THURSDAY THOUGHTS

Bikinis. Yes or no?

Little Creative Factory swimsuits
Marlow and Ivy in Little Creative Factory swimsuits
I think I might be raising a bit of a controversial topic, one that could possibly split many of us down the middle, but I would love to know where you stand on little girls wearing bikinis? Is it completely normal and fun and innocent, or do you think it sexualises innocent little girls?

One of my earliest childhood memories is from my 4th birthday, receiving my first bikini. I remember how excited I was to wear it to the beach for the first time. I felt so grown up! I absolutely loved that thing. Yet even with this happy memory of mine, I still can not bring myself to let my own girls wear a bikini.

Why? I’m not entirely sure (even my own mother thinks I’m being unreasonable!). I just feel like a bikini top sexualises and highlights something that doesn’t exist. There is nothing sexual about a little girl’s chest, so when you put a bikini top on it, it draws unnecessary attention. In a way, I feel like a simple French-style bloomer (without a top) is more appropriate than a 2-piece suit. Not to mention, a separate top is so impractical and difficult to keep in place when swimming, etc. (But then again, I suppose it’s trickier to use the toilet in a one-piece!)

So where do you stand? Am I overthinking things?

Courtney x

p.s. The pretty vintage-style swimsuits the girls are wearing in the photos above are from Little Creative Factory who have a stunning collection of swimwear for both boys and girls (including bikinis as well!).


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Comments (107)

Hanna
June 19, 2015

Totally agree with you – bloomer or swimsuit! Whilst I also wanted a bikini as a little girl I now totally get why my parents wouldnt buy me one.


Michelle
June 19, 2015

I dislike bikini’s all together, on any age, I really like the look of a well constructed one-piece (especially vintage inspired ones). But I also don’t like bikini’s on young girls. One from an appropriateness point of view, and also (as you said) from a practicality point of view. One year my 2 girls we’re given “tankini” sets for Xmas and I didn’t mind them so much, but constantly had one part in the wash when I needed the set, 1 pieces don’t have any friends to loose!


Allison
June 19, 2015

I like the combination of a UV swim shirt for sun protection with a bathing suit bottom. Cute, and age-appropriate, and practical for going to the toilet. I would put the same on a girl or boy when they are little (so either just bottoms, out bottoms with a UV top).


Christopher Brown
June 19, 2015

I agree with Alison and have preferred for my daughter and son to have UV tops with bathing suit bottom or board shorts. Means sand gets caught less..and means they are less focused in their shape or appearance. I’d like to think I’m old school about this stuff.


Penny
June 19, 2015

Dear Courtney,

mh, I can’t see the problem here, honestly. When I was little, I only wore little swim panties, no top. While I prefer this on little girls as it is for me the essence of childhood, I don’t mind bikinis on my daughter (she’s 5). She loves them. I always tell her she doesn’t have to wear the top, but she wants to. For me, a little girl in a bikini is completely innocent and not sexual AT ALL!!!.On water playgrounds, it’s also common to see kids naked.
Most girls here wear bikinis to go swimming, one-piece swimsuits are mostly worn for swimming classes. I’m thinking maybe it’s a cultural thing? Lots of love and thank you for always raising interesting topics!


Penny
June 19, 2015

Just read your post more thoroughly, (sorry, baby doesn’t allow me to read that much), so of course my cultural thing is rubbish if your mother thinks differently. Yes, I do prefer bloomers as well, but I really don’t think this is about drawing attention to a later sexual detail.


Diana
June 19, 2015

Funnily I was just thinking the same while choosing a simple bloomer for my little girl the other day. I don’t like bikinis on little girls either, but I remember oh so well how much I loved them when I was young ( feeling so grown up). But my mom only used to give me the bottom part as she dissaproved Bikinis as well.
xxx Diana


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Leanne
June 19, 2015

I haven’t thought about this before as my daughter never liked bikinis. I as a child did wear them. Last summer at the age of 14 she decided she would wear a bikini but with much hesitation. Her past comments were always ‘why would I wear my underwear to the beach’. To be honest I sit in the middle on this one. Be comfortable
Leanne


Hannah
June 19, 2015

I don’t let my daughter wear a bikini. It’s swimsuit or tankini, I feel uncomfortable at the thought of her wearing one- it just feels too adult to me.


Miranda
June 19, 2015

I found this post quite thought provoking. I agree that it’s impractical for small girls to wear bikinis & I think practical clothing that lets kids play freely should be most important when dressing them. I also agree a bikini top is suggestive of something that’s (obviously) not present & therefore not appropriate. I think a bottom without a top would be a better. Given I live in Australia, most children, including my own, wear rashie tops so I’ve not had to deal too much with this yet!


Catherine
June 19, 2015

Hi Courtney, have exactly the same view as you, I’m not a fan of bikinis on little girls. We have one pieces or tan-kinis (love the boden ones) but my girls will most likely be in just the bottoms on holiday with a uv shirt for the hottest part of the day.


Linn
June 19, 2015

My girl (5) wears nothing at the beach, because I want her to be natural about nudity. I was raised the same and had every year a FKK Holiday (german for nudist) with my parents. At indoor pools where it is restrictive she wears a swimsuit.


