the characters’ intelligence.
- Stripper Pole Toy
If you learn only one thing from this post, I hope it’s that you shouldn’t sell stripper poles in the toy section of your store. UK-based retail giant Tesco learned this lesson the hard way. In 2006, parents and other functionally sane people were outraged that a “pole-dancing kit” was being sold in the toy section of Tesco. As the kit boasted the slogan “unleash the sex kitten inside,” it was probably difficult for Tesco to argue that the product had any sort of redeeming value as a toy. They’ve since removed the kit from the toy section, but continue to sell it in the fitness section.
What are some other products that you found morally reprehensible?