Within hours of a mother posting on Target Australia’s Facebook page that it was selling a clothing range that made young girls “look like tramps”, many other parents jumped on the bandwagon.
They were all quick to criticise the department store’s fashion range – with many claiming the current season’s choices were inappropriate for their child’s age group.
The media then jumped on the issue and Target copped a hammering.
But how many parents and/ or journalists took the time to walk into a Target store yesterday and view what they were writing about?
I am both a mother of two daughters in the age-range said to be an issue, and a journalist – so I visited Target in Bendigo to form my own opinion.
Without wanting to sound like a mouthpiece for Target’s marketing department, the criticism is codswallop.
There was plenty to choose from – pretty pastels, feminine garments and many different designs.
In fact, this year’s range is far more feminine and “girlie” than previous years.
Yes, there were a few tacky items, but it’s simple really – if you don’t like them, and don’t want your children to wear them, don’t buy them.
It’s all about choice. And it’s about teaching children what is appropriate and inappropriate.
As parents, we are failing if we blame a retailer for little girls “looking like tramps’’.
We are responsible for how our children dress.
We are responsible for educating our children about choices and not blaming others when they make poor judgment.
If you don’t want your child to dress like a grown up, don’t allow it.
Go shopping with them, encourage them to wear appropriate clothes for their age and set boundaries with what you will allow them to wear.
If you are giving in to their wishes to purchase clothes that are too old for them, it says more about the boundaries you are setting as a parent than it does the retailer.
Target will soon learn not to line the shelves with items that don’t sell. But that’s what retail outlets do. It’s all about supply and demand.
So think of the shopping experience like it’s television. If you don’t like what’s on the box, change the channel or switch it off.
If you don’t like what’s on offer at Target, go somewhere else.
Children are products of their environment. It’s up to us, as parents, to ensure they are equipped with the right messages and lessons to ensure they make sound choices throughout life.
We don’t always get it right – and none of us can claim to have made the right choices for our children at every stage of their development.
But blaming Target for how our young children dress? Please.
What a cop out. That is entirely our fault.
Nicole Ferrie is the Bendigo Advertiser’s deputy editor. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org