Mommyish Poll: At What Age Is It Appropriate For Little Girls To Wear Bikinis?

It’s summer which means you’ve probably been picking out bathing suits with your kids. While there’s few tantrums that can happen over boys’ swimsuits, the choice for mothers to go bikini or not can spark fights that, depending on your daughter’s age, you perhaps weren’t prepared to have with her. It may be 2011, but some mothers are quite divided on when exactly, if at all, to put their little girl in a bikini top.

While many little girls nowadays sport bikinis, there was quite a backlash some years ago when designer Ashley Paige, known for her knitted bikinis, used a presumably 10-year old girl (pictured above) in her catwalk. Some mothers I chatted with found there to be no problem with putting a baby in a bikini but some tended to sway their daughters more towards tankinis. Every mother has a opinion. What’s yours?


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  • Tupelo

    Bikinis are for people with boobs. Kids don’t have boobs. As far as I’m concerned, my kids don’t have boobs even when they have them.
    When they can afford their own bathing suit from a REAL job (not an allowance or saved up birthday money) they can wear a bikini :)

  • Eileen

    I wore one when I was about ten…and no, I didn’t have any breasts yet (and no, it wasn’t a triangle top – it looked like a kid’s swimsuit). As long as a girl isn’t wearing a suit in a sexual way, it’s fine. When she’s old enough to understand her sexuality (junior high or so) is when she should sit down and talk about clothes and, perhaps, modesty.

  • Chanelle J

    Really little girls (5 and under)…then not again till they are 21. And age appropriate looking!! The example in the pic is NOT!!!

  • Jaimee

    When they turn 18 and pay for it themselves!

  • I

    Wait. did you mean that the alternative is a tankini? As in you need to “cover” the torso no matter what? this is ridiculous. I grew up wearing only swimsuit bottoms, like the boys and all the other little girls around me, and that seemed just the most natural thing to do.

    • Marley.

      Same here! As a kid btween 1-4 years old I ran around naked on the beach, in the swimming pool just bottoms from 3-9 years old. People from the US seem uptight to me. No offence. [European]

  • Wildflrz

    Our society tends to want to make girls into sexual beings, at far too young of an age imho. Bikinis, pierced ears, and make up are all examples of things women wear to make them more beautiful to a man. Why do you want a girl between 1 and 13 (minimum) to be trying to sexualize themselves?? This doesn’t make sense. Keep the pressure and negative attention off your daughter and tell her she has to wait for those rites of passage at an appropriate age.

  • Wildflrz

    Also, I, too, went swimming in just my bottoms when I was very young (it was the 70s, ick) and I find that more acceptable than a bikini. Like lingerie, bikinis are sexier because they leave just a hint of the imagination left–and I don’t want that hint on my daughter!

  • MomInNh

    I think a baby girl in a bikini is adorable. Up until they’re about 4 or so. Then it’s not so much adorable and more inappropriate. A one piece or a tankini until at least 13 or 14 is less gag-worthy. There’s nothing more disturbing than going to the beach and seeing all of the little girls in skimpy 2 piece bathing suits trying to “act” sexy. Just…. gross.

  • Cady

    I think there’s a difference between “bikinis” and “string bikinis.” I think a bikini with a tank top and a full-coverage bottom isn’t inappropriate for a little girl if only because it makes it easier to use the bathroom when you’re 5 if you don’t have to wrestle off an entire wet swimsuit (believe me, I remember the desperation of realizing I should’ve gone to the bathroom about half an hour ago when I’d somehow managed to tie my entire body into a knot with my swimsuit straps). But string bikinis, like the one in the photo, or bikinis that shout “bra and panties” instead of “two-piece swimsuit,” are really not appropriate for children.

  • Niki

    A 2 piece swim suit designed for a child is fine. These have full coverage tops and bottoms. They make it easier to use the restroom and keep from battling swim wedgie. They also fit better for longer as the child grows.

