“Mummy, can I get a string bikini?”
My 8-year-old daughter's question floors me. Why the hell would my little girl want an itsy-bitsy, off-with-a-tug bikini?
Before I can answer, her second question helps me pick my jaw off the ground. “Actually, Mum, what is a string bikini?” Turns out she had heard an older kid at school talking about getting one. Since whatever kids in the upper grades do is cool, she wanted one, even if she didn’t know what one was.
I bought bikinis for my daughter when she was little - not a string bikini (although they do make baby string bikinis, just ask Jessica Simpson... it caused a huge storm of protest when she flashed pics of her four-month-old daughter in one.) but some pretty skimpy ones, looking back. Two-pieces are easier for nappy changes and impatient little bladders (for this reason, I'm still fine with non-revealing tankinis), and at that time I chose suits based on how practical and cute they were, giving little thought to What It All Meant. I never worried I was dressing her too adult; I mean, there’s not much that does more to de-sexify a bikini than stuff a nappy-bubble bum into one.