Last summer I found this great one piece swimsuit for my daughter, at Target. As this summer approached I quickly realized that my daughter had out grown this suit. She is almost two years old and has shown an early interest in potty training, so hopefully soon (fingers crossed), we won’t want to be messing around with a one piece bathing suit when she needs to go potty. Keeping this in mind, I began to shop for her new suit.
Every store that I went into had a variety of 2 piece suits in the girls section ranging from itsy-bitsy to a swim shirt and bikini bottoms. As I go through the selections I begin to realize there is a major problem with these suits. Although quite a few of the suits were way to sexualized for children, this could be debated back and forth as to at what point a suit crosses the line. The problem I’m referring to is much less up for debate. In this instance what I’m most concerned about is sun protection.
Here is a side by side of the options for boys and girls that offer the most sun protection. Lets play “One of these things is not like the other” and spot the obvious difference. Besides that everything for girls is colored an obnoxious pink, the main difference is the shorts. Kids, especially toddlers, have wonderfully chubby thighs that rub together. Pair this with pool water and all the sunscreen that’s been applied to them is quickly rubbed away. So why are the swim shorts only available in the boys section? The obvious reason is that swim trunks aren’t “girly” so they aren’t marketed to girls. Why are we willing to put our girls health in danger so that they can look cute in a swim suit?
Now the options I can see for my daughter are to sacrifice sun protection and get her a suit from the girls section, or get her one from the boys section and constantly field the question “Why is she in a boys suit?” Luckily, at the fifth store I went to, I found a 2 piece suit on clearance for $8 and matching trunks on sale for $5. Thirteen dollars is not a bad price to pay for an option that solves both of the dilemmas I was facing.
But what if I hadn’t been so determined and fortunate enough to stumble upon this sale? What if my only choices were A) Buy both suits and spend more than I could afford, B) Buy from the the boys section and face ridicule from my peers, or C) buy from the girls section and sacrifice the better sun protection? Which would you choose?