While Skechers isn't marketing Shape-ups to young girls as a butt-toning tool, we all know the adult purpose of them. Shape-ups have been heavily marketed as such for adults.
August Christensen, who started the petition on Change.org, notes, "Women have plenty of time to be targeted for their weight throughout their lives. By not only marketing a shoe line to young girls, but also not even having an equivalent for boys Skechers is sending a clear message to girls and women: you're never too young to start hating your body."
She does make good points. Where is the equivalent for boys? She ends by telling the company to stop "body policing" young girls.
You can see the commercial for the Shape-ups at the end of this article. In it, animated (skinny) tweens sing the words, "Heidi's got new Shape-ups, got everything a girl wants. She's got the height, got the bounce. She's lookin' good and havin' fun 'cuz Heidi's got new Shape-ups."
Perhaps if this was another product not previously marketed to adults to get their booties toned and their legs hot, "she's got the bounce" wouldn't mean much. But it sort of does, given the purpose of adult Shape-ups.
Is this in line with CNN writer LZ Granderson's claims that we're dressing our daughters like tramps? Granted, Shape-ups don't make little girls look like streetwalkers -- quite the opposite, actually -- but perhaps this is another case of a company marketing inappropriate adult items to kids. Here, we're talking about shoes that were originally marketed to women to give them nice butts. We don't really want to send the same message to young girls, do we?
>> What do you think? Are Skechers Shape-ups appropriate for young girls? Are some parents getting worked up over nothing? Or are these shoes sending unnacceptable messages to our daughters? Vote in the poll or share your opinion in the comments section!
(*Note that at the time this article was written, the page on the Skechers website where the Shape-ups for girls were sold returns a "page not found" message.)
Watch the Shape-ups commercial: