It’s less amazing to me that Elizabeth Hurley pitched these bikinis as appropriate for girls as young as age 8 than it is that there are enough parents who would put their kids in the suits to make them marketable:
As of this writing, Hurley’s site supporting her swimwear line appears to be down, presumably crashed by the volume of response to these and other items in the line. But according to Huffington Post, the copy for the pink swimsuit described it as “for girls [ages 8-13] who want to look grown up.” But the thing about little girls who play dress-up is that the way they go about it often emphasizes their lack of sexual maturity (and to a certain extent, the artifice of womanhood), be it the hilariously ill-fitting shoes they purloin from their mother’s closets or lipstick that wanders far outside the boundaries of their lips. These swimsuits are cut to fit—and to reveal—these girls’ bodies. They’re less for girls who want to feel grown-up, than for parents who think it’s amusing or cute to dress their kids like adults, even if that means sexualizing their children far beyond their years. Parents are supposed to moderate their children’s impulses, not expose them to all the consequences of them.