The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shape-ups for girls.


Skechers Shape-ups, made popular by Kim Kardashian’s Super Bowl advertisement, are now being advertised for young girls. Shape-ups are toning shoes that are supposed to help the user burn more calories. Do Shape-ups work? Do young girls even need Shape-ups? 

The Shape-ups commercial for girls features an animated girl singing “Heidi's got new Shape-ups! Got everything a girl wants! She's got the height, got the bounce, yeah she's looking good and having fun, 'cause Heidi's got new Shape-ups,” while being followed around by young boys dressed in junk food costumes.  The commercial’s jingle makes the toning shoes sound fun, but will parents want to buy them? The shoes cost roughly $50 to $75 dollars. Aside from the price, parents are petitioning online to have the sneakers pulled off the market. The petition on Change.org already has nearly 2,000 signers.

Leonard Armato, President of Skechers Fitness Group, believes the message behind Shape-ups is to “get moving, get exercise, and get fit.” This message is similar to the Let’s Move campaign and Beyonce’s “Move Your Body” music video, however some believe that Shape-ups are showing young girls that they should worry about their weight.

According to Augusta Christensen, who launched the online petition against Shape-ups, "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." 

An additional problem with Shape-ups is their potential for injury.  Adults have reported injuries as severe as stress fractures in both hips, allegedly from wearing Shape-ups, and rolled or twisted ankles are far from uncommon.  Somehow, it's hard to image fewer injuries occurring in young girls. 

Please read “Do little girls really need Shape-up toning sneakers?” for more information. 

-Samantha Bradbeer
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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