Dear Deborah Soriano,
Yesterday I received a message from a reader of mine who had gotten an eblast from a company marketing your line of swimwear, with the tag line as being “kid-appropriate”. She was a little shocked, as was I, when we went to your website and found very young female models vamped up and posed provocatively in your Submarine swimwear line. Little girls do not wear wigs and make-up to the beach, nor does the way you have them posed come naturally to them. You have directly and willingly sexualized these young girls for your commercial purposes.
As a mother of a young girl and a children’s apparel manufacturer myself, the photos on your website make me extremely uneasy. I personally find them to have crossed the line of appropriateness. While not illegal or pornographic, you certainly are playing up the pending sexuality of these little girls to sell your garments. Deborah, I find that repulsive.
As a woman and as a fellow business owner, I ask that you take some time to examine your marketing practices, and consider a more appropriate and non-sexualizing approach when you shoot your next season’s release. Certainly you have creative staff on hand to allow your brand to continue to be trendy and hip without having to exploit children to make sales. Your company’s practices directly contribute to the culture of sexualization our children are forced to grow up in. There is no reason or excuse for it.
I frequent children’s boutiques regularly both for business and for my family’s personal shopping. When I see your brand in their retail spaces, I will be sure to mention to each and every shop owner my issues with the level of sexualization portrayed on your website, thus leaving me never wanting to purchase your clothing or swimwear for my own daughter.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the issues around sexualization and perhaps help you craft some better business practices.
Owner/Family Advocate Pigtail Pals, LLC
PUSH BACK: If you find Submarine Kids (R) marketing practices to cross the line and directly contradict the company’s release (click to enlarge), I encourage you to email or call owner Deborah Soriano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-931-4196 and in a kind and graceful way explain why these images upset you.