Skechers new “Shape-ups” shoes are apparently a huge fad. They’re supposed to tone your butt and legs just by wearing the shoe during your daily routine, and I can see why some could view the shoes as a good thing. They can help adults with insanely busy lifestyles to stay fit and healthy–I get that. So here’s my question: Why would little girls need them?
That’s right; Skechers has made “Shape-ups” for girls that come in preschool and grade school sizes. Now I know how obesity rates among kids in America are high, but don’t you think we should teach our kids to eat healthier, do physical activity, and have fun rather than buying them a workout shoe?
I don’t think this shoe was created as an alternative to exercise, but kids tend to believe what they see on T.V. “Looking good and having fun,” is a line from the song in Skecher’s new commercial staring a couple of “Barbie-like” cartoon girls singing about the shoes.
And where are the “Shape-Ups” for boys? Boys are just as likely to be overweight or in need of physical activity as girls are, but there are no workout shoes marketed on T.V. for young boys. So what’s the message here? That girls need special shoes to tone their butts and legs so they are “looking good,” but boys are just fine in regular sneakers?
Let’s face it, kids don’t need “workouts.” All kids need to focus on is staying active and healthy, and most kids can cover that without having to buy some $50 pair of shoes. We don’t need to market shoes to preschoolers—especially with reality TV stars the Kardashians to promote this fad.
And as if that’s not enough, Skecher’s ad for their “Sporty Shorty” shoes ends with a boy asking a girl to the dance because she was so fast with her shoes. Then in the end you see them all dressed up and climbing out of a limo. How is this related to athletic shoes? Oh yes, the gender roles are already in focus for our young girls: Get fit and wear our shoes and a boy will ask you out and you can ride in a lavish limo. Every girl’s dream, right? Sketchers, shape up. You’ve gone too far.