Kmart has come under fire from a mum over the costumes.
Kmart has come under fire from a mum over the costumes.

'Let kids be kids': Campaign to bring back bride costume

After mum Shannon started a petition and demanded that Kmart immediately remove a child's bride dress from their shelves, due to considering it 'inappropriate', the popular merchandise store reacted quickly to her complaint.

Within two days of the Melbourne based parent's complaint surfacing, Kmart confirmed they had removed the product from their shelves.

The $6 costume in question is a child's bridal dress, with white veil aimed at children between the ages of 4-6.

"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," Shannon said.

"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."

In response, Kmart issued a statement: "Kmart Australia regrets the decision to range the bride costume," a Kmart spokesperson told 7 News.

"It was not intended to cause offence and we sincerely apologise. We have made the decision to withdraw this product."

Yet within hours of the dress being pulled, another petition was started call 'let kids, be kids' requesting that the dress be immediately brought back.

Should Kmart's bride costume be brought back?

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Sally Lord who heads the campaign writes: "By taking this off the shelves you have taken away the dream (for) children like my own who wish to dress up as a bride or wear it ... or hack it for a Halloween."

"Maybe reword it so it doesn't contain the word marriage or bride?" Sally suggested.

Thousands of mums have joined her plea with over 1,600 signatures collected in comparison to Shannon's 190.

Yet despite the new campaign, Shannon's views were backed by World Vision. "Anything that trivialises child marriage is disturbing" said Mercy Jumo.

"Children around the world dress up. They play," Ms Jumo added.

"But children could rather be dressed up as lawyers, or as engineers, or as doctors. "Are we affirming them to grow and to thrive? Are we protecting them as children?"

"Children should be in school. When girls are married they are out of the classroom," she said.

"They have health concerns associated with childbearing and HIV.

"There are so many negatives associated with child marriage."

Kidspot contacted Kmart for comment on the new petition.

 This originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.

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