First and foremost...
IT'S THE OFFICIAL 100TH POST ON ASHY RADIO!!
Ok, now that I've gotten my cornball moment outta the way...on to business.
This, for many of us was our introduction to the Shape-Ups line from Sketchers. Which was initially aimed primarily at WOMEN for toning the legs and most importantly, THE ASS. (And who better a spokeswoman than Kimmy K?!) Get a sweaty, breathy-spoken, sex-tape toting, uber-vixen, that just so happens to be society's poster child for BUTTS, and BOOM! Your product should yield amazing sales and tap into all types of cultural sub-conscious insecurities as well, thus making them an even MORE powerful a product.
While this was a rather brilliant approach, which to my understanding, has certainly worked wonders for Sketchers fiscally, it also was a double edged sword. That approach made their product very appealing to women, but it simultaneously emasculated it. How on Earth can you now take a product so strongly embedded into society as a key component to shaping the female gluteous, and now market and sell it to MEN? Well, that's a mission that's still ongoing and I'm not sure how their sales are as of this post, but I suppose getting Gretzky & Montana can't possibly hurt (if you're desired demographic is middle aged white men out here "Brett Favre'n").
Now, HERE'S the sh*tkicker...Sketchers is now looking to market Shape-ups to CHILDREN. And whoa nelly, it's causing a massive sh*tstorm in social networks lately.
Here's MY take...
I've spoken to quite a few women that have owned these shoes for a couple months. While there's so many variables to weight loss, toning, etc (these chicks jog, yoga, & Zumba already, so there's no telling which, if not all of the above, are the cause of their successfully AWESOME bodies), by THEIR accounts, THE SHOES WORK. According to the women I've asked, within the first 10mins of wearing them in your day to day activities, you notice and feel BURN. Apparently, the shoes work because they force you to have to consciously balance yourself using, yup you guessed it, YOUR LEGS! From your calves all the way up to that pancakey ass, the shoes are at least a functional component to what they claim to do.
Which ultimately leads me to my point...
I think people that are anti-ShapeUps for kids are missing the point entirely. I understand that you don't want your 11yr old daughters thinking they "need these shoes to have a nice ass cuz only girls with nice asses are COOL". DUH. As the father of 3 girls (6, 11 & 11) I share those same concerns. BUT, these shoes won't be marketed to kids in the same way their marketed to grown ass women that have let themselves fall into a state of Stay-Puft marshmellowy wackness. The same way their strategically marketed toward men, they will be marketed toward kids.
And lets not forget where we are. We're in AMERICA. The most gluttonous country on God's blue orb where child/teen obesity are OFF THE DAMN CHARTS. The funtionality of a product shouldn't be overshadowed by the way its marketed any damn way. That's why kids have PARENTS (a title which I admit can be pretty undeserved, but still...LOL). It's a parents DUTY to correct any ill-thought ideas children have about, well...EVERY AND ANYTHING.
I think it's pretty short-sighted and ignorant to simply bitch about the product being made available to kids because of how they were initially marketed toward one particular demographic. Just bcuz P90x has primarily been marketed toward middle aged white folks, that didn't stop me from gettin my black ass up and DOING IT. Why? Because the way a product is marketed shouldn't overshadow the effectiveness of it. If you're so concerned about your kid's weight and the potential that these shoes may help, then you should also continue being a parent and correct your kid's potential misunderstanding of the product's intended purpose.
ESPECIALLY since the product, while not the end all/be all of the fitness process (and being goofy-lookin as hell), WORKS.