Dear Grandparenting: I call the grandkids my “babies.” In my mind’s eye, they are still cuddly, adorable little ones. I think some grandparents have a hard time accepting the fact their “babies” are growing up.
I know I do. I can close my eyes and remember happy summers at the ocean watching my beach babies playing in the sand. That is ancient history. My granddaughter is 12 and proud owner of her first bikini.
She paid too much no matter what it cost. The entire bikini consists of about one square yard of material. The bottom has next to nothing covering her behind, so most of her fanny sticks out for the world to see. In the front, the bottom is just a tiny triangle.
It’s good she doesn’t have boobs yet because the bikini top has two really small patches of fabric. How do they get away with making, marketing and selling this indecent stuff to kids? My bikini baby has the mind of a 12-year-old and the look of a 23-year-old. Your thoughts? Sylvia Culver, Chicago, Illinois
Dear Sonia: The French liberated the female form by inventing the basic bikini in 1946. If it was good enough for Brigitte Bardot, American women decided it was good enough for them.
They got little argument from men. Bikinis took East and West coast beaches by storm during the 1960s. Ever since, the bikini’s essential brevity has been sliced and diced to expose more and more of the groin, breast and buttocks areas.
Now there’s the string bikini, microkini, sling bikini and trikini, and all are so revealing that a few threads is all that stands between them and a “zerokini,” or absolutely nothing at all.
Are they marketed to adolescents? You bet. Did you think global giants of commerce would neglect the lucrative youth segment? Grandchildren are bombarded daily with sexually suggestive images and content, and it’s not about to stop.
If grandparents and other family members do not proactively emphasize that one’s self-worth is not based on appearance, then who will? Forbidding a child to wear explicit attire is a start, not a solution. The real problem area is not their torso but the space between their ears. It’s an inside game, so ramp up that conversation.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Elena Hernandez, Denver, Colorado, reports she recently visited her sister, Carla, who wore a white T-shirt inscribed thusly:
“All my grandchildren are brilliant and beautiful and take after their grandmother.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.