Skechers Shape-ups for Young Girls - Really?!

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Small problem: Sketchers Shape-ups are now available for girls.

You’ve seen the commercials, fronted by shapely celebs like Brooke Burke and Kim Kardashian, promising that simply wearing a certain pair of sneakers—Skechers Shape-ups, that is—will whip your booty into fine form.

It’s hard to argue that many women would love to look like these spokesmodels (who, presumably, have trainers in addition to their footwear). But are these thirtysomething sex symbols appropriate role models for young girls?

Skechers is banking on it. The brand’s popular collection of toning footwear is now available in sizes 2 to 6, for girls in preschool and grade school.

The $50 shoes come in several colors and styles (including a petite mary jane) and are spangled with hearts and stars and colorful metallic trim.

The corresponding commercial shows pretty cartoon rocker chicks running away from junk food–costumed boys (dressed as a hot dog, ice cream cone, and cupcake) with the tagline, “Stay Fit … Have Fun … In Shape-ups!!!”

Though plenty of studies have proven the results of these toning shoes to be negligible at best, that hasn’t stopped shoppers from stocking up in the hopes of tightening up their calves, thighs and glutes. But if preschool-aged girls are worried about toning their thighs, we think there’s a bigger problem than shoes that claim to do the exercise for you.

According to the Eating Disorder Foundation, one half of fourth-grade girls are on a diet, and 81 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat. The blame game may point fingers in plenty of directions (even Facebook, which Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani recently claimed promotes pro-anorexia Web sites), but the solution can’t possibly be to convince children as young as 2 or 3 that they should be wearing shoes that tone their bodies.

Where do you stand on Skechers mini Shape-ups?

In other controversial kid's wear news, check out this padded/push-up bikini top for 7-year-old girls