    The string bikini in the photo is not appropriate for the girl in the photo. You can see the tan line of her actual bathing suit bottom and the top barely covers her. Most adult woman would not wear such a revealing suit and I do not find it at all appropriate for a child.

  • mmommy

    at any age!! if she is a little girl, she is too little for such little bikini.

    i went to the local beach one day and every girl wore a bikini(as in older then 12) it has become the “it” bathing suit, not one girl was dressed appropriately. the thing is, it isn’t just bathing suites, it’s girl clothes in general, they have become short, tighter, and more provocative. there are a lot of perverted men out there(sorry, not all men) who will ogle, take pictures, and degrade our daughters that we really should be standing up to this frightening trend.

    • Sela

      Don’t blame the kid for pedophiles ogling. It’s the fault of the men ogling, NOT what the kid is wearing.

      I mean I garee, the kid should be wearing something that covers more of her torso and … below … but as people we should be able to wear whatever and not be blamed for sexual abuse based on that. That is rape culture and is NOT OKAY.

  • Pamela S.

    10? Judging by that child’s teeth, she’s 6 or 7, and that little bottom part is barely covering her… everything. No way would this thing stay on in the water; there’s nothing to hold it in place.

    Anyway, a bathing suit that tiny isn’t appropriate at any age. If it weren’t for this age of technology and the ease with which photos can be taken and published worldwide, I’d say it would be less perverse for a child that age to be swimming naked.

  • Soulharlequin

    I don’t know,but I believe they can wear full bikinis, the ones that actually cover what is needed to be covered.
    I used bikinis as a little girl until I turned 9, I switched to Tankinis and I still wear these to this day.
    The girl in the picture… she needs to be more covered.

  • Jackie

    That bikini that girl is wearing in the picture for this article, nobody under 18 should be wearing that bikini, period. I’m a fan of Tankinis, they offer more coverage, but have the convenience of a 2 peice swimsuit.

  • Mrs. Thomas

    I don’t understand why or how it was okay for a childs mother to let them wear something that is barely covering her body.. We are always wondering why people are child molesters and why older people look at pictures, like this, of little kids. They need to be covered. They need to be children for as long as they can. Girls, at that age, should be in Dora or Mickey Mouse bathing suits, not looking like a grown women! My child will never be caught in a bikini until she is grown and understands a womens worth..

    • Shantel

      I don’t agree with what this child is wearing but IT IS NOT HER FAULT OR ANY OTHER CHILD’S FAULT IF THEY ARE RAPED OR MOLESTED. They are not provoking anyone. Children are innocent no matter what and no one has the right to hurt them. Child molestors and rapists of all ages are just sick individuals.

    • Hannah

      I completely agree with Shantal. By condemning these bikinis as “indecent” or provocative, or labeling a child’s body indecent (!!WTF @ANNALYSE!!) we present perverts with the excuse they desire “oh look how she’s dressed, she’s asking for it, its not my fault, she’s provoking it”. That is completely counter intuitive and disgusting to me in itself.

  • ladiesbane

    As a little girl who had an early growth spurt (I was nearly 5’0″ in 4th grade,) bikinis were all that would fit from week to week. If fanatics had been assuming bikinis were sexual clothing, they would have assumed I was looking for attention — instead of trying to avoid the UTIs and discomfort that you get with a too-tight one-piece. I tried, you judgmental jerks; I tried.

    We all wore halter tops and tube tops with shorts anyway. What’s the difference?

    P.S.: perverts look at kids in one-pieces, too. It’s not the bikini that does it for them.

  • Brandy

    First, the bikini in the picture is NOT appropriate for any girl under 18!

    Having said that, there are some very cute, and very appropriate bikinis out there for girls. I don’t even mind when my daughters wear a bikini that (gasp) actually shows their belly. Their kids! However, all of the private parts must be covered or they’re not wearing it, period.

