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December 26, 2009

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Kelsi

That photo of Suri is so creepy. Having worked with childrens shoes for a significant period of time I can't even begin to tell you the damage she is doing to her feet.

Sigh.

heather

re: suri "why her parents allow this is a bit of a mind bender"
one of the reasons (if not the only reason) is because katie holmes has a high-end baby clothing line called holmes & yang. suri has to be on top of the baby fashion food-chain if mommy wants to be a success.

Toby Wollin

Besides the whole "crippled by the time she's 12" issue with Suri Cruise, my problem with this sort of exposure is that the kids have no lives of their own. It is if they were created to become 'brand extensions' of their parents and their 'success' as a child becomes connected with their 'success' as someone who can command the attention of the media. Not loved simply because they exist; not loved simply for being a child. As a matter of fact, they cease being children at all - as can be seen by what has happened to Suri Cruise. What ever happened to parents saying to their kids, "No, you can't dress like that - that is for adults." "No, your feet need flat shoes now because you are still growing." and my old favorite, "No, because I said so." I don't care if they are 'ball room dancing shoes' - even kids who take lessons and work very hard at it do not wear those shoes 24/7 - they change into those shoes when they get to the studio or competition area. But for these folks, gaining the attention of the media is Job One. Let's look at the children who became stars in their own right on tv or film - how many of them became sensible, normal adults? these kids do not have a chance.t

Denise @ Swelle

Thanks for the great comments.

Kelsi - the fact that the shoes are even made in the first place is depressing, but more so is the fact that there is even a market. If someone gave me the shoes for my 4 year-old, I couldn't bear the shame of having her wear them in public - I'd feel like a terrible mum - and fear not only for the long-term effects on her feet and her growth but the short-term - she could fall and break her leg!

Heather - I didn't realize her line included children's clothing. Interesting, because the photos I come across - by chance - never mention that she's wearing anything from the line. Nor is the line itself mentioned very often, I'd completely forgotten about it since the launch, actually! But it's always about self-promotion, whatever that endeavor may be, isn't it? Katie Holmes baffles me as a woman and a mother and I can't help but think that this is not how she would want it if she wasn't married to Tom Cruise and immersed in Scientology.

Toby - I agree. There's no chance. If they do become healthy and happy adults, I believe it will be after a lot of emotional hardships and a severing from the life they've been forced into, and a lot of hard work. But for that to be possible you need some kind of healthy foundation, and I can't see how one is being created for her. You can see in the photos that she is aware of the camera and comfortable with it. How is that anywhere near normal? And what happens when one day the cameras aren't there and no one cares about her anymore? It's so awful to watch a child's life be destroyed and not be able to do anything about it.

Denise ♥

Rosanna

And the point is...? Rich people shouldn't dress their kids fashionable because...? The only people I hate more than rich parents dressing their kids up like fashion icons are rich snotty parents (read the Jolie-Pitts, for example) who dress their kids like cr@p despite being able to afford more just to "play poor".
It's crystal clear that Suri has a mind of her own, and is amazingly brilliant and aware for her age. And no, I'm no scientologist, as a matter of fact I can't stand both Katie and Tom. But Suri rocks.

alexandra keller

i don't really care if Suri wears little kitten heels. I'm sure she kicks them off as we do when we get home. How is it any different than all the little girls wearing Disney princess heels? Suri wants to look like Mommy and I think that's adorable. I only have a boy and he wants to wear comfy pants and shirts with robots and monsters. So what? I think he'd look cute in crewcuts, but even at 3.5 he doesn't want to wear that stuff. so if people think the Jolie_Pitt kids are dressed in cr@p, I only need to recall the Olsen twins and the fashion icons they have become. kids go through clothes too fast to worry about it.

Denise @ Swelle

R - I don't think I have to reiterate my point. It's patently obvious what I'm saying, if you're willing to see it. However, I would like to say once again that a three year-old girl having fans is creepy. But you're right, the Pitts should have their heads examined for dressing their children differently than what you would like to see. How dare they.

A - This isn't about fashion!

carlyjcais

The thing that I think is sickest about the Suri photo above?

It's raining. She's soaked. (And cold? as evidenced by how she's holding the Elmo - or maybe she's guarding it from the paps?) And she's wearing thin leggings, a soaked duffle-down coat, NO SOCKS, and OPEN-TOED heels. Isn't this outfit missing some parental common-sense?

If I had a little girl (I have a boy) - ONE SECOND I would say "take those ridiculous shoes off - it's freezing cold - and you're going to get athlete's foot prancing around in them." If it's cold enough to wear a thick coat on top - it's cold enough to wear thick socks and rainboots. When she's 18 she can make decisions to show off skin and get soaked all she wants. A 3-yr old wearing cute dresses and kitten heels at a party? Playing in Mommy's closet? For a special occasion? For - say - ballroom dancing? Um, sure. Once in awhile. But every time she steps out the door? No. Parental common sense really needs to trump all in this case - and choose what is best for her (physically AND socially [perhaps by not making her into an icon just yet?]).

Very well-written and thought-provoking article!:-)
xoxox
Carly

http://chicsteals.blogspot.com

WendyB

Ha ha...I'm just in the midst of writing my first ever post giving the thumb's up to a kid's fashion.

Denise @ Swelle

That's funny, Wendy! Because whenever I write one of my more 'serious' posts I think of you and anticipate the flipside of my reaction! You're the yin to my yang!

HauteWorld

Great article. I had no idea kids as style icons were becoming so popular. I'm appalled by this as well and don't even have kids (yet). It's one thing dressing your kid up in cute clothes and another to dress it up for the paparazzi. It's no secret that up to a certain age, dressing your kid is somewhat egocentric... you want your child to look adorable and their outfits are a reflection of you as a mother. In these cases it's less about marketing your kids though. This reminds me of the whole 'beauty pageant for kids' thing, which seems more in the interest of the parent.

Some of these comments are surprising me. Honestly Rosanna, what's up with the Jolie-Pitt bashing? It makes more sense to dress your kids like cr@p if they're going to be playing in the dirt. Money isn't the issue. I see rich babies in Paris dressed in H&M all the time, while their mothers are toting around Birkins. It's not a money issue, it's about common sense. I hate Crocs, but I'm certain it's what I'll get my kids as opposed to Mini Marc Jacobs shoes. I'm guessing Jolie-Pitt would rather invest their money in their children's welfare and education rather than something as superficial as clothing. And for Alexandra who commented on the kitten heels... if I'm not mistaken it's Katie who bought them for her daughter. It's not like Suri pointed them out and screamed until she finally got them.

P.S. Had to laugh about your Gavin Rossdale comment. I recently saw him in an episode of Criminal Minds, so I'm guessing he's now resorted to picking up bit parts in TV series ;-)

Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

Glenda

As a fashion lover, but mother first I too find this very disturbing. Children with fans, wearing heels, style icons? Weird...great article Denise.

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