Kmart Removes ‘Child Bride’ Costume From Stores After Mother’s Petition

An Australian mother started up a petition to have a child's fancy dress costume removed from stores after finding it offensive and inappropriate; and, after quite a flurry of traction on social media, it looks like it has paid off.

The mother simply goes by Shannon B.

Unsplash | Aditya Romansa

Shannon started a petition on after seeing Kmart Australia were stocking a bride's costume for children aged 4-6.

Shannon was utterly aghast to see this costume being marketed at children so young, alongside other more traditional Halloween costumes.

Shannon described the costume as "inappropriate and offensive". | Shannon B

In an attempt to remove the costumes from the store shelves, Shannon took to and appealed to people to see how insensitive this costume is, writing:

"A child bride costume currently exists on Kmart shelves in children's sizes. 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."

She went on to highlight how offensive this costume is to victims of child marriage.

World Vision Australia

Shannon quoted statistics to highlight how important this issue is in today's society:

"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!

"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."

World Vision Australia Supported the Petition.

Twitter | World Vision Australia

World Vision passionately advocate against child marriage, amongst other causes, by working with families in areas where child marriage is prominent. The charity works by championing the rights of women and partnering with families and communities to teach them more about women's rights.

A World Vision Australia's child rights advocate called the costume "disturbing".

World Vision Australia

Mercy Jumo, who grew up in Zimbabwe, said, "anything that trivializes child marriage is disturbing," to News 7.

She went on to say, "Children around the world dress up. They play, 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?"

Kmart eventually removed the costume from the shelves.

Twitter | zeroultra4

In a statement released, a spokesperson for Kmart said, "Kmart Australia regrets the decision to range the bride costume.

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

This controversy has received quite polarizing responses.


There were a lot of people in favour of the removal of the costume, with people online writing:

"This is beyond inappropriate for a costume."

"Enough of the inappropriate costumes. Stop this!"

However, there was also a considerable amount of negative backlash to Shannon's petition

Unsplash | Glenn Carstens-Peters

A lot of people wrote that they saw nothing wrong with the costume, and claimed that Shannon was overreacting to the costume. On her own petition, such comments included:

"I signed just to point out how this is the dumbest petition I've seen in a while. How privileged must this person's life be that this is a cause they take up? Get a hobby"

"Whoever created this petition is what's wrong with today's America. Let kids live. Stop being offended by every little thing geesh"

Where do you stand on this issue?

Nowadays the internet is positively awash with people arguing over what they broadly term "PC culture". While some young girls may well indeed want to dress up as brides for whatever reason, surely raising the issue of child marriage is more important here? Child marriage is a truly horrific crime and anything that can be done to make people more aware of this issue is surely worth doing.

h/t: News 7