    As for the person who blamed the kids for there being pedophiles in this world, that, too, is disgusting! Pedophiles do what they do b/c they are sick, twisted individuals, not because the child is in revealing clothing! Let’s stop blaming victims for the sickos out there!

    • Rei

      Actually, a bikini that size in proportion to the body is skanky even on a grown woman. If it’s skanky on a grown woman, a kid sure as hell shouldn’t be wearing it.

  • Annellyse Mathison

    what would they grow up thinking? if they could wear these things.they would not grow up with any sense of decency.everything must be covered.PERIOD!

    • govtdronesareidiots

      Nobody cares WHAT you think you uptight holyroller. Bet you think that kids still come from the stork too.

  • Frances

    I am definitely more comfortable with my daughters wearing a one piece or a modest tankini, though I’m not going to judge a mother who feels differently.

    I do think that you can foster your daughter’s self confidence without putting them in a bikini however. And the bikini in the first picture is completely inappropriate for anyone under 18ish.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    You people are so uptight. Go to any beach anywhere in Europe (as well as some beaches in the US) and there are kids of every age running around in the nude. And no one even bats an eye. It’s just natural and normal. They’re kids and there’s nothing sexual about it except in the eye of the occasional sexual predator. And yes, I realize we’re not in Europe, but I believe there is a lesson to be learned here. Statistically, sex abuse against children is more prevalent in the US than it is in Europe. Why is this?

    Have you ever considered that the taboo and general negative attitude towards nudity and sexuality in the US is the primary fuel behind most sexual predators’ motives? It’s like never once allowing your child to have even a taste of alcohol until they’re 21. All that does is increase the mystique of alcohol and make the child more curious and more likely to abuse it in the future. If it were a normal thing, and “not a big deal”, the mystique wouldn’t be there and to the child, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

    All I’m getting at is that if nudity and sexuality weren’t so taboo and “wrong” to most people in the US, it wouldn’t have nearly the mystique and power to cause people to exploit it. As a parent, it is absolutely your right to choose what you allow your child to wear, I do not dispute that. But in the end, the children are innocent and any sexual connotation seen therein is seen only by the pedophile and sexual deviate. And the more fuss you make about what is and isn’t appropriate, the more power you give these predators to act against the so-called “norm”.

    My two cents anyway. Feel free to flame me.

    • govtdronesareidiots

      Somebody who actually has a brain and thinks for themselves. Good job.

  • helloguys

    It’s a bikini, get over it! For a kid the main attraction when going to the beach is the sea, not showing off his figure. Who cares what my daughter is wearing when she gets there, within five minutes tops she will be an adorable salt, sand and sunscreen covered joyful mess!

  • Capri

    That bathing suit is really too small for any age. Essentially, the only thing we do without our clothes on is have sex. When we take off more and more clothes, it becomes a sexual thing in our society. No wonder we have 10 to 12 year olds having sex! The clothing makers are pushing this at a younger age all the time. Let your children be children and clothe them properly. Sex is for adults. If anyone believes differently, that is just sick!

  • nicole

    More visual for Butch in his mom’s basement…. That’s why this stuff is dangerous.. It’s creating more of those guys.. SICK PERVERTS.. I see these swim suits on these girls and there is always a wardrobe malfunction.. And little Suzy doesnt notice her left side has gone terribly askew, and neither does her mom.. One piece until she gets some pieces…

    • govtdronesareidiots

      Please go post you stupid govt and idiot endorsed drivel somewhere else.

  • Patricia

    Maybe because I’m part Brazilian, but around these parts people don’t even ask themselves the question. Babies and toddlers usually run around only with the bottom – seeing as they usually lose the top 5 minutes-in any beach activity – then by the age of 9 start wearing the top. I have never found it inappropriate to see a child in a bikini.

    I really don’t think the problem is in the garment but in whether it is sexualizing the kid or not. I always wore what were clearly kids’ garnments and most children here don the same.

