To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hall of Shame: Submarine's Ad Campaign for Girls' Swimwear

My latest Hall of Shame award goes to (drumroll, please) the current ad campaign from Submarine for girls' swimsuits. (My Hall of Shame awards go to anyone or anything that I deem to be disrespectful to girls or harmful to the healthy self-image of girls, especially tween girls like my own munchkin.) These COULD be cute suits but the sexualized presentation ruins them for me. Little girls in heavy makeup, wigs, dangling earrings, and insouciant pouts? Seriously? These girls don't look like sweet and innocent children out to have fun at the pool or beach. They look like sexy adult-wannabes.

Another blogger, Nancy at Parent Girls (part of New Moon Girls Network), puts it very well when she says Submarine is playing up the pending sexuality of these girls to sell a product, and that's repulsive. If you agree, you can let Submarine know. Both Nancy and Melissa posted examples of letters you can send to Submarine owner Deborah Soriano at I sent one.

The American Psychological Association also agrees that this type of imposed sexualization is harmful to children. It contributes to an inability to concentrate, anxiety about appearance, eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression, and poor sexual well-being.  A publication from 2007 by the APA Task Force addresses the sexual objectification of girls, and is worth taking the time to read if you are a parent or a manufacturer or distributor of kids' products. Be sure to read pages two and three which contain suggestions on what parents and kids can do. Think about the girls in that Submarine ad when you read this quote from the APA:
Girls get this message repeatedly: What matters is how “hot” they look. It plays on TV and across the Internet. You hear it in song lyrics and music videos. You see it in movies, electronic games, and clothing stores. It’s a powerful message.

As parents, you are powerful too. You can teach girls to value themselves for who they are, rather than how they look. You can teach boys to value girls as friends, sisters, and girlfriends, rather than as sexual objects. And you can advocate for change with manufacturers and media producers.

In fact, Nancy has come up with a great idea for communicating with companies. It's called Girl-Caught. She's made up some printable stickers you can put on any product ad or packaging that show that you either hate it because it objectifies and disrespects women or girls, or that you like it because it is respectful. Mail the offending (or exemplary) ad or product packaging to the company with the sticker, and before you do, scan or photograph what you're sending and share it with under "My Stuff."  I'm going to do this with my munchkin to teach her how to evaluate the advertising she sees.



Sarah Hull said...

Wow...those are truly awful advertisements. It's disturbing actually. :( So sad that little girls can't be little girls anymore, but they have to have sexuality waved at them like that.

Thanks for posting that! What an eye-opener. Also, thanks for following my blog from Mom Blog Monday Blog Hop - I am following your blog back too!

Hope you have a wonderful day
The Little Hedgehog

Nancy Gruver said...

Thumbs Up! Let's spread the word far and wide about Submarine's exploitation!

~ Mona said...

I know a woman who seems in a rush to have her 4 year old grow up fast. Her nails (hands and feet) done up. Lip gloss, eye shadow, and a two pieces like those... although she was looking for "slight" padding - (Yeah, I know, she's a nut job). She mentioned Tom Cruise's daughter wearing heals and mature clothing so it's not all bad.
Little girls need to get to be little girls.
~ Mona : )
Mona’s Milestones

Jessica @FoundtheMarbles said...

Ewww. Those are truly horrible and completely deserve to be in the Hall of Shame.

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