Renée
June 19, 2015

Hi Courtney,

I absolutely get what you mean. I’ve spent the last three years weekly attention my son’s swimming lessons and each and every time I see a little girl wearing a bikini, it makes me wonder why. I grew up sometimes wearing a bathing suit, other summers just bikini bottoms (sometimes combined with a t-shirt when the weather got a little colder). Which was perfectly normal, since I was still years and years (and years) away from developing breasts. To me, a bikini top is a means to an end, it’s functional. A bikini top on a little girl is impractical, not functional, and to me, just a really silly idea. Each their own, just my two cents 😉


June 19, 2015

Dear Courtney,

If eek the exact same way! A bikini top is designed to both highlight and cover a woman’s zone that she isn’t comfortable showing. Children however, no matter boy or girl, haven’t gone through puberty yet and therefore don’t feel ashamed of their body, nor should they. There’s nothing sexual about a child and I think a bikini suggests otherwise. No swimwear for my children until they request it!


Pippa
June 19, 2015

Hi Courtney, I have always resented feeling like I have to put a bikini top on my daughter. Once she was actually asked to please put a top on. I find it incredibly sad that our children are made to cover up their bodies as if they’re fully developed adults who are eliciting sexual arousal in all who are around them.


June 19, 2015

I totally agree, and felt a little weird when confronted with this issue last year when my daughter (8) wanted a bikini. So I let her have one, but only let her wear the bottoms. She moaned a little, but then realised that her surf vest was more comfortable in the water anyway. So the top was consigned to a draw, from which it has mysteriously vanished.


Estelle
June 19, 2015

I don’t like seeing bikinis on children. I much prefer a one piece or even just the bottoms. The bikini top brings attention to an area which is yet to develop and there’s no need for it in my opinion.


June 19, 2015

I was never allowed to wear a bikini as a small child, I had to wear a one piece suit AND shorts. At the time I thought it was awful. 🙂 I do wear bikini’s now, but since becoming a mom I’ve started to rethink that, because honestly, I don’t think I would allow my daughters the same right, which means that I probably will need to find a few tankinis and one piece suit I like so that I can lead by example. The bikini can be saved for ‘honeymoon’ type getaways with my husband.
-Sarah
sarahesh.com


Liz
June 19, 2015

As the mother of three boys and a baby girl as well as being a non-bikini wearer myself, I appreciated your post. Hard to pin down what it is about little ones in bikinis but I appreciate your words “drawing attention to something which isn’t there’. Although I should not have to worry- Inthe Australian sun, it is prudent to cover up children as much as possible so it is safe to say my little one will invariably have a swim shirt on over her bathers just like her brothers!!


June 19, 2015

Ah I love bikinis! Maybe is my Brazilian/Portuguese side =D I can’t understand how a bikini sexualises a little girl as long is comfortable and not adultish. But maybe it is a cultural thing.
xx Ana


June 19, 2015

Oh my gosh Courtney I can’t believe you started this topic as I was just telling my husband the exact same thing last week! Tila came up to me and told me her grandma bought a bikini (to my horror she even used the word swimsuits with a little bra!!) for her and I (politely as I could) let the both of them know that I do not approve of it. Bras are for grown-up girls! I actually don’t mind her wearing only the bottoms (without the bra) but the bra is a big no-no! Just as you said, it sexualises everything! What is the meaning of the bra at small girls anyhow? I don’t see the meaning of it other then to try mimicking grown-up’s at something they shouldn’t be. And to my luck my husband agrees with me 200% 😉


Mo
June 19, 2015

I’m with you 100%! I need to catch up with you soon!!!


Eve
June 19, 2015

I have no problem with bikinis, it surprises me so many people do. I think it looks ridiculous on toddlers and babies as do many other things like ribbons and bows on bold heads or (fake) jeans on babies that can’t even sit or roll over. But it has nothing to do with sexualizing the child, for me. And neither does it for my 5-year old who loves her stripy bikini. And she always chooses clothes that are comfortably, so it’s probably not that bad, otherwise she’ld immediately take it of. 😉


Leigh
June 19, 2015

Totally agree with you – I don’t allow my girls to wear them (and as many have noted, it is a non-issue outdoors anyhow because my girls are too pale and need full UV suits).


Sofia
June 19, 2015

I am perplexed, how can a bikini be an issue? Possibly it is cultural but, as Portuguese, I never ever thought about it as what “sexualises and highlights something that doesn’t exist” . Can a simple bikini do that regarding little girls? Gosh, I must be from another planet, where the only thing assumed is that a bikini is what you wear in the beach.


Florencia
June 19, 2015

I totally agree with you! I have two little girls and I don´t let them wear bikinis. Sometimes they play with my bikinis and they look so odd, and subsequently act as grown ups so that I think there is no need to speed things up.


Petit Bouchon
June 19, 2015

hi Courtney
I agree with you. A bikini seems inapropriate for little girls.
By the way it’s quite difficult to find a beautiful one piece


June 19, 2015

I don’t have an issue with bikinis sexualizing young girls…adults project these ideas onto children. If a person views a child sexually, they will do it no matter what the child wears. I’m also not sure I understand the opposition to bikini tops, when a one-piece also covers the chest area. I agree with you that bloomers are appropriate, but in America I’m afraid that I’m in the minority (the American relationship with breasts is illogical at best). That said, I don’t put my three year old in bikinis for two reasons. One, as you mentioned it’s not easy keeping either piece on when you’re frolicking, and two I prefer my kids to be as covered up as possible to protect them from the sun. My daughter, though, is starting to have the problem that I had growing up, being too tall and slender to comfortably wear a one piece, but lucky for her the new style of rash guard + bikini bottom solves all of our problems (including the potty issue, but minus the bottom falling off), while still being cute.


