As women (and men) in America, we are bombarded daily with images of the way we should look. Magazines, billboards, television, movies, etc. portray an unachievable body image that many strive daily to attain. Eating disorders and extreme poor self-image run rampant in our youth (and adults). Fad dieting and gimmicks are all the rage for staying “in shape” here in America. There ARE some companies, like Dove, that are trying to combat this. But there are MANY that are contributing.
I was watching tv with my almost 13 year old daughter the other day when a shoe commercial came on. A really cute commercial with a girls cartoon rock band advertising shoes. “Stay Fit, Have Fun!” – what a great slogan…except for the fact that they are advertising Skechers Shape Ups…for little girls! What?! That’s right. Shape-up shoes, for “toning your butt and thighs”, are now made in young girls sizes (even preschool sizes). While the commercial did not in any way indicate these shoes were for improving their legs and butt, the concept of this shoe being targeted to young girls blew my mind. Why in the world does a little girl need shape-up shoes?!
First of all, these shoes really have no impact on reshaping anything other than your balance. You can read my blog on these shoes for adults here. Secondly, Skechers says these shoes are “ideal for walking, low and high impact fitness training, and most gym activities”. This simply is not true. These shoes are dangerous in gym class and fitness training! They throw off balance, change the natural way the foot absorbs impact, and just are not “ideal”, as website indicates, for fitness. They even say that it has a “more stabilized design that is easier to get used to and wear all day”. Why would you need to get used to wearing your shoes?
What kind of message is Skechers trying to send our young girls? If the message is for girls to stay active to be fit, than I am fully on board with that message. But, if it is that they need a special shape-up shoe in order to do this, I am NOT on board. I am not asking for a Skechers boycott or anything – I like Skechers! 🙂 But I am asking parents to think about the message of this particular shoe.
Let’s teach our girls about healthy eating and an active lifestyle, not contribute to the media’s ridiculous agenda. Our girls are beautiful, and we need to build them up – show them by example the right ways to stay fit. Let’s not fall prey ourselves to these kinds of gimmicks, and let’s certainly not promote them to our children!