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 Post subject: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Seriously? The sexualisation of children at increasingly younger ages is consistent with the growing diagnoses and hospitalisations of children 10 and younger.

Coincidence?

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‘Mini-Me’ With High Heels of Her Own
By TATIANA BONCOMPAGNI
Published: July 31, 2013

The last time Erica Greenberg Ring, a mother of three in Davie, Fla., went shopping with her daughter, Madison, she knew exactly where the 11-year-old would end up: in the shoe department, cradling a pair of high heels.

“She’s obsessed with all heels,” said Ms. Ring, who recently bought a pair of gold sequin wedge sneakers for her daughter. “She likes whatever’s trendy.”

Once the stuff of tabloid headlines (there was general “tsking” when paparazzi captured Suri Cruise in silver peep-toe heels), wedges and heels for tots and tweens have gone mainstream, turning up in schoolyards and on playgrounds far from Hollywood or Madison Avenue.

Industry observers say the trend is part of a bigger, so-called “mini-me” craze in the children’s wear market, linking fashions for children’s clothing and accessories with the latest from mom and dad’s runway, no matter how impractical it may be for a child’s rough-and-tumble lifestyle. Witness, for example, the maxi-dresses on sale at GapKids or the rise of pricey designer duds for the under-6 set.

“We’re into fast fashion,” Jill Green, an East Coast sales representative for Steve Madden, said of her company’s big bet on wedges. “Something sells well in women’s, we’ll pick it up in kids.” Roughly half of Steve Madden Kids spring/summer collection (six sneaker styles and a dozen other wedges and heels) has an elevated sole. (The company made pink, fringed wedge boots in toddler sizes last fall.)

Connie Cohen, a shoe buyer for Lester’s, a clothing, shoe and accessory store for children and adults with five locations in New York, said she had recently sold out of 300 pairs of a Steven Madden wedge sneaker, her entire inventory of the style, and has invested in more for fall.

GapKids introduced two styles of wedge-heel flip-flops (both under $20) after offering wedge-heel sneakers for the first time last holiday season. The children’s spring collection from Nina stars a hot-pink, rhinestone-accented sandal with a one-and a-half-inch wood heel ($48.95).

Synclaire Brands, a company that sells children’s shoes under several licensed brands, has several wedges measuring one-and-three-quarter inches for sale. Standouts include a pair of Michael Michael Kors for girls espadrilles with thick gold leather-looking straps ($79 at shoes.com) and sandals with black raffia-style straps (on sale for $48.27 at Nordstrom) from Stuart Weitzman for children.

According to the NPD Group, a market research company in Port Washington, N.Y., sales of girls’ fashion footwear, which does not include athletic shoes, grew 9 percent in the last year, to roughly $4 billion, after a 5 percent growth the previous year. Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief retail analyst, attributes the increase, which outpaced growth in adult fashion footwear, to the somewhat economy-proof nature of the business (“Kids’ feet don’t wait for the recession to be over,” he said) as well as dressier trends in children’s fashions. “Girls want to emulate mom more, and parents are letting kids experiment with dressing up more,” Mr. Cohen said.

But Tina Hambly, the founder and designer of Valentina Shoes, a line of girls’ footwear, has so far resisted appeals from retailers to create styles with heels in preteen sizes. “We as moms have to work at preserving our daughters’ youth,” said Ms. Hambly, who has a 9-year-old daughter.

Likewise, Sarah Cannova, an owner of Sassanova, a chain of women’s and children’s shoes and accessories in the Washington area, said that she was not going to buy girls’ shoes with heels to sell in her stores or for any of her three young daughters. “You’re basically giving the green light to expediting childhood and going full speed on to womanhood,” Ms. Cannova said. “Childhood is over soon enough as it is.”

Dr. Shari E. Miles-Cohen, a senior director of the Women’s Programs Office at the American Psychological Association in Washington, said that while young girls who wear their mother’s heels around the house are only pretending to be adults, the “line gets blurry” (and the message confusing) when they are given the “accouterments of adult clothing” to wear in real life.

“The research suggests that the bombardment of sexualized images tell girls that popularity and social standing are based on looking like a sex object,” Dr. Miles-Cohen wrote in an e-mail.

Besides potential social and psychological effects, there is also the question of whether these heels are safe for a child.

Dr. Adam L. Wollowick, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, said that because of their open growth plates and softer bones, as well as still-developing coordination skills, children in elevated shoes are more susceptible to ankle sprains, fractures and contracture of the Achilles’ tendon.

“None of this has been definitively proven because kids wearing heels is a new concept,” said Dr. Wollowick, an adult and pediatric spinal and orthopedic surgeon. “But if someone’s going to consider allowing their kids to wear heels, I’d limit them to a couple hours at a time.”