Katie
June 19, 2015

Yes. Everything you said. I’m with you 100%!


Karen F
June 19, 2015

I used to live in Miami, Florida and several years ago on South Beach a store was selling little girls bikini’s with a “padded bra top”. And I mean little girls, 6,7 & 8 year olds. It caused a bit of a stir and several local news shows weighed in on this. I did observe while living there that the Latino culture does sexualize little girls, so many children’s stores selling micromini skirts and shorts, tshirts with adult sayings on them. Then on the news yesterday was a story about a girl’s soccer team in Nicaragua where the parents wouldn’t allow the girls to play because “they only wanted men to look at them”. It makes me very sad that children just can’t be children, where innocence doesn’t exist in play and a bathing suit must be “padded”.


June 21, 2015

Karen, I’m from Miami and half ‘Latin’ and I found your comment a little offensive. South Beach is known for selling all kinds of weird things and perhaps the reason the padded tops for little girls was on the news was because it’s so out there, the locals were shocked and scandalized meaning it’s not a common or accepted thing. This example should not by any means be used to propose the theory that Latino culture sexualizes little girls. It’s true that many countries in South and Central America (and even Spain where I currently live) let little girls wear nail polish, sometimes makeup and even pierce their ears from birth, but this is not to ‘sexualize’ the girls. I’m not sure why these things are thought to be sexy in the first place.

Also, I feel it should be mentioned that there is no such thing as ‘Latino culture’. What they do in Mexico they don’t do in Uruguay. What happens in Chile does not take place in Colombia or Spain. I’m surprised that living in Miami (of all places), you didn’t realize this.


June 19, 2015

It is completely normal and fun and innocent, but, unfortunately, outside factors can skew that. I say, no bikinis for little girls.


Alice
June 19, 2015

It must really be a cultural issue as French people don’t make any fuss about girls wearing bikini tops. My daughter is very body conscious and refuses to wear just a bikini bottom, which she did till she was about 6 or 7. She now wears bathing suits or bikinis indifferently , as do most of her friends. Just nothing to call home about !


Rebecca Wilkinson
June 19, 2015

I completely agree with you and I hate to see little girls in bikinis (especially the triangle cut ones where they are just riding around there chest because the whole reason for a bikini is to hold something in….something that little girls do not have!). We all know how quickly children grow up so why encourage them to do so even faster than necessary by having them essentially wearing a grown up fashion item.
The swimsuits your girls wear are beautiful and for children…just what they should be….but for the toilet issue….a tankini (the briefs with a separate long vest style top) would solve that problem whilst keeping a little girls innocence 🙂


June 19, 2015

I have to say that I totally agree with you Courtney. Perhaps it’s the world in which we live, or perhaps I’m being overly protective – whatever the case may be, I only opt for once-piece swimsuits!


June 19, 2015

I used to feel exactly the same way. I have three daughters, 14, 11, and 6. I never bought a bikini for my older two daughters but my youngest has forced me to change my opinion. She is extremely long from her armpit to her hip bone and I finding a one piece that fits has proved impossible. If it’s long enough to reach all the way without pulling too much then the leg holes are too big leaving all her parts on display. I now only buy her bikinis. I will say, though, that it seems lately that they have come out with a lot of nice “modest” bikini options where the top is more like a cropped sports top than two triangles tied together. Also, speaking on the gender bias issue, most boys these days wear rash guards anyway, so they’re covered as well.


June 19, 2015

Yup, no bikinis for my girls! But I do prefer tankinis for when they are younger and need help going to the bathroom. Great topic!


Heather
June 19, 2015

I feel similarly, but have not banned them out right, my five year old loves the idea of them but subsequently only wears the bottoms, which I’m finding tricky to source alone.


Lacey
June 19, 2015

Courtney – I agree with you as well. I always cringe when I see little girls in bikinis. I’m sure many people see it as cute, but to me it just doesn’t feel right. As a kid I always wore 1pc or tankinis until I was a teen. As an adult I prefer a 1pc as well otherwise I just feel too exposed (especially when chasing little ones around). When it comes to motherhood, I always feel best when I go with my gut. In this scenario, my gut says, keep it simple, keep it practical, and let them be little. No sense in having them look too grown up too fast. Right now in Southern California (where we live) rash guards are prevalent for kids and adults to help protect skin from the sun. Very interesting topic. Have s great weekend!


