Women Claiming 'Little Mermaid'-themed Bikini 'Sexualizes' Girl Spark Fury

Claims that a Disney bikini sexualized a 2-year-old girl have sparked fury online after the child's mother took to the internet for advice.

After her husband overhead a conversation while they were on vacation in the U.K., the mom-of-two queried Mumsnet under the username Bluebirds1987. The couple was with their 8-month-old and 2-year-old daughters in a pool "full of parents and children."

The mom explained: "DH [dear husband] said just now that while we were there, he overheard some women looking at me and DD1 [dear daughter 1], discussing that the bikini she was wearing 'sexualized' her."

"It's a Little Mermaid bikini with frilly detail and sparkly bits. DD1 Picked it out herself and she absolutely loves it. DH took great joy in chipping in that it's only sexualizing her if you look at it that way, before telling them that's his daughter," she wrote.

"The Little Mermaid" movie poster.
A poster for "The Little Mermaid." A mother on Mumsnet revealed two women thought her daughter's Disney swimsuit was inappropriate. IMDB

She shared a photo of the swimsuit. It was a blue-and-purple two-piece with scale detail on the bottoms, a frill edge and an image of Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid on the top.

She continued: "I honestly never even thought about it that way, to me she's just a little 2 year old girl in a Disney outfit and if I'd heard them I'd have been fuming!

"I have never come across anything like this before and it's the first time she's worn it, I'd like to think I can dress her in whatever she likes and feels confident in and that it's their problem they don't think it's appropriate, not mine."

But the mom said she was "open for debate," as she asked for other parents' opinions: "Were they out of order, or should I not let my 2 year old show her bare tummy in a public place?"

The post on the AIBU (am I being unreasonable?) forum, shared on Wednesday, has amassed nearly 200 responses and can be read here.

User KangarooKenny said: "It's them not you. Nothing wrong with that bikini."

Greatoutdoors agreed: "Nothing wrong with it at all! My only worry would be sunburn but I assume you've got that covered. It's a them issue, totally."

Coffeecupsandfairylights said: "It's absolutely fine. If people are sexualizing children because of their clothing, that's their weird problem, not yours!"

Cornishqween commented: "It's adorable—ignore them. What a bizarre attitude to have towards a 2 yr old presumably out having fun with her family."

StupidUsernameUnavailable thought: "It's adorable. I don't even see that as a 'bikini.' It's swimwear for a 2 year old child. Speaks more of them to be honest. Screw them and let your little girl wear whatever she wants to!"

It's their problem they don't think it's appropriate, not mine."
Mom

Imabitbusyatthemoment wrote: "People are idiots. Nothing sexual about that bikini whatsoever. Agree with your husband's comments."

Not everyone was in agreement. Elsiebear90 wrote: "I don't like little girls in bikinis tbh [to be honest], I think it looks tacky and inappropriate for their age given the top is like a bra, but it's your choice what you dress her in."

After reading the comment, the mom said: "I don't think it's tacky, but then I guess it was cheap and a 2 year old chose it so maybe it is."

She pointed out it was more practical than a swimsuit, as the little girl had recently been toilet trained.

Her little girl chose the outfit, as the mom said—that's an important milestone for children. While there's no definitive age kids should start selecting their own clothes, website Family Matters outlines how important it is.

The site says it allows youngsters to develop their own opinions, helping shape their personality. It also aids their decision-making process and can boost their self-esteem.

Ultimately, it's easier for parents, too. The website notes: "The morning routine can often be filled with tears and tantrums. Plus, children seem to take forever to get dressed, which isn't ideal when you're in a rush to get out each morning.

"But, if your kids have chosen their own clothes, your morning routine can be just that little bit easier."

Movie poster and file photo of girl.
A poster for "The Little Mermaid." and a file image of a young girl. A mom has sparked a debate on Mumsnet after revealing two women said a Disney bikini sexualized her toddler. AlonaPhoto / Disney/Getty Images