The wrong message is being forced upon children who dare to look in the mirrors at high-street chain clothing stores.
We all desire to be slim and tall, but should this be forced upon children when innocently shopping for clothes?
I will let you decide.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what happens when the beholder stands at just three feet tall, and only possesses a year of life for each foot she has?
She gets confused.
Ava, like any other little girl is besotted with a very famous Japanese cartoon kitty, and when she saw a top adorned with Hello Kitty’s face, she knew she had to have it, urging us to go into a very well known high-street store.
We picked out the t-shirt in her size, and I thought she would appreciate some hair clips with the kitty on too, so she looks extra cute, which is when she caught sight of herself in the mirror.
Ava, like any other human looks at herself when she sees a mirror, but remained silent on the matter until we returned home.
Upon arriving home from the shopping excursion, Ava just could not wait to put on her new t-shirt and Hello Kitty clips – Who could blame her? One of the most exciting parts about shopping is putting on your new clothes when you get home!
Several moments later, Ava is wearing her new top, and looking in the mirror when she remarks ‘why I not tall like I was at the shops? And my belly look big again?’
From this photo, you can tell that Ava is beautiful, and of a normal weight and height for her age, but she’s abnormally hilarious and observant which made me question what she was saying.
Several years ago, before Ava’s arrival on earth I noticed the same thing as she… Slimming mirrors.
Whilst some, like myself, may not find fault with slimming mirrors in general, it is easy to find fault in them being in the children’s section of clothing stores due to the mixed messages it can send to them.
Nicky Hutchinson, author of body image publications such as ‘Body Image in the Primary School’ and ‘Promoting Positive Behaviour in Young Children‘ commented on the matter of slimming mirrors in the child’s section of clothing stores.
“It’s terrible that these mirrors are placed in the children’s section, we know that children begin dieting behavior whilst still at primary school and studies show they already prefer slimmer figures when given a selection of pictures to choose from.”
Nicky, also a body image and behavior consultant for ‘Not Just Behavior’ a Bristol based consultation company, commented further, “mirrors such as these just encourage young people to pursue the thin ideal and to become self critical and feel that the way they look as they are is somehow not good enough .”
“We also know that in research children always prefer the slimmer figures and so these mirrors may be a calculated way to encourage young people to make purchases.” – Nicky Hutchinson.
Nicky is not the only one to remark about the dangers slimming mirrors present to young people.
Maggie Clarke, a senior school nurse in Leicester said “I think it’s sad that large companies who have a predominantly young clientele subliminally promote the belief that to look good you have to be thin and tall when they could really promote the view that we are all different shapes and sizes and being healthy physically and emotionally should be our goal.”
Tamzin Bouzad, an 11-year-old schoolgirl loves nothing more than doing sports, and going shopping with her friends in her spare time, she too noticed that the mirrors in a certain store give off a certain effect.
“I like to go shopping on the weekend with my friends, and I’m quite short. When Amber told me about the mirrors, I went back to the shop and I noticed I was taller. It felt strange.”
After contacting the chain for further comment, they categorically denied they had mirrors of such in their stores, yet said if they are giving such an effect it would be due to the mirrors being ‘incorrectly installed when hung on the wall’.
What do you think about slimming mirrors?
Should they just be in the adult section of the stores, or not at all?