I have sad news.  Maybe you’ve already heard (I don’t have cable), Skechers has butt-toning Shape-ups for young girls…

When questioned about the implications of their product, President of Skechers Leonard Armato responded by comparing the product to the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign (which is gender-neutral and doesn’t suggest children buy anything).

As Amy Robertson commented on  Augusta Christenson’s article about the shoes:

01:12 PM on 5/13/2011

I sell shoes in retail, and have young ladies come in and try on different types of toning shoes constantly­. The majority of them are overweight and think that these shoes are going to help them lose weight. In reality, these ladies could spend the same amount or less on a running shoe that is going to give them support rather than instabilit­y (the premise behind shape-ups and all the work out shoes) and just EXERCISE! These shoes are NO replacemen­t for exercising­. The girls in the ads and videos look better because they worked out, not because they wore the toning shoes! Its false advertising.

I don’t really have anything to say.  I’m just bitter about the whole thing.  Alas, with the financial success of women’s butt-toning shoes which capitalize on women’s lack of self-esteem and our culture’s sexualization of women, why wouldn’t they create similar products for young girls?

Erin Ryan from Jezebel states:

…people will buy anything that offers the faint promise of the appearance of physical fitness without the actual doing of physical work. They’ll also buy anything that promises to help parents live vicariously through their children, and what America’s parents want are hot daughters.

Breaking news from my head: Little girls should not worry about toning their thighs and butts. They have decades of adulthood to develop a fucked up enmity with their bodies; why can’t we give them their first decade of life free from the “You’re Fat, Ergo Buy This Product” cacophony.

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