AN Australian supermarket has pulled a children’s bride costume from its shelves after a fuming mum’s petition – but not everyone agrees.
The AUS$6 (£3.20, US$4.11) outfit included a white wedding gown and headband with veil for children between the ages of 4 and 6.
Kmart Australia has pulled a child’s bridal costume from shelves after an angry mother’s petition[/caption]
Melbourne mum Shannon B slammed the costume as ‘inappropriate and offensive’ – but not everyone agreed[/caption]
It was stripped from Kmart shops last week after a petition by a Melbourne mother – which had garnered just a few dozen signatures.
The petition’s author, Shannon B, blasted the costume as “beyond inappropriate”.
She accused Kmart of legitimising child marriage – adding the supermarket chain has a “social responsibility” to uphold.
In the petition, which had just 124 signatures, Shannon wrote: “Tell Kmart this is beyond inappropriate and offensive and that they have a social responsibility to pull this item off their shelves immediately.
“Please help me get this message to Kmart by signing this petition.
“Each year, 12 million children (girls as young as 6 years old — the same size as this ‘costume’) are sold or married off by their family without their consent.
“That’s one million child marriages per month!”
Kmart responded with a grovelling apology and pledged to remove the product from sale just days before Halloween this week.
A spokesperson said: “Kmart Australia regrets the decision to range the bride costume.
“It was not intended to cause offence and we sincerely apologise.
“We have made the decision to withdraw this product.”
Shannon, this kind of c**p is what makes people hate others. It’s just a costume for goodness sake
The petition has since gone on to attract more than 500 signatures.
But many of those putting their name to the Change.org page said they only did so to criticise Shannon’s “stupid” petition.
One raging signatory wrote: “Shannon, this kind of c**p is what makes people hate others.
“It’s just a costume for goodness sake.
“My daughter has asked multiple times for a ‘dress like mummy had’.
“It is a dress up nothing more … you’re ruining it for everyone. Get over yourself.”
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Another wrote: “Dude seriously, get a life. It’s a costume”, while a third added: “Let kids be kids.”
Responding to the backlash, Kmart vowed to stand by its decision to scrap the costume.
Child rights campaigner Mercy Chipo Jumo told News.com.au: “Anything that trivialises child marriage is disturbing.”