    • uncle chester

      I agree with you. Why r so many people uptight today? Nothing wrong with a girl under ten wearing a bikinni. How is it that a grl I know that’s only 8 have a full c cup boobs? She is chubby, her mama is hugh blk lady with EEE , tells me her daughters been wearing bikinni’s since a baby. Started develop a B cup @ 4 ill share pics if any1 wants to talk or see… 2152877115 ladies call me horse!

  • JD

    I’m fine with little girls any age wearing bikinis as long as they look age appropriate. And I’m one of those people who wouldn’t let her daughter wear mini skirts or make up.

  • kims

    my daughter is 6, & has always worn tankinis or one piece swimsuits. this year i bought her a 2-pc with boy shorts & a top that doesnt cover her belly. and i got her a tee-shirt top to wear with the bottoms, also. i want her to feel comfortable in her own skin. i know lots of kids that are ashamed of their bodies, & refuse to wear anything without sleeves, or anything form- fitting, even swimsuits. i want her to be comfortable wuith who she is. that doesn’t mean i’m showing her body off to pervs, it doesn’t mean i’m training her to dress skanky. i’m helping her to be comfortable in her own skin. i think that building confidence & self esteem starts at an early age, as early as possible. she knows what she can’t show, she knows what kind of touching is inappropriate, she knows to stay away from strangers, & i never send her anywhere alone. she is safe.

    you can’t control what goes through another person’s mind when they look at something. if a person looks at a child in a bikini & immediately their mind goes somewhere inappropriate, then the person needs help. its NOT the child’s fault & its NOT the parents fault.

    didn’t anyone else ever let their kid wander in just a diaper during the summer? or only put a swimmy on in a backyard kiddy pool, rather than a swimmy & a suit? my daughter had a REALLY bad diaper rash one summer, & i let her wander in the fenced in backyard with only a tee shirt on, because her pediatrician said air was the best thing for it. and it cleared up pretty quick. i’m not going to apologize. i care more about my daughters health, comfort & happiness WAY more than what other people might think about anything.

  • michelle

    I think bikinis are for adult women, there are so many sick people in this world that are turned on by little girls and hurt them. I dont like those darn pagents that allow little girls to wear make up, wear bikinis and acting older than they really are. little girls need to be little girls .

    • Mocha

      That is ridiculous..

    • menarelosers

      You must be one of those sick people then.

  • Chris

    That kind of bikini, not until she’s 18.

    However, a bikini in general isn’t necessarily bad so long as it’s made more for swimming and less for showing how sexy one is.

    As for me, my daughters will be wearing one pieces until they’re at least 16, and they won’t be sexy one pieces until they’re moved out.

    • Elizabeth Gonzales

      but wouldn’t it make sense if you let your daughter wear a appropriate bikini at a younger age then older since they are not developed yet?

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  • Just a Watchman

    It is not appropriate for little girls to wear bikinis until they are about 25.

    • menarelosers

      Do you even remotely have a brain? Because judging from the STUPID comment, I’d have to say no.

  • Dave Hintz

    We see nothing wrong with kids this young wearing a bikini, or doing such a catwalk show. Personally we don’t make our 7yo wear a top at all, there’s really no point in it and she hasn’t been raised with any kind of shame or modesty so until such time as she exhibits the desire to wear a top we’re not going to push the issue. society makes two big deal we believe out of things like this, it’s really a no-nissue. Of little more concern to us is when they start wanting to wear high heels and makeup and sport the “baby woman look” – that we plan to guard against. But wearing little clothes in the summertime is no big deal.

  • Jennifer

    I have a 2 year old, and I’ve been appalled at the selection of swim suits for toddlers. String bikinis. Teeny, tiny suits. Why?? All this does is sexualize [VERY] young girls.

    To everyone saying that their little girls run around sans tops, that’s completely different. The issue here is not how much skin is exposed; it is the WAY in which so much skin is exposed. Strings. Cutouts. Triangle tops. Styles that women wear to show off curves.