Anna Maria
June 19, 2015

I am from Barcelona but I’ve been living in NYC for a few years now. I grew up wearing bloomers or just the bikini bottoms for years. I only used the bikini top when the time came that it was necessary. This is how we all did it growing up in Spain, and it felt totally normal to me. When I moved to NYC I was surprised to see little girls wearing bikini tops when they had nothing to cover up? Why wear a bikini top? I still don’t get it. To me, there is no difference AT ALL (at that age) between a boy’s chest and a girl’s chest. I completely agree that wearing a bikini top, at an early age, sexualises and highlights something that doesn’t exist. What is the rush? why cover up so much when they are still young? later on, they will need to wear bikini tops and bras for the rest of their lives…


Marit
June 19, 2015

Growing up in Europe, I never even owned a top until I was about 10 or so. I just wore girl bikini bottoms and so did all the other girls I grew up with. When I got older I wore a bikini, but many girls that are older still wear just the bottoms and go topless, only “moms” wore bathing suits. Now that I live in Canada and I have my own little girl, I notice that all girls wear a bathing suit or rash guard. I’ve never thought of bikini’s as sexualizing little girls (or women for that matter) and still don’t. To each their own I guess.


Synnove
June 19, 2015

I wore just a bikini bottom for most of my childhood at the beach. Just like the boys, no need for s top until puberty 🙂


June 20, 2015

I personally like the look of a one piece or just a bottom on children.
I can’t think of any logical argument against a bikini.
I do relate to your sentiment of sexualized though I cannot pinpoint where that comes from.
I am sure the whole thing is as innocent and joyful as you remember at four.
Kinda like wearing mamma’s heels and make-up.
I’m not sure children see a bikini top as sexual. I would like to think they see it as feminine as their mother and as they see most females attired at the pool/beach in a bikini. It’s simply attire suited for its ambience.
I am glad you asked this question. I deal with it often as my own taste is one-piece, my six-year old likes two-piece and bottoms only are simply not culturally appropriate here in the U.S.


Erica
June 20, 2015

probably cultural! totally normal in brazil, i don’t even remember my first bikini . but i do agree swimsuits looks cuter.


June 20, 2015

Totally agree (and my mom thinks I’m overthinking it too). It really doesn’t bother me when I see little girls in bikinis, but I prefer my girls not to wear them. I like Lacey’s comment about just going with her gut. That’s how I feel too and my gut just says no. One day, when they are older, they can make the choice for themselves. For now, I just want to foster modesty and preserve those innocent years when they are more concerned with having fun at the beach/pool than their outward appearance,


June 20, 2015

Sorry, this is my second comment – the subject is just so interesting! I’m wondering though – am I the only person who grew being completely naked on the beach (up until I was about 10) and will do the same with my children until whenever they ask for a swimsuit?
Must be a cultural issue! I can’t imagine putting my infant son (yes, he’s a boy, but what’s the difference?) in swim shorts.


June 20, 2015

Just to get it right: I don’T mean to offend anybody, I’m genuinely wondering!


June 20, 2015

Sarah, I find it interesting too! I would actually prefer that my kids wear just bottoms or nothing at all over a bikini. Although, we live at the beach so they are usually in a one piece or rash guard. My comment about modesty is probably more geared toward programming them (for adolescent years) to value their self worth over their outward appearance — naked or just bottoms has an innocence to it — wearing a bikini just seems inappropriate when it’s trying to showcase an area on a child’s body that is constantly being objectified. It’s funny because I’ve always felt this way, but never really expressed why. My gut just said no – so my girls (2 and 4) do not wear them. It’s nice to have forums like this though to hear from others and spur a healthy dialogue around a topic like this without judgement 🙂 xx


Trish O
June 23, 2015

I also find this very interesting. I had not really thought about it. I have only boys and I have always put them in a swim shirt (we have very pale skin). That said, I am from the U.S. In the U.S. You would probably be arrested at most beaches if you had not put a suit on your child. We don’t do naked well here.


Kylie b
June 20, 2015

i wear bikinis and I don’t feel sexualised. My daughter has both bikinis and one pieces, and really I just let her choose which she’d like to wear, at almost 7 she likes the control of choosing here own clothes. As long as she is not dressed inappropriately weather wise. None of her clothes are what I would call “wrong”. I guess there are many for and against. I see a lot of sexualisation in children’s clothes advertising, but not in my little girl having a blast at the beach jumping over waves.


Reagan
June 20, 2015

I don’t buy bikinis for my 4 year old. I much prefer a one piece. I have seen bikinis that are more appropriate and comfortable for children from places like Polarn O. Pyret and Hanna Andersson. But elsewhere I have also seen triangle tops and string bikinis which make me cringe!


ali
June 20, 2015

I can totally respect where you are coming from. Many people share a view like yours, atleast I seem to know many people who do.
I grew up in a beach town and I personally think it’s fine for little girls. I do think though that it’s more of an issue when girls are going through puberty and are starting to look more like young woman. I value chastity so I would hope to instill this value in my children. Atleast until they are mature and old enough to make decesions about their own sexuality and I don’t mean by age 16 or high school. I think too many young people are sexually active at too young an age. But that’s my personal and very controversial opinion. I
I also think young girls in our western culture have to contend with physical appearance and weight issues at far too young an age. As a parent I would hope that my children can feel confident and happy and not overly concerned about personal attractiveness, weight issues but just learn to take care of themselves and feel good and be their personal best.


June 20, 2015

I really wish kids can be naked on the beach and through the summer just like us when we were-I was kid,when we visiting Czech my homeland ,its actually normal still,all kids till maybe 7 years old?-naked.
Anyway I prefer one piece,for smaller girls bottom only or regular one piece swimsuit later….


