Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (Brooklyn), will soon be introducing legislation that will call on the State Comptroller to cease investments in corporations that design, manufacture, and sell provocative children’s clothing.
The Assemblyman has been approached by parents, advocacy groups, and individuals concerned about the lack of modest youth and teen or “juniors” clothing on the market. In light of Fashion Week in New York City this month, Ortiz feels that now is the time to act.
The negative impact of provocative children’s clothing goes beyond the superficial and effects young children’s perceptions of themselves and adult’s perceptions of young children. Young girls are particularly prone to these negative effects. A study released by the American Psychological Association stated “Given that girls may be developing their identity in part through the clothing they choose, it is of concern when girls at increasingly younger ages are invited to try on and wear teen clothes designed to highlight female sexuality.”
The studies also showed that children often experience body dissatisfaction, depression, and lower self esteem when they are sexualized at a young age. Furthermore, “…viewing sexualized portrayals of girls may lead to a greater acceptance of child sexual abuse, and viewing younger and younger girls as acceptable sexual partners.”
Ortiz stated “New York State’s promotion of provocative kids and teen clothing is not only psychologically harmful to the young children who wear them, but also affects adult’s perceptions of children in a negative way. New York State should not be supporting companies who provide clothing with suggestive sayings across the chests of shirts and the seats of pants.” Though the legislation would not ban the clothing in any sense, Ortiz is hoping to send a message to the designers and manufacturers by having New York State cease investments in these companies.