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Should Skechers be Marketing Shape-Ups to Girls as Young as 8?

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Should Skechers be producing and marketing Shape-Ups—those wobble-board butt-and-leg-toning shoes—to girls as young as eight? Blog Mom Entrepreneurs writes: "It's hard enough on young girls struggling with self-esteem who continually feel the pressure to fit in and be perfect, behave in all these ways and look a certain way." And Jezebel.com says: "Little girls should not worry about toning their thighs and butts." But wait! There's even a commercial—that runs on Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network.

The Daily Mail reports:

The controversial Sketchers commercial is sandwiched between children's shows on TV channels Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network. Equally worrying to critics is that it depicts cartoon characters of pre-tween age enthusing how the shoe offers 'everything a girl could want, looking good, having fun,' with 'extra height and bounce.' The girls are followed by a trio of cartoon boys dressed up as a hot dog, cupcake and an ice-cream, tempting them with their high calorie treats. Sceptics say this is another example of the confusing message of food, sex and clothing.
· Parent outraged as Skechers markets 'leg-toning' sneakers to girls as young as eight [DM]