Sweettrout
June 20, 2015

I wonder what our kids think? I’ve not heard one comment that considered how our children feel? I remember my own mother trying very hard to keep me out of pink, away from barbie and generally it made me unable to share my desires with her. I don’t think that children should dictate everything either but I do think they need to be heard and their desires genuinely recognized. I would like my children to look a certain way and it differs from the way they want to look but I want them to feel as though they can express who they are while also understanding how society influences them.


Kylie b
June 20, 2015

Sweettrout, that’s kind of what I was saying in my comment. I do not control what my children wear anymore, they have their own opinions and I just have to respect that if it’s purely a matter of my taste V theirs.


Enirak
June 20, 2015

At the beach, considering what we know about UVA and UVB: one-piece swimsuit, bottoms&tankini top or, even better, rash guard tee. No bikini and no bloomers.


Jess
June 20, 2015

Couldn’t agree more. Bloomers or a one piece. Plus an oversized tshirt in the sun x


June 21, 2015

Every time I see a girl in a bikini I ask myself that question. Personally I prefer girls in a swimsuit. They look cuter and more comfortable. A bikini is kind of “sexy” for a little girl to wear… Besides, it’s not aesthetic. Flat chest and round bellies don’t much with a two piece swimsuit. I received my first bikini at the age of 3-4 from my grandpa who was living in Brazil. I still remember the pattern 🙂 it was beautiful, but I never wore it.


Mel
June 21, 2015

If you mean triangular bikinis, crochet ones or bandeau type bikinis I am 100% with the poster, they are sexually suggestive on a pre pubescent body, however a tankini or fuller retro style in an appropriate fabric, usually floral or large graphic prints in bright colours (Boden do this fairly well) look childlike and age appropriate.
Interestingly the swimsuits modelled by the children accompanying this post look too grown up to me, like mini adults. It is the colour, lack of pattern and very grown up looking ruching, so I don’t just think one can say bikinis alone potentially sexualise young children, the cut and colour of swimsuits can do the same too.


Rachel
June 21, 2015

Those children are the daughters of the poster!! I agree with you.


MK
June 21, 2015

We live on the beach in Hawai’i. I am a Tahitian/Hawaiian,my sister and I were raised at the beach wearing only bikini bottoms until about the age of 7. In Tahiti and here in Hawaii it is the norm. After that we wore one pieces, tank-kinis, bikini bottoms with a rash guard, whatever was comfortable. My daughters (6 & 2) wear bikini bottoms. It is not anything that I have thought about or heard discussed before.


Danella
June 21, 2015

Hi I’d really like to know where the blue outfit ivy is wearing on your Instagram page the one where she has her necklace she made in school I think marlow has the same blue with small white spots, and just to stay in the zone of discussing the bikini situation I wouldn’t personally put my daughters in bikinis I have a 2 year old 3 year old and a 13 year old and my 13 year old doesn’t wear a bikin either x


June 21, 2015

I don’t think it’s been mentioned yet that there is a similar issue for little boys. I’m from the U.S. originally but I’ve been living in Spain for some time now. My little boy, like most boys here his age, wears a speedo or tight boxer swimsuit for swim class but normally loose fitting swim trunks for the beach (or sometimes nothing at all). However, I wouldn’t put him in his speedo in the U.S. because Americans are uncomfortable with any visible anatomical parts whether female or male and the speedo, by virtue of being small and tight, does not disguise the fact that a little boy has a penis. I also wouldn’t let him run around naked in the U.S. but I do here in Spain. You just have to adapt to where you live and realize that just because you were raised one way, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with another way.


Rachel
June 21, 2015

Ironic coming from the woman who had posts up of her sons’ bare butts as they were taking a leak, those posts now removed. The comment was something like ‘boys will be boys’. Courtney also posts lots of pictures of her children sleeping, which I think is intrusive and invasive of their privacy.

I totally agree with Mel’s comments above, those swimsuits look odd to me, and too grown up. I would not dress a little girl in one like that.


Karen
June 22, 2015

Rachel, why read the site or follow their Instagram feeds so closely if you find their actions to be inappropriate? What do you gain by criticizing 2 successful, loving, and open moms? Seems there is plenty of social media out there to view.


Eva
June 21, 2015

I grew up in Europe and I don’t have any problem with bikinis or little kids runing naked on the beach.
I have being living in U.S. for over 10 years and still can’t get used to how prudish people can be over here. Also Internet and hiding behind screens make people unnecessary rude and judgmental.
Because of this I never post pics of my 8yo son in tide swimming trunks but, he still wants and wears them. He is half European after all:)

Love the retro-vibe of these bathing suits.


Rachel
June 22, 2015

I also noticed that Esther, from Babyccini, recently posted a picture of her young daughter, aged about 10, I think it was on
Saturday, wearing a bikini, and within a day it was removed.


Esther in Amsterdam
June 22, 2015

You are right, I removed that photo — I thought it was a very sweet and innocent photo of my girls (Ava, 5, wearing a bathing suit and Sara, 10, a bikini) which I took in the swimming pool, but I after I received two comments which I thought were offensive I removed that photo — I would never want to bring the innocence of my children in jeopardy on this blog or on my Instagram account. Sometimes I feel it is not so much the photo that causes an issue, but the thoughts and comments that people feel they should leave, and which suddenly give that photo an entirely other meaning. In any case, I suddenly felt that photo was misplaced, after those comments, so I removed it. (But I personally thought, when posting it, that it was such a sweet and innocent photo!)


