Why Elizabeth Hurley's Bikini Line for Girls is Wrong and Sick

A bikini that's described as 'great for girls who want to look grown up' is wildly inappropriate.Mommy wars cover a wide range of very serious topics such as breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, natural birth vs medicated birth and co-sleeping vs cry-it-out. I'm not here to talk about any of those. Refreshing right?

Though there does seem to be yet another, less-detrimental-to their-well-being divide among moms of young girls: bikini vs one-piece swimsuits.

I fall into the latter camp and sometimes it certainly feels like I'm the only one. Come April, stores are flooded with summer clothing, and among them, tons of bikinis for babies, toddlers and tweens. Most of the time, the one-piece suits or tankinis aren't any better. Between low-cut halter necklines and even lower-slung waistlines, it is not easy to find modest, functional swimwear for little ladies.

This week, HuffingtonPost.com reported on actress and model Elizabeth Hurley's new line of swimsuits for young girls. Pieces like the "Mini Cha Cha Bikini," an animal-print two-piece for girls under 8 and the "Collete Bikini," a suit that is held together by a gold ring and meant specifically for girls ages 8-13, have caused quite a stir in the UK. One suit is even described by the brand as "great for girls who want to look grown up."

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Not surprisingly, some moms and members of the media are concerned about the sexualization of our children, stating that the styles make girls look like mini-strippers. Take one look at some of the barely there suits and it's hard to disagree. Not to mention, your family's sunscreen costs will skyrocket thanks to all that extra exposed skin.

I have several reasons for not wanting my young daughter wearing bikinis. The simplest one is that they are not functional. Swimsuits are for swimming and playing in the water. Olympic swimmers wear sporty, one-piece bathing suits; Victoria's Secret models wear leopard print bikinis. If we agree that bikinis are all about style-sexy style-at that, then it's hard to justify letting a young girl wear one. You don't wear a bikini to become a world class swimmer, you wear one to look sexy on the beach. Or, as Ms. Hurley's camp believes, if you want to look more grown up.

Parents will argue that bikinis are easier for bathroom breaks. That's why I think that tankinis are a great option. The best option for modesty being a two-piece suit where the bottom of the top meets to the top of the bottom, and fits snug like a tank top. I'm not talking about a midriff-baring, sexy halter here.

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Another argument says that being "anti-bikini" means you think that babies and young girls can look sexy, so you are actually the weird one. My opinion on this won't be popular: I truly think babies look ridiculous in bikinis. They actually look much sweeter wearing just a diaper and a hat, lounging under an umbrella, than wearing some teeny, tiny baby bikini.

My "no bikinis for babies rule" also serves another important role. When it comes to toddlers and tween girls, I believe that if you and your partner decide that you don't want your 11-year-old asking to wear a two-piece suit, then you simply don't put her in one at 11 months old. She will inevitably see a photo of her baby bathing beauty days and ask why it was okay then, when it isn't now. Of course you can explain your reasoning, but having a possibly uncomfortable conversation about the sexualization of their bodies is better left for a later date. Babies are not capable of looking sexy to normal, well-adjusted folks, but a 12-year-old on the brink of puberty can certainly appeal to some sick individuals. I'm in favor of avoiding it altogether by keeping your child's fashion modest, always. Start with one piece suits from day one, set an appropriate age to introduce bikinis, and let the backlash begin.

I imagine I won't have an easy time with my stance on bikinis. Little girls everywhere are wearing them, and that's a favorite argument for unhappy kids. "So-and-so can wear one. Why can't I?!" My answer will sound something like "Because you're a young lady and I want you to look and act like one."

Fortunately, once I reminded him of the future of his sweet little girl in a bikini, my husband was totally on board with my fashion rule. He quickly let everyone in his family know that if they were going to buy our May-born baby a bathing suit for her birthday, it better be a one-piece style.

According to the HuffingtonPost poll, 61% of voters (at the time that I placed my vote) agreed that Hurley's line features inappropriate swimsuit styles. I would like to know where these parents live. I want to move to their neighborhoods and have my daughter grow up among theirs, so we can all summer at No Bikinis for Babies Beach until our children are mature enough to handle what comes along with wearing a "Mini Cha Cha Bikini."

What do you think about little girls in bikinis?


Photo credit: www.elizabethhurley.com

Written by Brooke Dowd Sacco for YourTango.com.


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