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Baby Bikinis: Adorable or Dangerous?

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The Meanest Mom: When my daughter was 4, I bought her one of the many cute "baby bikinis" for sale at a popular children's clothing chain. The pink triangle-top and ruffled bikini bottom were adorable -- at least, I thought so until a man at the pool admired my daughter's swimsuit a little too long for my liking.

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I learned an important lesson that day -- namely, that what moms often view as cute, fun, innocent and endearing, a creepy few view as sexy and hot. This principle applies not just to preschoolers, of course, but to tweens and teens as well. 

At the pool the other day, I noticed a darling 12-year-old girl splashing around the shallow end. Unfortunately, I was not the only one watching the girl play. A group of gawking men had singled the girl out from her group of friends because of what she was wearing: a string bikini. Even I had to admit that dressed the way she was, the girl looked more woman than sixth grader.

It is unfortunate and sad that we can't control how others view our kids. In a perfect world, our kids could wear whatever we (or they) wanted, and people would see them the way that we do -- as children. It is precisely because we can't control these things that we need to be cautious in how we dress our daughters.


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17 comments so far | Post a comment now
NJMOM July 12, 2008, 8:22 PM

This story really hit home with me. I am the mother of a 2 1/2 year old girl. My husband decided that bikinis were absloutely not allowed for this very reason. At first I resisted and thought that was a little extreme. I have made sure she only wears one peices and will do the same for my other two girls. This world is just to sick to take chances.

Mum July 12, 2008, 9:19 PM

I think that it is soo sad that we can’t put our girls in a cute 2 piece bathing suit. I have a n8 year old daughter and a 4 year old and it is hot outside and humid this summer. I too am very careful at the bathing suits I put on them as well as the clothes it does get harder as they grt older and want to wear certain things like the older girls. Clothes these days look so grown up and they have too much lace for the age they are marketing the clothes for. I could go on and on about this subject but I won’t. Have a safe day.
From a parent who is worried about the furure of little girls clothing

Jaime July 13, 2008, 11:43 PM

I remember sadly the story a few summers ago in northern Idaho where a family was murdered except for a son and daughter who were kidnapped (eventually the son was murdered, too). Upon interviews following the arrest of the culprit - he said that he became interested in the family when he was watching the daughter (she was under 10 years old) in a bikini at a public pool - that her bare belly was just so enticing… it really reinforced my opinion that my daughters would never go around with exposed bellies… it’s so horrible that there are such sick and cruel animals out there…

momof9 July 15, 2008, 3:57 PM

I do not like two piece suits for children for some of the reasons above but also because, especially on toddlers who have no hips or breasts to help them stay on the suits tend to get caught on things more than a one piece does. They get caught on the slide and on the hand rails of the pool laddre etc. I have had to rescue more than one toddler who was hanging from the rail by the top or bottom of her bikini…and when it is the top they are nearly hanging themselves by the neck sometimes just trying to use the slide. One piece suits tend to fit more snugly and do not tend to get caught in things.

ArmyWife&Momof3 July 19, 2008, 1:05 PM

Many of my friends love the convenience of two pieces for their young children. Yes, it is convenient, but do we want convenience over safety from the preds that are out there? It’s hard for many of us to think that someone is looking at our child other than how we view them. However, in today’s society we have people who struggle with addictions we can’t even comprehend at times. Not even realizing we feed it/accept it in our ignorance/innocence.

Kellie McCarrel July 24, 2008, 10:44 AM

My daughter recieved a bikini for her 1st birthday. She has never worn it. Instead I opted to buy her a swimsuit with a swim shirt that has 50 spf in it. Not only will it help protect her from the sun, but she will grow up wearing modest swimsuits and hopefully bikini’s will never be an issue.

Anonymous July 29, 2008, 6:27 PM

I was a victim of sexual abuse as a toddler. As I went through therapy (as an adult), read books and articles trying to “understand” my perpetrator. I was saddened by the statistics for sexual abuse. I was so grateful as I read this article and the comments that there are mothers out trying to protect their children. Awareness is always the first step.

Uncle Chester August 31, 2008, 11:09 PM

I think little girls aged around 6-12 look best in teeny string bikinis. I think more of them should wear them. VERY very nice.

Anonymous February 5, 2009, 8:46 PM

Thank God some parents out there still have some sense! I work for a day camp every summer and am often frustrated seeing the way parents allow their kids to dress in public. I have three kids of my own, 1 daughter and she will not be wearing a bikini; I don’t wear a bikini unless I am out with my husband!

Nathan April 10, 2009, 1:32 AM

Chester, I think you would look nice in Hell. Burning. Forever.

Laura April 11, 2009, 1:42 PM

I agree with you Nathan. sick men like that should be castrated and killed

tara April 29, 2009, 9:47 AM

well the parents that let the kids wear this , should be close by or in view so when they see this happen they can go punch the bastards in the face … be good parents , dont just sit there

Jen October 3, 2009, 6:05 PM

I am a mom that finds a two-piece to be extremely convenient for my 3 year old. But, there are 2-piece bathing suits that cover the same amount as a one piece. Her 2-piece consist of tank top style that comes all the way down to the bottoms (No Belly Showing). When I was shopping I even seen some two pieces where the top was a full blown short sleeve shirt. I don’t think the problem is with the 2-piece but with the cut & style of certain bath suits.

Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 10:21 AM

Nice info. Enjoyable and fun reading. I just have a single point to make about funny t-shirts.

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