Sunday, August 04, 2013

Young kids in high heels may be sending the wrong message

According to market research company the NPD group, the sales of fashion footwear for girls grew nine per cent in the last year, after a five per cent growth the previous year. High heel shoes for young girls is now a $4 billion industry, thanks to a 'mini-me' craze that sees daughters eager to emulate the style of their mothers. Brands including GapKids, Steve Madden Kids and Stuart Weitzman for Children have all jumped on the bandwagon, producing footwear for kids that resembles adult styles seen on the runway. Shoe brand Nina also offers a selection of kitten heels and cork wedges for mini-me fashionistas. Even Burberry have launched a Mini-Me collection featuring exact replicas of adult clothing. According to Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at NPD the increase in the shoes' popularity has as much to do with parents as it does with children.

'Girls want to emulate mom more, and parents are letting kids experiment with dressing up more.'

Concerns have been expressed after research suggests the bombardment of sexualized images reinforces in young girls popularity and social standing are based on looking like a sex object. Experts like Dr Shari E Miles-Cohen, senior director of the Women’s Programs Office at the American Psychological Association, has also claimed letting young girls dress like adults sends the wrong message.

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