A Government inquiry is being launched today to decide if retailers should be prevented from marketing overly-sexualised clothing for pre-teens.
Clothes like 'porn star' T-shirts, lap-dancing kits and padded bras have been heavily criticised by campaigners, and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said he was 'shocked' to discover 'Lolita' beds sets for six-year-olds.
The coalition agreed in May to take action to 'protect children from excessive commercialisation and premature sexualisation'.
The chief executive of the Mothers' Union, Reg Bailey, will lead the inquiry, which will make recommendations on whether there should be restrictions on the sale or certain items, a watchdog, or the implementation of a Government-funded website for worried parents.
Mr Bailey asked parents to make him aware of products which particularly concerned them, telling reporters: 'It's about the tone and the style of the way things are marketed to children. When you are so bombarded by marketing and sexualised imagery, it almost becomes wallpaper.'
Sarah Teather the children's minister welcomed the inquiry, telling the Sunday Times: 'There are huge pressures on children to grow up too quickly and to buy stuff, some of which is completely unsuitable. I know when I walk down the high street there is one shop after another marketing highly sexualised clothes to young children: short, tight dresses; T-shirts with unsuitable slogans. Parents are under a tidal wave of pressure. There are all sorts of messages that bombard children and make them grow up quicker than parents want them to, and it's difficult for parents to protect their children because of music videos, because of what happens in the playground, what they see in shops, online, and because of the messages they get in teen magazines.'
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