MAJOR retailers are being urged to stop marketing inappropriate clothing at children or risk a boycott by parents after a social media backlash aimed at Target over its range of girls’ clothes.
An open letter to the retailer, typed by a Port Macquarie mother-of-two protesting the sale of clothes that made girls aged seven to 14 “look like tramps”, had last night attracted almost 60,000 ‘‘likes’’ on Facebook since it was posted on the weekend.
The woman who wrote the letter, Ana Amini, yesterday said she was overwhelmed by the support her letter had gained.
‘‘Basically I just wanted to give them feedback, but obviously a lot of people have thought the same thing and didn’t say it," she said. "I really am hoping they [Target] stop and think about the clothes they are selling to people," she said. ‘‘It’s not little kids’ clothing. They’re made for teenagers."
The support has prompted Collective Shout, a group that campaigns against the sexual exploitation of women, to urge big retailers to sign a pledge to stop selling clothing that encourages young girls to be ‘‘thin, hot and sexy’’.
Collective Shout co-founder Melinda Tankard Reist said she was already in discussions with one, unnamed major retailer who was willing to make that commitment.
"Target really needs to listen; that’s a lot of people responding in a very short period of time," Ms Tankard Reist said. "It’s a bad business decision; they are going to be boycotted, parents are looking for alternatives and these days the only alternatives are online."
Among the more than 3,000 comments Ms Amini’s letter had also attracted were parents saying those who did not like the range available at Target should shop elsewhere.
But the President of the Australian Council on Children and the Media, Professor Elizabeth Handsley, said the problem was that most major retailers stocked similar lines of children’s clothes.
And for those who did not want to spend a lot on children’s clothing there were very few affordable options available outside the big chains.
‘‘It tends to go straight from Barbie and Dora the Explorer to Pretty Woman,’’ Professor Handsley said. ‘‘You get these little short shorts ... and the type of clothes you’d expect a grown woman to wear to a nightclub to attract men they are selling in a size seven."
Target Australia yesterday told wrote on Facebook that it was ‘‘reading and listening’’ to all feedback and comments Ms Amini’s letter attracted.