Is female body image damaged by pre-teen bikinis? We dare to ask.

Female body image is shaped almost from day one by the world around us — so what exactly is too much sexualization?

female body image

Writer Tiah Eckhardt covered the Hot-As-Hell swimwear show at the recent Miami Swim Week, only to find herself (and the many social media users who were paying attention) fairly divided over the issue of pre-teen sexualization. She writes:

“It is more damaging to tell a girl, acting joyfully, to be cautious of her physicality, to refrain from appearing self-assured in public lest it invite criticism, than it is to allow her to wear a swimsuit on a runway with her mother. In a vein of hypocrisy I see far too often online, you cannot champion self-acceptance and body positivity, than be outraged when it happens in Not Exactly Your Preferred Way.

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There are many brilliant things about being a woman. There are many wonderful things about being a girl. Amongst these positives there will always be the negative aspect of those thinking they can dictate to us what it means to be female or the behavior that may potentially make us either a victim of crime or criticism. And there always those that will take any opportunity to twist your intentions and impose their personal opinions and perceptions on you, as seems the case with the HAH show. Just like there have been people who think they can tell me how to be a woman, no doubt, there will be people who think it’s their job to tell our daughters how they should, or in this case, should not, be a girl. It’s OUR job to teach them how to use the voice that will tell them to go to hell.”

female body image

Images from the show feature everything from rounded, pregnant mommas-to-be, to little girls just beyond their toddlerhood proudly strutting down a runway in skimpy two pieces. Is this too much? For some, there’s simply nothing sexual about a child of that age — but for others, the argument is that skimpy outfits and ill-fitting bikinis teach girls at a time when female body image is so rapidly developing that it’s okay to develop your sexuality purely based on your physical body.

female body image

Read the rest of the article here and weigh in with your thoughts on the issue in the comments section below.

Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, planes with WiFi, summer clothes, & Sucre brown butter truffles. Bryce's aim is to do to luxury what Elton John did to being gay. Follow her on twitter @brycegruber