A few years back, celebrities like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden and many more had one thing in common. It became more frequent and not surprising to hear about a celebrity who walked around with a baby bump and not wonder whether or not they were expecting or whom with. Now that these children are a few years older, they have become the “celebrity kids”; the media has kept an eye on these kids closely, including what they wear and how they wear it. Pictures of Suri Cruise, the Beckham boys, Sparrow Madden and many others have been taken and posted on different blogs where people have commented on all their different designer garments, which costs no less than a thousand dollars!
The hype of celebrity kids has grown, and materialism is beginning to become natural amongst kids at a very young age. Children are starting to become more interested in fashion sooner than they used to. Marketers are now targeting a newer market for “tweens”, or children ages 8-12, when they are just gradually going into their teen years. Different lines of children’s clothing have also become more widespread amongst different retail companies. The trickle down fashion theory has started from celebrities and high-end designers who target mainly celebrities with their cute and adorable accessories and clothing that are adult-like for their children. Fast fashion companies like H&M and Gap quickly follow the footsteps of these major designers adding an additional line especially for children.
Do you feel that the media should take a step back in promoting and praising these celebrity children with their fancy and exquisite designer clothing? Online blogs allow readers to participate in different polls and vote for which they feel are the most “stylish” celebrity kids. Suri Cruise again beats the others with her adorable style, following with the Beckham’s children. Right after UK clothier Adams conducted this poll, bloggers shared their opinions in negative ways about these children commenting on why they feel that each child should not have won their place because they are not dressed well enough. Industry research has said that companies allow children to become independent so that they can remove the “barriers” (parents) between the child and the companies that are selling the products. By doing this, children become more aware and acceptable with different images in their minds about body, sexuality and relationships.
Controversies have risen about whether or not children are growing up too fast especially with the industry that is already fast paced. Styles go in and out in a matter of seasons, and the children’s apparel industry has done a great job at keeping up with these trends. Has this made children become more materialistic? Or has this made parents more willing to go along with the idea and follow celebrity trends?
Not only has this made children grow up sooner, it has also made us forget about traditionalism with children’s clothing. Before the popularity of manufacturing fashionable children’s wear, the idea of a celebrity’s children having a wardrobe of designer clothing worth over $2 million dollars would not be as accepted as it is today. Because children do grow so quickly and so much at this stage, hand me downs or a mom sewing an outfit for her children was the common thing in many households. Children today have the say in what they want or do not want to wear, parents are just the ones paying the bills. They are willing to pay high prices to look “cool”. What is the extent of these marketing messages to tweens? When the media portrays different images of children similarly to how they market to adults with images of models that are slim and almost perfect, does this also cause other issues to arise such as developing the healthy body image? Because this is the stage of maturity and growth, children’s minds become more complex, therefore marketers should send out the right messages in their advertisements.
Perhaps the idea of convenience and fast paced merchandise has taken over most of us, not only children but parents as well. Parents are the ones who are able to control what they feel like their children should be exposed to. Because everyone is now time-starved and money and status oriented, paying top dollar for their children’s wardrobe is more common amongst society. A mom’s hand made baby doll dress for her daughter is not fast enough to keep up with the style anymore. If parents are able to control what is appropriate for their children, and make sure they receive the right ideas from the media today, the media will not be able to take over as fast as they are doing today. Developing the right body image and idea for children whether they are tweens or young adults is important; therefore the media should consider this and scan the different things that they are marketing to this young market.