Nic
June 22, 2015

With regards bikinis – I don’t think it ‘sexualises’ innocent little girls, but I am with you on not wanting to buy my daughters bikinis at this young age. Can’t put my finger on why though….
With regards the ‘irony’ of your concerns that recent comments have eluded to – I do sometimes feel that there is a slightly skewed and, dare I say, rather naive approach on Babyccino. Something just doesn’t sit right with the wholesome lifestyle you so lovingly surround your kids with, yet at the same time the minutiae of their innocent lives are posted publicly on the internet for all to view and comment on. Its just… I don’t know, just doesn’t sit quite right (sorry, I don’t want to upset!!). Love your site & blog, but I think its posts like this that bring home the odd combination of wholesome yet extremely public childhood all the Babyccino kids are growing up in.


Rachel
June 22, 2015

Esther,

Sorry to hear you received offensive comments, I didn’t see any when I first saw your photo. I don’t personally see how a bikini like Sara was wearing would be good for swimming, as either the top could ride up,or the bottoms slip down, and that to me would be irritating if you were trying to really swim.

Gap UK have some delightful swimsuits for girls on their website now, on sale, and only one two piece had a slightly smallish top. The rest were one piece or with long cut tops.


Esther in Amsterdam
June 22, 2015

Hi Rachel, in fact, I’m happy to report that the bikini stayed in place really well! Normally, my girls would wear swimsuits in the pool as they’re more comfy and stay in place better, and just bottoms on the beach (or nothing if they’re still small enough). But Sara was just given that pretty bikini, and wanted to wear it, which was absolutely fine with me. She is now 10, and I think a bikini is cute for her if she feels comfortable wearing one. Her body will start to change soon, maybe it is already, and I want her to stay to feel 100% comfortable with herself and her body t all times! Anyway — thanks for the tip. x
PS the comments were not that offensive, but still.


Mel
June 22, 2015

The poster did say this topic would divide opinion!
Dare I say, the swimwear by Little Creative Factory seems completely out of step with the Babyccino aesthetic. I’m sure they are\will be successful but I can see them worn alongside mummies who wear Pucci and heels to the pool, which is the antithesis of your customers. I’m sure baby Kardashian wouldn’t receive unfavourable comments as this is the type of swimwear I would expect to see her in. I think you probably just took some of your customers by surprise.
In truth I rarely give a thought to what other people’s children are wearing or not wearing at the pool or beach. It’s grown men in tight speedos that scare me!


Rachel
June 22, 2015

OMG, just looked at the Creative Factory site. Vile bikinis, and why would this site promote them? Also, were those rushed flesh coloured one pieces gifted or not?


Jenny
June 22, 2015

I can’t believe there are some people on here that can be so nasty and petty. Some people will always find something to critisize and I think a lot of it stems from jealously.
The babyccino mums are honest, real and inspiring x


Kim
June 22, 2015

My mam didn’t allow us to wear bikini’s when I was younger and like you do remember my first bikini, but we were not allowed to wear bathing suits either apart from for swimming lessons. That does make sense, why would you approve a bathing suit and not a bikini when it is to cover the same party of a girls body? I don’t have girls, so not too sure what I would do. Maybe do what you feel comfortable woth and not judge other people – Surely any parent having their girls wear a bikini top are not out to sexualise their daughters? One of these things to let parents decide what works for them.
Xxxkim


Laura
June 23, 2015

As a kid in France I used to wear only the bottom piece and I remember the grown-up feeling when I upgraded to a one-piece! But here in the US I don’t see any little girls wearing only the bottom piece so full one-piece it is from the start! I really don’t think wearing bikinis at a young age is appropriate. It’s typically an adult piece of clothing just like high heels or make-up. It’s ok for pretend play when the girls want to do “just like mommy” but that’s just it!


Lisa Gardner
June 23, 2015

I have to say that I am a big admirer of Courtney’s aesthetic and the way she dresses her children, they always look absolutely beautiful and – my gosh – what a beautiful family. In fact I shamelessly ordered these suits after seeing the original instagram post because I follow Courtney’s style as a mother like a teenager would maybe follow Taylor Swift. And I’m just being very honest about it. Snarky people may laugh at me but aren’t we all influenced by someone? As for bikinis I say no because they are tacky but I did once find some Bonpoint bikinis made out of liberty print that seemed to be very sweet – they have never worn them because they fall down and look silly. I have honestly ordered many of the things that Courtney shows because I really really love her taste. My friends and I joke ‘Would Marlow wear this’. Pathetic but true. {And no Im not some weirdo, I actually live in NYC and do have somewhat of a life!!!” Thanks Courtney!!!!


Rachel
June 23, 2015

I think that is sad, sounds like you need to develop more of your own taste. You are exactly who this blog is aimed at re advertisers and suppliers. You should dress your children according to what suits them, and what they feel comfortable wearing, not just because you like the way someone else’s children look.


