I was at the beach today, and Chatterboy and Hungry Boy are old enough that I don’t need to keep my eyes on them every second any more. This particular small harbour beach is one that is generally attended by families with children under 10 or so.
Every single boy was wearing a rash vest of some description. About a third of the girls were wearing traditional swimming costumes with very little sun protection for the shoulders, neck and arms. Every parent I know slathers sunscreen on their children at the beach, so this isn’t saying that parents don’t care about sun protection for their girls, but it does say something about fashion and its importance.
I think what it does say is that quite a few parents care more about fashion for their girls than the hassle factor of repeated sunscreen application that comes with a day at the beach. Parents haven’t come to this conclusion on their own, of course. Society as a whole bludgeons us with messages like this constantly. For the boys, on the other hand, ease of use is the order of the day. This wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has been to a clothes shop for children, but it was depressing to see the need for fashion for girls starting quite so young.