Lindsay at Jezebel posted a video yesterday of one of the Gap’s holiday ads in a post entitled: New Gap Commercial With Little Girls Is, Yeah, A Little Gross. I’m…not seeing it, honestly. Neither are most of the commenters.
The sticking point is apparently at :08, where one of the girls does a hip-pop. Now, I can’t dance. I really can’t dance. I can’t dance so much that I took weight training in college instead of a class in modern dance (which was considerably closer to my dorm, I might add), and even I know that hip popping is pretty much a standard in jazz and modern dance, not to mention modern cheerleading. The move itself isn’t sexual. It’s certainly not inherently sexual when performed by little girls in sweaters, tights, and boots.
But about 500 commenters agree with me there, and it’s not the thing that’s bugging me now. What’s bugging me are the comments like this one:
“it’s sick, quite frankly, that little girls would care so much about their clothing– how materialistic.”
This isn’t the only comment of this kind on the post – there are several in the vein of “they’re too young to care about their shoes!” – but this was definitely the most to the point.
Part of my reaction to it is increduality – I was pretty tomboyish after I got over my initial frilly dress phase around age seven, and I spent elementary school dying for a pair of Guess jeans. I got to go to the Gap for my back-to-school clothes for the first time when I was 12 and was so thrilled. I wanted my tennis shoes and sturdy sandals that I ran around to be cute.
And this is from someone who didn’t pay attention to fashion and what really looked nice until sometime in college, or possibly grad school.
There’s nothing wrong with being interested in clothes at the age of 8. There’s also nothing wrong with not being interested in them at that age (or any other). Kids are just as individual as adults, people. Really.