Walmart is doing a ton of damage control following accusations from parents that they ‘sexualized’ toddlers by offering a “Naughty Leopard” Halloween costume for little girls.
After a ton of public outcry, the retail giant stopped selling the item, pulling it down from shelves in stores and online, earlier today (Thursday, September 26, 2013).
Walmart also issued the following statement to Yahoo Shine:
We apologize to customers who may have been offended by the name of the costume and we are pulling the costume from our shelves.
The costume, which featured a black tutu with purple trim paired with a headband with matching ears, was neither sexy nor zoologically accurate, however the ‘naughty’ got parents up in arms and sent shock waves online about the appropriateness of the outfit.
The Consumerist first reported on the costume’s existence, based on an angry reader’s tip.
“What sort of parent buys a costume like this for their little girl? What sort of mind designs it?” was one of the many critical comments flooding Twitter on the topic this week.
Others called it “inappropriate” and “horrible.”
“Halloween costumes are supposed to be scary, cute, and sometimes funny. But a ‘Naughty Leopard’ toddler costume that made its way onto Walmart’s shelves is downright disturbing.”
Diane Levin, early childhood education professor at Boston’s Wheelock College and co-author of “So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids,” explained how there were problems on both ends.
“It captures in a word how society has been transformed. What used to be thought of as adult words now apply to children, too,” Levin told Yahoo Shine. “And Walmart must have known that. They are always pushing the envelope to see what sells—like Miley Cyrus.
And outrage is not necessarily bad, as it can prompt people to say, ‘Hey, they have costumes? They’re cheap! Let me see what I can find.’”
Uh oh… they’re blaming Miley Cyrus again!
Oddly enough though, the ‘naughty’ leopard costume isn’t the only offensive option this year. A quick perusal of Walmart online also brought up the following pre-teen costume…
Maybe people are thinking too much about the get-ups. I mean… it’s only dress up and make believe right? Hell… ‘Toddlers and Tiara’s’ play dress up with make-up and the whole nine and y’all aren’t picketing to get that mess off the air.
At the end of the day, who cares what outfit Walmart was selling? The only people who can actually purchase the dang thangs are the parents and if YOU wanna allow your daughter to walk around looking like a ‘naughty’ leopard, why should Walmart take the blame?
Who’s gonna protest about the all dayum parents who allow their 3 year old daughters to rock red lipstick and heels?
I get it… it’s a sensitive topic, especially with all the child predators running around, but isn’t it the PARENT’S job to protect their kids?
How sexy is ‘TOO SEXY’ for a kid’s costume?
Did Walmart do the right thing by pulling down ‘naughty leopard’?