Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kudos to the PR Princess

Awesome press coverage -- on the front page of the Washington Post's Style section I got a treat with my breakfast this morning, an article about Club Libby Lu. I've blogged about Club Libby Lu before, first expressing my uncertainty and later my horror over the implications of such a place.

I really can't believe this picture, in the print edition, it was three columns wide and equally tall (i.e. it was a large, square picture), above the fold on the front page of the Style section. Do the parents not realize that a pedophile would think they hit paydirt with that image for their own personal use? If they don't actually have the newspaper, its comforting to know they can find and buy the image on-line. Yuck.

Am I being overly sensitive here? Maybe my long-ago interest in becoming a sex crimes prosecutor has made me overly cautious. But there are monsters out there who like little girls, I really don't think its a good idea to be dressing your kiddie up and urging her to shake her thing in the store front of a local mall. Don't prostitutes in Amsterdam have store fronts? I wonder if they dance.

Sometimes people walking through the mall gather by the windows at Club Libby Lu to watch the spectacle of little girls: all that pink and glitter. All that flesh, too.
A woman passing by says to three blondes in tight outfits, the youngest of whom is 4: "If you're wearing those kind of clothes, you gotta shake your booty."
At least the parents are paying a lot of money for this.

They come here for the makeover parties, which start at $21.50 per girl, and they stay at least an hour, and they buy.
Well, what else are the kids going to do anyway?
Is this business of pretend headsets and pants so low the waistbands of little girls' underwear shows -- is this business a girl's fantasy or is it a marketer's fantasy? Would little girls be as satisfied to dress up like 19th-century frontier women?
Maybe. It might be worth a try. There are plenty of places where kids can wear historical costumes and learn or play. Granted, you won't find them in a mall.
Turns out that Club Libby Lu is really providing a service.
In some newspapers, Blaizgis says, Club Libby Lu has been the victim of a "feminist backlash." She says articles have suggested Club Libby Lu is "forcing girls to grow up too quickly." What she hopes to get across is the store's "sense of fun."
"We are about fun and play and pretend," Blaizgis explains another day.
Well of course Club Libby Lu is not forcing the girls to grow up, the parents are willingly paying lots of money for this. And what about those feminists, don't they realize how fun dressing up is? Are they just jealous because they have aged out of Club Libby Lu? They need not worry, why across the mall is a large Victoria's Secret where they can indulge in their own "fun and play and pretend." Likewise, when the Club Libby Luers outgrow the store at age 13, they too will have a place to go.
I just hope they don't run into any pedophiles in the meantime. I know, I'm no fun -- I guess dressing up at home with your friends doesn't hold the same thrill. And its free, so no one knows how much money you are able to spend on your child's birthday party.


Anonymous said...

You are not alone at all, I am horrified at this. A few weeks ago my other half and I were walking in the mall and came across a horde of folks standing in front of this store, we stopped, looked in and what did we find to our horror and disgust but half a dozen scantily clad very young girls made up to look like little Jon Bonnets. After we got over that shock we looked at the crowd of people blocking the concourse, yes most were moms taking pictures all proud of their little angels but more than one were older men, alone, taking photos with camera phones. What easy pickings for a pedophile!

We walked on and remarked loudly how sad these mothers were pimping their daughters out so young-we got a few nasty looks but even more women looked at the floor.

Playing dress up is great, little girls do that, and if a company wants to make money off of it ok fine but don't put them on display as if they were on the street corner.

Anonymous said...

Moms who dress their little kids up to look like whores should have their kids taken away. Not fit mothers, imo.

Dana D said...

Truly disgusting store. To the moms who don't feel comfortable about their girls going there, but take them anyway so they aren't "left out" or "want to go even more" - GROW UP. Be a parent - it's different than being a "best buddy." Think of some greasy man in his bathroom with a camera phone picture of your five year old girl. SICK.

Anonymous said...

Bleccch! I find it amazingly disturbing that this store is sexualizing children. Hello, they've got the rest of their LIVES to shake their hips. They've got a much smaller window to be a kid.

I was also bothered by the mom who TOLD her kid that the kid wanted a Hummer next year. Um, no, sweetie, *you* want the Hummer. Barf.

h said...

Wow, this is totally disgusting. It's like watching one of those cable shows on beauty pageants for 4-year-olds, where the moms all say "Susie just loves getting her hair done-- I swear! I'm just following her interests!" Which is so patently false, because what 4-year-old wants to spend hours sitting still and then moving in proscribed ways while grinning like a maniac on stage? This Club Libby Lu is similar.

I have to object to commenter 2, however, who said these kids should be taken away from their moms. Let's not bandy that around so freely out here on the blogosphere... I've had that said to me because I don't vaccinate my kids, and much as I could defend my choice, it's still startling and hurtful when someone says you ought to lose custody. Taking away children who are not in direct danger is the worst imaginable sort of fascism.

Mom of All Seasons said...

Well, I guess I know what the little girl in Panera Bread (at the mall) was wearing her pre-school-sized thong for now... Eeuw!!! If you're interested, there's more about it at

Marjorie said...

Oh wow -- that is bad. I'm always horrified at the conversation t-shirt I see advertised in JCPenney ads "Buy me stuff and I'll be nicer."

FYI to any readers who see this comment later -- -- will take you to the post MOAS references -- look under subhead Seeing is Disbelieving.

Thanks for all the comments on this post!

purple_kangaroo said...

Yet another reason to avoid the mall . . . it's becoming our new Vanity Fair.