Australia Today

A 'Child Bride' Costume Has Understandably Been Pulled From Kmart's Shelves

A disgruntled Australian woman called the costume "beyond inappropriate" and launched a petition that forced the retailer to take the costume off the shelves.
Gavin Butler
Melbourne, AU
Kmart and child's wedding costume
Image via Wikimedia (L) and Kmart (R)

Kmart was forced to pull an “offensive” children’s bridal costume from its shelves this week after critics suggested it normalises child marriages. A disgruntled Australian woman by the name of Shannon B launched an impassioned petition on Sunday, condemning the outfit and labelling it “beyond inappropriate and offensive.”

“A child bride costume currently exists on Kmart shelves in children’s sizes,” reads the petition. “Tell Kmart this is beyond inappropriate and offensive and that they have a social responsibility to pull this item off their shelves immediately.”


The screed went on to argue that 12 million children are globally being sold or married off by their families without consent every year, and that many of them are “girls as young as 6 years old—the same size as this ‘costume’.” By way of some questionable maths, Shannon then points out that this “equates to 23 children every minute or one child every two minutes”—but stops short of clarifying how Kmart’s costume contributes to the problem.

The petition racked up a total of 179 signatures by Tuesday afternoon, whereupon Kmart decided to take it off the shelf. A spokesperson told 7 News that "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."

According to global NGO Girls Not Brides, “child brides can be found in every region in the world, from the Middle East to Latin America, South Asia to Europe.”

Their website further states that “child marriage is a complex issue. Poverty, lack of education, cultural practices, and insecurity fuel and sustain the practice”, and notes that “more than half of girls from the poorest families in the developing world are married as children.”

In the time since the outfit was pulled from shelves, Shannon B has uploaded another post to her Change petition thanking those who supported her.

"The victory of this petition has since attracted international attention—which is awesome!" she said. "In response, UNICEF and World Vision have had opportunities to make media statements and therefore raise awareness around the issue of child brides and the reality they face in fighting this fight around the world, including westernised countries like USA and Australia."

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