Consumer power

It is good to read stories where the consumer has won and this is an example.  It show that if you do complain about something you don't like, it may make a differences.  Kmart (Australia) has been forced to remove a line of girls underwear as it outraged some parents and I am sure you will agree.  

Not only would you not want your daughters to wear them, I doubt you would want your daughters (or sons) walking past them (as they were on display in the childrens clothing section) and wondering what they all mean and asking you questions.  Knowing the sorts of questions my sons would ask when younger, there are bound to be children, who, if they saw these undies would stop and read the words on the underpants.

Note: I have included a photo of the underwear at the bottom of this post.

This is from the local newspaper (link): 

The retail chain Kmart has been forced to withdraw a line of underwear for young girls that carries slogans such as "call me" and "I ♥ rich boys" after the store was accused of sexualising teenagers. Kmart has confirmed that it will remove the underwear, which is part of its popular Girl Xpress range, after it was the target of a Twitter campaign led by outraged parents, who described the slogans as "disgusting" and "sleazy".

A spokeswoman for Kmart told Fairfax Media that it had received one complaint about the underwear. "Due to the fact that it has been brought to our attention that there may be some concerns with the item, we have decided to remove it from our stores," the spokeswoman said. She said Girl Xpress was aimed at the "female youth market" but did not define what age that market was.
The federal MP for Moreton, Graham Perrett, hit out at the retail giant for stocking the underwear after being sent photos of some of the pieces in the range.  "It sickens me," he said. "It makes me cry to see that sort of stuff out there in our stores. It sends the wrong message entirely."

Sometimes it is worth reading the comments from other readers, many also felt that KMart had gone too far and were glad to see them removed from shelves, however some mothers saw nothing wrong with them: "Oh what a big fuss over nothing, what a society of curtain-twitching finger waving nannies we are becoming. I bought my 12 year old daughter a couple of pairs of these because they're cheeky and funny and she's old enough to appreciate that sense of flirtatious irony behind them."


  1. I think that's awful! I certainly wouldn't want my children seeing or wearing those kinds of underwear!! On the other hand, what about all those t-shirts that have worse things written on them and are there for everyone to see (unlike underwear that is often/usually/should be underneath clothing)? Where's the outrage about the t-shirts???? :(

  2. Clara - so true, perhaps because they are generally in the adult male section they aren't seen as "harmful" as in the childrens section. And, yes you see people on the street wearing them to.

    I do wonder sometimes about those who are designing these clothes :(

  3. We all know the world is mad, so it shouldn't surprise us.

    But I am continually amazed by what girls WILL wear!

    Do they have truly NO idea the message they are sending?

    Don't their parents care about them?

    Don't they have older (or even younger) brothers/cousins who can tell them what they are doing?

    Or doesn't anyone care about anyone but THEMSELVES?



  4. Bets - if you read some of the comments below the article in the news paper there are some mothers who think we are all being a little precious and are quite happy to buy their young daughters clothes like this. They find it funny.

    However it was good to read other comments where men in particular thought this was in bad taste and wouldn't want their daughters in these types of clothing.

    Sadly some of these girls have brothers etc who don't see anything wrong with it so they are only going to encourage it.

    Why did the manufacturer think it was a good idea - that puzzles me. But then some other so called "fashions" really puzzle me.

  5. pleased I am past shopping for little girls. It can be a night mare. (I guess this will affect my grand daughter soon). Undies are on my mind as I bought some for my boys today and was horrified at the price of them.

  6. That is terrible! I hadn't heard about this until today. I'm so glad that kmart decided to remove them! You know I once complained to a major shopping centre about a sleazy poster ad within the mall, and all it took was one phone call and it was removed! I wanted to share this because there is power even in one person complainig. Many years ago a friend of mine complained about a sleazy picture of Kylie M in a big well known dept store and the dept manager said they were just waiting for one person to complain to remove it as she didn't like it herself! I don't know who thinks of these things but it's encouraging for us to know the power of one person complaining....

  7. Joyfulmum - I think we forget that one person can make a differences so if we see something that is offensive to us and our children then we should act. Those examples you gave show that it works.

    We forget that the staff in these stores/malls may also be offended but don't think they can speak up.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. We went to a family restaurant this afternoon and when we came out I suddenly noticed on the window of the sports shop right next door there was a picture of a woman wearing no clothes, with just words over her chest (and not properly covering her womenly features). I will be making a phone call on Monday morning. I was extremely offended and had to guard my children's eyes to stop them from seeing it. I was truly horrified. Literally right next to a restaurant like that!! :(

  9. Do let me know what the outcome is, sometimes I'm amazed at what goes on and what advertisers think they can get away with. Are the general population so use to ths rubbish that no one notices any more or do they just turn a blind eye.


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