    Being comfortable with one’s body is good. With all of the body-image pressure out there, we need to teach our girls to be confident and secure in the way they look. And running around without a top seems just fine. As counterintuitive as it may seem, that’s much more innocent than running around in an itty-bitty bikini, if you ask me.

    My daughter has a tankini. I chose that style because it’s easier (than a one-piece) to pull the bottoms up/down for frequent potty trips. And there is absolutely nothing sexy about that suit.

    That’s really the issue here, right? The implied sexuality of a bikini on these girls who are already on track to grow up way too fast.

    • menarelosers

      Jealous much? DO get over yourself.

    • Maureen

      What is she jealous of, her toddler in a tankini? What the hell is wrong with you? Your psychotic comments on this article, insulting every single poster who doesn’t want to put their child in a bikini, make me think you must have some unhealthy obsession. It’s clear you’re not a mother and I suspect you’re a sicko obsessed with little girls.

  • Mommy73

    No bikini’s for any of my girls – they are ages 6, 9 and 16. My daughters are not on display.

    • Mocha

      16 and you won’t let her wear a bikini? Does she like that?

    • menarelosers

      What’s the matter sweetie? You one of those holyrollers who think you are better than everyone else? Or is it that they LOOK better than you will EVER look?

    • Maureen

      A one-piece bathing suit hides her stomach, but the rest of her is still on display. An attractive girl in any type of bathing suit will still attract attention:

  • stephn=an

    Degrading and sad, thought it was child porn at first, i have three girls who i constantly have to steer away from wearing bikinis

  • Sha

    Bikini’s are fine, at any age in my opinion, my daughter wears them and she is five, she has both triangle top bikinis, and tankinis. However, her’s cover her appropiately, this one does not, that child’s goodies are almost out for the world to see, I consider this picture to be child porn! The bottoms are hardly there! The top is fine, it covers what needs to be covered at that age, now toddlers I can see out in just bottoms, why do you think the make lil swimmers? Ugh… I am just appalled by the fact a parent, and a designer would make a bathing suit that low cut and put it on a child of that age. Are you stupid?

    • menarelosers

      Get out of fantasy land. Its people like you who are the ones who ALWAYS want to sexualize EVERYTHING that kids wear.

  • sean

    none of my children are allowed anywhere, not even the bathroom, without a full burqa.

  • Louis Gonzales

    I don’t know. I think modesty should be promoted as a child, yet once a child reaches 15 or 16 they should be allowed to wear what they want since they are finding their own identity at that time.

    • Louis Gonzales

      I mean, Modesty is a virtue! :D

  • ellymoemoe

    There is a photo of me as a child below school age running around under a sprinkler wearing a triangle bikini. All I see is a happy little girl having fun

  • Lcpl Loser

    I personally dont think that any woman under the age of 18 should dress in a bikini. I dont want to see it. They arent adults. What they want has no meaning. They should wear Normal kid swim suits. Apperance is nothing until your an adult. And this is coming from a 19 year old man and marine.

  • Briana

    I’m not a mom or anything (preteen) and I think that that IS crazy. It seems pretty sexual for a little girl (10-) to wear a bikini! I could see a sport bra type or similar,but a REAL bikini? I haven’t even worn a bikini! Parents should get their daughter tankini, two-piece, or one piece.

    That’s just my opinion.

  • John

    this is hot

  • sandan500

    From all the dirty old men out there we want to say Thank You to all you Moms who allow your little girls to wear bikinis. I know most men say they don’t look but trust me I have been living with men all over the world for over fifty years and they are all the same. We all look and there is nothing wrong with that but my fear would be if you excite a molester who acts upon his sick feelings. Many of you are correct a good looking girls is a good looking girl unless you want to put a sack on her or a BURKA! Most important is that you teach them how not to be molested and don’t ever leave them alone when they are young. Just my two cents from a Dad with all boys and no girls.

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