That might be easier said than done. Recently Jill Smokler, a Baltimore-based blogger and author of “Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies),” was horrified when her husband brought home a pair of heels for their 9-year-old daughter, Lily, to wear to a cousin’s bat mitzvah. “Of course, she loved them and there was no getting them off her feet,” she said.

She said she wishes her daughter, whose tastes run to glitter-fringed T-shirts, would stop trying to emulate young celebrities (Selena Gomez is a favorite). “How I dress her and how she dresses herself differ greatly,” she said with a sigh

If women want their daughters to wear flats, their first step might be to back away from heels themselves. Of the wee wedges at Lester’s, Ms. Cohen, the buyer there, said, “I sell some of my bigger sizes to mothers.”

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Attachment:
Kids' heels.jpg
Kids' heels.jpg [ 21.73 KiB | Viewed 11612 times ]

From top: Michael Michael Kors for girls espadrilles, a rhinestone-accented sandal from the spring children's collection from Nina, Stuart Weitzman for children.


New York Times

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 Post subject: Re: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:38 pm 
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Wow. I wear the shoes at 30 that I wore at 7 but that's because I still wear sneakers a lot. I do have nicer shoes but they're a less common thing because they kill my feet.

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 Post subject: Re: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:40 pm 
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That's both sad and scary. I think of what that does orthopedically to a child's foot after long term wear. Just think of what it does to a woman's foot!

My first pair of high heels was for a wedding when I was about 18. I wore them once or twice. I loved how they looked, but could never figure out how to walk in them. I'm pretty sure it was then when I decided that for sure I would never make it in the corporate world because I couldn't wear the shoes...literally.

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 Post subject: Re: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:07 am 
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Kayla wrote:
That's both sad and scary. I think of what that does orthopedically to a child's foot after long term wear. Just think of what it does to a woman's foot!

My first pair of high heels was for a wedding when I was about 18. I wore them once or twice. I loved how they looked, but could never figure out how to walk in them. I'm pretty sure it was then when I decided that for sure I would never make it in the corporate world because I couldn't wear the shoes...literally.


I can walk in somewhat of a heel but it has to be a wedge heel and no higher than two inches, less is better. I can't walk in higher than two inches or in a standard high heel (and most of them don't fit because I have long, squared off toes!)

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 Post subject: Re: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:04 pm 
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I'm torn on this, and I don't think it's a new thing.

Kids want to be grownups. I definitely remember trying to bargain with my own mother at K-Mart over a pair of rubber boots with a relatively small wedge when I was maybe 12 or 13? But they were by no means "high heels". But I also remember having a dress-up trunk that contained pairs of my mothers old pumps and peculiarly, a pair of clear plastic heels with bits of pink feathers that must have come from a lingerie store. These things were okay for "pretend" only.

I also remember how much I loathed hearing "you can't have/do X or Y because you're a child. I can do it because I'm an adult." I still hate hearing things like that. Authoritative "because I said so" answers.

However, I realize that a child can't really comprehend the consequences of permanent foot problems, much less the debated consequences of hypersexualizing preteen girls.

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 Post subject: Re: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:31 pm 
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Part of a parent's job description is accepting being hated for knowing when to say "no" (according to your own value system), picking your battles, and recognising with grace when you are no longer the one making decisions about your child's body.

But, my money: my decision how to spend it. My house: my rules. You want "X" - you get a job and pay for it, or you want to do "Y", time to move out 'cause it's not acceptable here (the latter was the "I'm going to get an iguana discussion...). My integrity and values matter and I know when I can no longer impose them on my children, but also when certain things impose on my integrity and values.

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 Post subject: Re: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:56 pm 
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I agree. And that is why I am not ready to be a parent!

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 Post subject: Re: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:24 am 
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I'm just back from a wedding. I was upset before going because I couldn't find my only pair of high heels. I suspect I threw them out when I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Anyway, I wore a pair of cute silver flats. As the night wore on, and the dancing picked up, more and more women ended up either in bare feet or changing into flats.
There seems to be a trend here for bringing a pair of comfy shoes in your handbag so the heels are just for the start of the night. I think maybe something similar might be ok for over twelves. As in, for an hour or two for a wedding or communion or special occasion but not for everyday.

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 Post subject: Re: "Mini-Me" With High Heels of Her Own
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:58 am 
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It occurs to me that if I had kids they might not want to fuss with it anyway. They'd inherit squared off toes on both sides and the type of toes that we both have do not work with most heels. I have some wedge-type heels that work but finding heels with more square toe boxes is very hard.

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Your feelings will not kill you, engaging in disordered behaviors could.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”


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