Hilary George-Parkin, Styleite.com
Actress Elizabeth Hurley has found herself under fire this week for her latest venture: a swimwear line for young girls featuring animal print string bikinis that some parents argue cross the line and sexualize children. Numerous advocacy groups spoke out to the Daily Mail about the line, taking issue with both the wares themselves and the poses being struck by the young girls modeling them.
Claude Knight, director of the child protection charity Kidscape, rails against some of the pieces, calling them “disturbing” and “inappropriate.”
“The pieces that are very adult and which contribute to the sexualization of young girls – especially in the poses portrayed – do not take account of the child protection concerns that have been well-aired,” Knight told the paper.
Strong words indeed. One such item is a teeny cheetah-all-over suit that comes in sizes as small as 18 to 24 months. Another is a pink bikini with a gold hoop closure billed on ElizabethHurley.com as “great for girls who want to look grown up — but rest assured they are still well covered.”
In reaction to the backlash, a representative for Hurley defended the swimwear, telling the Daily Mail, “Our collections sell extremely well in Harrods and in numerous stores across America and the Middle East. Most of our customers are repeat customers who report that their kids adore the designs.”
And while we’re all for letting kids dress as they please, there’s a point where “mommy and me” dressing ceases to become cute — do you think Hurley has reached it with these suits? We have also reached out to her publicist for comment and will update when we receive a response.
More from Styleite: