I was watching Nickelodeon with my kids the other day when all of a sudden a Skechers commercial started playing and they were selling Skechers Shape-Ups for girls! I was immediately appalled. Do I even need to explain why?! I will anyway.
I’m sure everybody has heard of adult Skechers which are advertised to tone the legs and butt. Now that they are selling Shape-Ups for girls – young girls – I am completely outraged along with a number of other parents. The shoes start at size 2 (or approximately age 7) and are filled with sparkles and glitter to attract young girls. Young girls struggle enough as it is with the whole body image thing and it’s starting younger and younger.
My 4-year-old daughter has already asked me numerous times if something makes her look “fat” or “pretty”. One day she came up to me wearing a new headband that she had gotten and she said, “Does this make me look fat Mommy?” That immediately made my heart just ache and I squeezed her and told her she didn’t need to worry about being fat and that she is beautiful the way she is. She is 4!
Shape-Ups for Girls Commercial
Now, the commercial itself didn’t feature any talk about toning the legs and butt..it’s nothing like the Kim Kardashian commercial (which makes me want to vomit). See that video below. They basically just state that the shoes add “height and bounce”. The shoes are also filled with sparkles and at one point in the commercial there are skinny girls being chased by boys dressed as junk food.
I’m not the only parent that thinks these shoes are ridiculous. One parent even said that the message these shoes are sending is that girls are never too young to start hating their bodies. As of this writing, over 8400 people have actually signed the “Tell Skechers to Discontinue Shape-Ups for Girls”. You can view and sign the petition here.
Due to the outrage, ABC contacted the president of Skechers to ask him about the controversy of Skechers Shape-Ups for girls and he had this to say:
The intended purpose of Shape-Ups is to exercise. It’s not a push-up bra, it’s not a diet pill, it’s not Spanx.
Really?? Apparently he compares these shoes to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. This campaign is a program developed by the First Lady to fight the childhood obesity epidemic. If these shoes are intended to get kids moving, then why aren’t they being made for boys?
*The reason (according to Skechers): These shoes were first marketed to women which created a huge buzz and demand, then they were offered to men. So Skechers then decided to market them to young girls and then if there’s a great response, they’ll start to market them to young boys as well.
Kim Kardashian Skechers Shape-Ups Commercial (with analysis):
Bottom line: I will not be buying these shoes for my daughter – ever. I think it might possibly be different if the women’s commercials weren’t sexualized. We can promote exercise and living a healthy lifestyle without having her wear shoes that could potentially break her ankle and create even more worry about how she looks.
Also, I don’t feel that Skechers really *promote exercise, they seem to be more about toning while you’re already doing what you normally would do. Toning the legs and butt does not equal good health. And do they even work? I’ve never tried them. I’ve heard that people have been injured because of them though.
I would love to hear your thoughts about Shape-Ups for girls – feel free to comment below.