As I write more and more posts, I discover I have more and more beefs with people, places, things. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more. Or maybe I just never had the chance to share that outwardly with anyone.
A while back, I heard about the actress Elizabeth Hurley and how she launched a new line of swim wear for little girls. There was a wave of backlash due to the fact that the pieces were “disturbing”, “inappropriate” and “sexualizing” of young girls. The photos show girls under 10, posing in two-piece suits and hands on hips.
Siobhan Freegard of the Netmums community said that she knows “a number of mothers who are concerned about the sexualization of their children and would be horrified by their daughters dressing like mini-strippers.”
I believe the heart of the matter comes down to one thing: people are uncomfortable with seeing skin.
As most of you who read this blog know, I live in Cancun, where the Caribbean weather is fabulously warm all year round. I am also a triathlete, which means I see people in swimsuits all the time. When I saw the photos, even before reading the articles, I thought, “Those are cute colors.” So you can imagine my surprise when I read that many were appalled by the attire. Some comments referred to how pedophiles would be more drawn and these children would be easier targets. Easy targets? Pedophiles are adults who sexually molest under-aged people. I am of the opinion that a child is a target of such a person, regardless of how they are dressed.
I’m not put off by these suits and I’ll tell you why.
Because I don’t associate bare skin with sex.
There is a difference. Case in point: I have male friends who run around in Speedos all the time. But I don’t look at them and say, “damn, I want to tap that!”
I believe several things:
1. Any person who forces another to act sexually in a way they do not want to, regardless of their age, is wrong.
2. Associating bare skin to sex is an evolving issue. Example: Grace Coolidge, the wife of the 30th US President, Calvin Coolidge, was said to have been helped into a car by personnel, when he saw her bare ankle and blushed, embarrassed to have seen so much of her skin.
3. People should be comfortable in seeing skin and bodies as a natural thing and not a thing of sex.
I do not purport to have all the answers nor did I ever say I did but in my world, I see people who commented on people wearing Speedos in triathlons as wardrobe-fails and all in all, quite ugly. So by theory, the formulas are as follows:
Little girl + bikini/more skin = sexualization
Man + Speedo/more skin = ugly
which follows that:
More skin = ugly