Lisa Gardner
June 23, 2015

Rachel I do have my own taste thank you! My four children are also very happy and comfortable – thanks again for your kind concern. And please don’t be sad that I enjoy this blog that luckily is aimed right at me!!! There are more important things to be sad about. We all have style icons whether you care to admit it to yourself or not. Unless of course you handmake all your own clothes with hand dyed cotton you are choosing something that probably someone else also likes. I just ‘*happen to love the simple style in which these children are dressed. And as for the blog being ‘aimed’ at people; isn’t that exactly what blogs are? Aimed at people to share ideas; share aesthetics and books/toys/clothes? People who like the same things?

And if I see things I don’t like or don’t agree with ; I don’t bother to comment. Why would I?

Thanks again.


June 23, 2015

Goodness, Rachel, showing a bit more kindness wouldn’t hurt, would it? We’re all grown-ups here and politeness goes a long way.


Rachel
June 24, 2015

Like you said, and I am agreeing, pathetic.


Lisa Gardner
June 24, 2015

WOW!

You’re mean.


Gina
June 23, 2015

Same thought as you here, Courtney. I remember, too, receiving my first bikini when I was only 5: I was excited!! But then, growing up, I understood that covering a little girls chest with a bikini top is a form of sexualization, cause clearly there’s nothing no cover. In my opinion, the bottom piece is enough. If I ever have a daughter, a bikini will be a NO-NO until 10 (before if the girl stars developing and wants to wear it).


Laura
June 23, 2015

Totally agree. Either a bottom only (if you don’t mind having to slather on sunscreen, as with my kids), or I tend to go the complete opposite and cover them in UV-protective tops and shorts, simply because it means less work for me in terms of chasing them down with sunblock. To me, a prepubescent girl in a bikini strikes the same false note as a little girl in makeup, or high heels. Would you put your toddler in a bra? Then why a bikini? They can wear bikinis for the next 80 years of their life, if they want.


Julia
June 23, 2015

Rachel – but those swimsuits aren’t placed by advertisers, they are Courtney’s placement and her style. If you didn’t like her style I’m not sure why you would follow her blog. Some people can afford to buy these beautiful exact items that just are incredibly stylish and look different on each child, and some people can’t. Some children suit being stylish. Some don’t. Don’t be jealous. And anywhere you purchase your clothing from is filtered down from high end style. That’s fashion.
I only follow blogs that have style I admire, otherwise what’s the point?!


Rachel
June 24, 2015

How do you know that those bikinis weren’t gifted? Courtney has provided a link to where they are from, and all the other swimming apparel they make are sexually suggestive bikinis.

I was also surprised, and a bit horrified to see on the side bar that one of the sponsors (advertisers) of this post, and perhaps the whole blog, is American Apparel. Their founder and former CEO, Dov Charney, has recently been ousted by the firm for sexual harassment of his staff, including filming himself having sex with staff members and models. Their advertising is very suggestive, and all the swimsuits on the website for children are bikinis.


Lisa Gardner
June 24, 2015

HA! Horrified?!?!?! wow you are a sheltered person. Sexually suggestive bikinis????????? You are sick in the head. Little creative factory is not sexually suggestive are you crazy???? I am in utter disbelief – you are a troll trying to stir up nonsense and I have fallen for it. I suggest if you don’t like this blog to stop reading it!!!! What a joke.


Julia
June 24, 2015

Rachel – the kind of people that look at an innocent picture of a child in a bathing suit or a even an innocent picture of a child naked in a bath and say that is sexually suggestive are the people that need their head checked. That disturbs me more about your comments than whether the CEO of American apparel made sex tapes. Have you not read the stories about people that worked for Disney?! Does that mean you boycott all Disney films?! Seriously.


Rachel
June 24, 2015

I didn’t say the Creative Factory bikinis were sexually suggestive, I said they were vile. I said that American Apparel’s advertising is sexually suggestive, not specifically their bikinis. Try reading before commenting.


Rachel
June 24, 2015

Having looked further at Creative Factory’s bandeau bikinis, going down in age to one year, and seen the way they are photographed in a very similar style to American Apparel’s advertising for older girls, I now think they are even worse than I thought. Would anyone seriously dress their flat chested babies or girls in one of those? You need to click on the photos of each differently coloured bikini to see the further pictures.


Dina
June 23, 2015

I agree with you. While I had a bikini when I was little, times have changed. Either in the nude, with a bloomer, a one-piece or a tankini. Why hide something that is not there?

Saying that, I just bought my 8 year old a Boden bikini. She is in precocious puberty and her little boobies start to show. I didn’t want her to have to wear a swimsuit while her sister could wear bloomers. She looks much older in it and I sometimes wonder if that was the right choice. She loves it and only wears it at the beach though, not during swimming lessons. I guess, I have to get used to it.


Louise
June 24, 2015

Well Courtney, you really set the cat amongst the pigeons there! lol!


Louise
June 24, 2015

Oh and I should add that I probably wouldn’t dress a little girl in a bikini. They just look a bit odd.


Kelly
June 24, 2015

I haven’t read the other comments yet, but I totally agree! I remember also getting a bikini when I was about six. It came with a long tubular cover. I mostly just wore the bottoms, in our backyard pool, because my brothers were all wearing just bottoms.
I just think about how the bikini originated and there’s just no way I would ever put my daughter in one. I prefer a classic, sweet look.


