My 16 year-old’s first thong/G-string Bikini arrived today
Unbeknownst to me, my daughter had been hankering for her prize to arrive in the mail.
There it was at my front door. A small package with her name on it. As we’re in a time of many firsts, I was wondering whether she had in fact ordered online for the first time. The Sender was the name of an unfamiliar swimwear company.
In between coming home from school and going to her part-time job, she opened the package stating that this was the ‘prize’ that she had won in an online competition where if you typed in the last comment you would win the prize. She later confirmed that her comment had indeed been the last of the competition.
There it was wrapped in white tissue paper and sprinkled with clear faux white diamonds. She told me that this was like Christmas! She had even got to pick the colour but that this was the only style of swimwear that was available to WIN. I looked at the top. It was indeed her favourite colour. When I looked at the bottom, I realized that it was a thong/g-string! I told her that she wasn’t going to wear that. She insisted that she could sunbake with it in our backyard. This is not appropriate as at times, people can see into our backyard.
Who are these people I began to wonder? Why would they give my daughter free skimpy swimwear? I then asked, ’Have they asked you to take any photos in the bikini.” She reassured me that they hadn’t.
Then I proceeded to read the card that came with the prize, it said:
‘Hey there Babe,
Thank you so much for purchasing from MAKANA SWIM – We hope you love your new kini!
Make sure you tag us in any photos you post in your newest swim piece so that we can feature you on our social media accounts!
Thank you again and enjoy the rest of your day.
Love Makana xo’
Not only had my 16 year old got her first thong/g-string (without my consent or approval) via a ‘free prize’ on an Instagram game. She was now being instructed to tag this company in photographs of herself in her what they deem (in their own advertising) ‘cheeky’ swimwear so that they feature my daughter’s half-naked body in advertising their product. Playing on the tendency of this age group to want to be in ‘hot demand’. Isn’t that every girl’s dream?
My daughter, perhaps more naïve to my concerns seemed somewhat sympathetic to this newly fledged company that was only trying to get more people/followers. Although, she assured me that none of her friends wear such scantily-clad bikinis, she has LIKED this company on Facebook and follows them on Instagram… We’re going to have to talk some more I know.
Alarm bells are ringing. It makes me wonder who else has ‘won a prize’? Who else has tagged this company with images unbeknownst to their loved ones? How old are these girls being targeted? Do they even care? Sexual exploitation? Economic Exploitation? I’m not sure but my gut feeling is that something is not sitting quite right.
By Tania Swan