babies in bikinis. what battle are we fighting

Jessica Simpson slammed for dressing four month old Maxwell in Bikini  Fox News

Jessica Simpson faces backlash after sharing baby Maxwell’s bikini pictures Usmagazine.com

Baby bikinis are totally inappropriate Jessica Simpson Dailymail.uk

I’ve been around the block a few times already when it comes to fighting with kids and their clothing choices. That’s why I just don’t get the whole brouhaha about tinies and their teeny bikinis. I just don’t understand what the big deal is about Jessica Simpson’s baby in her bikini or Elizabeth Hurley’s swimwear line for kids. There are a couple issues at hand here for me. One involves hypocrisy, and the other picking your battles

There’s a lot of judging going on here. Which leads me to believe that either folks have got too little to think about (in which case I can send over my problems), or we just love to weigh in on stuff that has nothing to do with us, and that we’re usually guilty of, and that has somehow vaporized from our short-term memories.

If you don’t like babies in bikinis, don’t put your daughter in one. Seriously. it’s that simple. I’m sorry to break your little bubble of judgement though, little Maxwell is not the first little girl to sport a two-piece crochet bathing suit. Go check your own baby photos.

Look, I’m totally against the oversexualization of kids. I hate to see how young women are portrayed in music videos and what I like to call The Hip Hop Lifestyle. The revealing clothing and oversexed gyrations, including the girl-on-girl action really bother me. I worry if that’s how our teenage girls think they have to look and act to be attractive.

However, I find it a stretch to equate this

and this


with this

jessica simpson baby in her bikini

There’s nothing sexy or alluring or inappropriate or pervy about this baby picture. There’s nothing different about this picture than the ones that were taken of us when we were babies. Who remembers the naked tush pictures? We all had photos taken of us in bathing suits and bloomers and in the bathtub. I know that I took pics of my kids like that.  Don’t hide your face. You did too.

We’ve got 100s of photos of my baby sister running around the beach in Aruba topless and happier than can be.

One of the cutest outfits my daughter wore as a baby were a little pair of booty shorts with cherries printed on them.

Since when did we get so high on our horses that we accuse poor Jessica Simpson of dressing her baby inappropriately? And as for battling Elizabeth Hurley for designing a line of swimsuits? She is not the first person to sell bikinis for kids.  I wore a bikini in the 70s before I was even born. My sisters wore bikinis, my daughter wore a little bikini over her diaper.

Please explain to me why all of a sudden little girls should not wear two-piece bathing suits?

I’m concerned that we’re trying to read too much into issues that are too small, which takes focus off the big issues like behaviour, and kindness and character and education. We’re setting ourselves up for failure as our kids mature and start to dip their toes into independence. There’s a lot of focus on microissues and not enough on things that matter.

Never mind, the fact that we are setting a lovely example of judge ye who doesn’t want to be judged. Let’s feel free to haul out celebrities and point out their faults, shall we?  Remember Suri Cruise’s party shoes?  The shame. And Brangelina’s Shiloh who likes to dress like a boy? What a scandal? Why did that rate a spotlight? Is it easier to look at someone else’s parenting choices than our own?

Have we ever considered that perhaps these were parents who were just trying to get through the day? To choose to allow a lesser evil? Maybe Suri had a hankering for a bucket of candy to go with her heels and Katie went with the shoes? I know that fighting with a little girl who wants to wear her brother’s outfits is not an argument worth having and if pushed will cause her to dig her heels in even more.

I worry. I worry because there are so many battles to fight with kids as they grow up. Can I ride my bike by myself? Can I take the subway? Can I have a boyfriend? Can I get a cellphone? Can I take the pill? Can I go to Montreal with my friends? Can I call you when my ride (or I) has been drinking? Can I go away to university?
So many paths to take. So many discussions to have. Is wearing a bikini one of them? Would you rather lay down the law to your nine-year-old about her bathing suit or about getting a cell phone? Would you rather say no to a sleep over or a solo walk to the park?


So many rules to make and even more to follow. So many opportunities for parents to help their kids make good choices according to the values in the home.  Are you going to waste your NO on a itsby bitsy polka dot bikini? Are you going to spend your time judging celebrities instead of focusing on your own family?

Are you perfect?

Oh, by the way, my daughter doesn’t like to wear pink. And, my son does. Call People. They might be interested.


  1. Mara – this is so well said and right on target. I often think we are too quick to judge celebrity parents because it takes the focus off our own short-comings. Shame on us for being so hypocritical. Great points, and you are so right about learning which battles to pick 🙂

    • Thanks so much. There’s a lot of judging. Also, which I didn’t mention, there’s a lot of over-reaction about things that are normal and ordinary.

  2. So, here’s the thing? For me…babies in bikinis? Adorable. Toddlers in bikinis? Cute.
    Pre-teens in bikinis? Totally not adorable or cute anymore.

    That’s me personally. Once my kids start, well, being little ladies and no longer asexual children, bikinis are off-limits in our home. Because, for me, that’s when it starts being inappropriate. The same way I wouldn’t let my daughter—at almost 12—wear tube tops and booty shorts…she doesn’t wear bikinis.

    But I think this is a very personal thing.
    My girls know that some of their friends were bikinis and that’s okay…
    My girls know that they don’t and that’s okay too.

    • That’s exactly battle picking. And, you may change again when she’s 14 or 16. There’s always a battle to fight. And, it’s so hard to figure out what’s right for your own family. I can’t begin to imagine who people have the energy to worry about other people’s choices.

  3. My daughter is 8 and some times she wears 2-piece suits, sometimes 1-piece. I don’t see the issue at any age because I don’t see bathing suit choices being indicative of the sexualization of little girls. That is a very North American notion and perhaps, despite my years here, I still haven’t adapted to it.
    Push-up bras, lalas hanging out every which way, gyrating – those are inappropriate sexualizations (IMO); bikinis – not.
    Well said Mara, choose your battles and don’t be such a Judgy McJudgy.

  4. My aversion to bikinis on wee ones is more with their fragile skin and sun exposure than any inappropriate clothing.

  5. Very well said and completely relevant. I agree there are bigger battles to be had when it comes to our children and their well-being. I think you’re absolutely correct that sometimes moms find it easier to judge a celebrity mom because they seem untouchable. But they are not untouchable. They are a mom, just like you or I, with the same 100 battles per day and the same emotions.

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