It has come to our attention that Skechers, the shoe company that has marketed the "Shape Up" sneakers as weight loss tools for women, has begun marketing "Skechers Shape Ups for Girls". Ads for these shoes have run on networks such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, and are clearly geared toward girls as young as pre-school age.
The commercial in question features a band of thin girls singing about their shoes, and being followed around by surly looking boys dressed like ice cream, burgers, and other "junk" foods. Women have plenty of time to be targeted for their weight throughout their lives. By not only marketing a shoe line to young girls, but also not even having an equivalent for boys Skechers is sending a clear message to girls and women: you're never too young to start hating your body.
This is unacceptable. Both in theory and practice, this product is offensive and potentially harmful to girls everywhere. Tell Skechers to let kids be kids, and stop body policing young girls!
An international survey commissioned by Dove shows that 77% of young girls between ages 10 and 14 think that they are ugly. 80% of 13 year old girls have tried to lose weight, and 50% of girls between the ages of 10 and 13 think that they are overweight. The overwhelming majority of these girls say that their negative feelings have been reinforced by products and ads such as the ones your company is now marketing. Nearly 90% of girls report feeling depressed about their appearance, and more than 8 million American women struggle with eating disorders. Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents, and is potentially fatal.
Please stop adding fuel to this fire with your gendered marketing approach that targets young girls. This kind of product and marketing scheme is unacceptable, sexist, and damaging, and your company must be responsible for removing it.