Just hours after Kmart pulled a children’s bride costume from its shelves following an online campaign by an Australian mom who called the outfit “beyond inappropriate” — things have taken an unexpected turn.
The fancy dress costume, which included a white wedding gown and headband with veil for children between the ages of 4 and 6, was spotted in a Melbourne Kmart. It was then stripped from sale by the retailer on Tuesday, just two days after the woman named “Shannon B” launched a petition on Change.org, calling the fancy dress outfit “offensive”.
But despite having nearly 200 signatures, it seems many of them are from confused and bemused Australians.
Under the “Reasons for signing” section of the petition, many wrote they were only adding their signatures because they wanted Shannon B to hear their views on the “stupid” petition.
“Shannon, this kind of crap is what makes people hate others,” one person wrote. “It’s just a costume for goodness sake.
“My daughter has asked multiple times for a ‘dress like mommy had’. It is a dress-up nothing more … you’re ruining it for everyone. Get over yourself.”
“Dude seriously, get a life. It’s a costume,” another raged.
Kmart in Melbourne, Australia.Shutterstock
“Let kids be kids,” another simply said.
On Facebook, there was a similar response, with one person calling the decision to ban the bride outfit “ridiculous”.
“This is so stupid,” another agreed.
However, others did agree that the kids’ costume was “disgusting”, adding Kmart’s decision to pull it from shelves was the right move.
“Totally agree. This is absurd and role defining! Wrong age group too,” another added.
Despite the backlash on the initial backlash, Kmart Australia told news.com.au they stand by their decision to remove the offending item.
“Kmart Australia regrets the decision to range the bride costume,” a spokesperson told news.com.au.
“It was not intended to cause offense and we sincerely apologize. We have made the decision to withdraw this product.”
The petition, which currently has 198 signatures, had labeled the costume “offensive” and asked supporters to remind Kmart it had a “social responsibility” to uphold.
“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!” Shannon wrote.
“That equates to 23 children every minute or 1 child every 2 minutes. If this continues, 150 million more children will be married by the year 2030.
“Child marriage means child abuse and torture in its worst forms — pedophilia, child rape, child slavery, child sex trafficking.
“Tell Kmart this is beyond inappropriate and offensive and that they have a social responsibility to pull this item off their shelves immediately.”
The decision comes just a week before Halloween, where children’s costumes will fly off department store racks.