Rebecca. UK
June 24, 2015

My opinion would be NO! I think little girls should be able to be just that! BUT when I was a child I would often end up on the beach without my swimming costume on, this I think is more normal and natural than being dressed in a bikini, maybe if there were more appropriate bikinis for girls such as a bandana style, rather than the leopard print triangle style (tesco) My daughter wears a 1950’s style that she picked herself! #letkidsbekids


Lisa Gardner
June 24, 2015

How do you know that those bikinis weren’t gifted? Courtney has provided a link to where they are from, and all the other swimming apparel they make are sexually suggestive bikinis.

– so says rachel.

So this isn’t you saying their swimsuits are sexual. Hmmmmm. Ok rachel. Maybe you should read your own comments before commenting.


Rachel
June 25, 2015

At first I said they were vile, then I changed my mind and said they were sexually suggestive by clicking on the pictures that were provided on the link for each bikini


Emma Balkin
June 25, 2015

I’m completely with you on this one! I thought I was the only one left to feel this way. Let them be little and innocent for as long as possible, it will be gone soon enough.


June 26, 2015

Hi i come from Greece.
Never occurred to me that somebody would think that a bikini for little girls affects their innocence. And I have never heard of anybody that would think something like that.

As a little child I used to wear only the bottom of the bikini and as I grew older the top also. And so does my children. They wear the bottom of the bikini and lately my 7-years old asks for the top which is always somewhere lost.

I don’t like little girls doing things that make them look like caricatures of women (make-up, nail polish, weird clothes etc) and i do not allow it at my girls but a little girl with a bikini??? never thought that falls into this category.

By reading the comments it crosses my mind that maybe its a cultural thing and people who come from countries with long hot summers are much more familiar with it so as not to make big deal about it.

It came to me as a surprise that there is so much thought on it. Since i read the article I look again and again the photos of my children at the beach and I really do not get the point.


fanouchka
June 26, 2015

I completely agree , i really dislike bikini for little girls, there is nothing to hide on a little girl chest, they kids not women. I am all up for a little cute bloomer 🙂


Vicky
June 26, 2015

I must admit, when I first saw this post my initial reaction was – why would it be unacceptable for a little girl to wear a bikini? There is nothing sexual about a little girl, so how can the bikini ‘sexualise’ them?

I have taken the time to read through the comments here and I even looked up different children’s swim wear online. My original impression and what I think of when I imagine children’s bikinis is the frilly little bright bikinis with polka dots/stripes or favourite characters that are very specifically little kids clothing. Something that you would never see on an adult. But I have come across images of some bikinis that do make little girls appear older than their years and I suppose here is where I can relate to some of the concerns voiced.

But as the mother of an almost five year old girl who has a very strong interest in her clothes and is very much in charge of what she wears each day, it feels very unnatural to be unsupportive of her clothing choices. At this stage, these choices are guided by nothing other than her personal taste. My daughter owns one-piece swimmers as I find these are most practical for swim lessons and the beach. We have been gifted a mini mouse bikini before – which my daughter didn’t like because it was uncomfortable to wear (so she never wore it). And on a recent trip to France she swam either naked or in her swimmers, and even in her undies. Whatever she was comfortable to do.

I think personal choice is a big factor here – and to be supportive of our daughters, being mindful not to make them feel ashamed in what they like/dislike if they have a particular interest in clothes. But equally I feel lit is important to support other mothers and their personal choices. Live without judgement and don’t make others feel guilty for the choices they make for their families. Most of us are doing what we feel is best for us.


Lisa
June 28, 2015

We are careful with modesty in general. My four girls (ages 3,6,10,12) all wear two piece swimwear but not necessarily itsy bitsy bikinis. The two littlest show the most belly but their bikinis provide lots of coverage both top and bottom. The older girls are a bit more of a challenge. They aren’t easily pleased by the idea of wearing matching pink dotted suits. They both happily (after MUCH searching) wear tankinis and are both covered modestly AND happy to feel pretty in a suit that compliments their shape.


Lisa
June 28, 2015

…and as always, Courtney, your choice in swimwear is classic and precious!


June 28, 2015

[…] do you think about bikinis for little girls? Look for a post on this from me this […]


Susan M.
June 29, 2015

Great discussion. Some one pieces can be too adult for girls as well. I’m in the sporty camp of a rash guard top and basic bottom for my just 2-year-old daughter. She doesn’t need anything ultra-feminine/adult. At the same time, two pieces is so practical for going to the loo and sun protection. I just came across this great post for the “non-hoochie” two-piece for girls: many of the picks I would get:
http://coolmompicks.com/blog/2015/06/03/best-mom-approved-two-piece-swimsuits-for-girls/


Al
October 24, 2015

Interesting opinions !
One reader writes that a one piece covers the chest,
the same as a bikini top,
is either one therefore appropriate / unappropriate ?
Consider also women who may be an A cup or smaller,
they still need to wear a bikini top,
even though there is nothing to cover !
I don’t see that bikinis sexualize children, or women,
they are just a gender specific style of clothing !
High heels and skirts do not sexualize the wearer,
they are just a gender specific item of clothing


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