What do little girls want for Christmas? According to a display in the little girls’ section at a Florida Dillard’s, they want a big fat bank account and a slim body. Oh, and Santa? Please don’t mix those two things up.
A mom of three snapped a picture of the sign and shared it on Facebook. Her actions were a common form of modern day protest. The photo quickly spread, along with outrage, and Dillard’s responded by pulling the sign from all stores.
Did the mom overreact? Absolutely not. It isn’t cute or charming to teach little girls that they should hope for slimmer bodies. It isn’t old fashioned. It’s just gross and harmful. We can’t control every message our children receive, but we should speak up when we see blatantly hurtful imagery. The last thing little girls need to be thinking about during the holidays is getting thin.
Every time women speak up about something sexist or obviously harmful, critics accuse them of being too sensitive. Before you suggest that this mom get over herself, try to remember what it was like being a little girl. Were you insecure? Were you starting to stress about your looks? Did you compare yourself to other girls?
Being a little kid is rough, and it’s our job as adults to soften that bumpy entrance into young adulthood. Let’s keep the holidays — and every day — free of body shame and sickening expectations.