Sweaty Betty under fire for ‘Lolita-style’ photoshoots for teen range

Sportswear brand Sweaty Betty under fire for ‘Lolita-style’ photoshoots featuring young models playing with their hair and posing with their legs open to promote its new teen range

  • London-based sportswear brand just launched ‘Mini-me’ range for teenagers 
  • Founder Tamara Hill-Norton uses her two daughters, niece and model for shoot
  • But Twitter users have criticised promo pictures for being ‘highly inappropriate’ 

Sportswear brand Sweaty Betty has come under fire for featuring young girls in a ‘Lolita-style’ photoshoot to promote its new range for teenagers. 

The ‘Mini-Me’ collection features the brand’s trademark leggings and sports bras but in smaller sizes. 

The High Street store’s founder Tamara Hill-Norton claims the range will encourage more girls to take up sport and feel confident when doing so. 

But Twitter users are not convinced, branding the photoshoot that promotes the clothes ‘sexualised’ and ‘highly inappropriate’.  

Sportswear brand Sweaty Betty has come under fire for featuring young girls in ‘Lolita-style’ photoshoots to promote its new range for teenagers (pictured)

Twitter user Kathryn Tyler branded the promotional shots ‘over sexualised’ and criticised the fact the girls legs were spread open 

Angela Sandy Ambrose wrote: ‘Dear @sweatybetty this advertisement is highly inappropriate, as a parent of teenage daughters I’m furious that you would use an overly sexualised image that says nothing about the benefits of exercise. Shame on you.’

And Fforest Piercy wrote: ‘Just poorly, poorly executed… why not shots of girls actually playing sports, being active, not just posing in a provocative manner.

‘I’m cringing thinking of what was said to make them look this way during shoot. Let children be children.’

Kathryn Tyler wrote: ‘Disappointed by this Lolita style photoshoot from @sweatybetty feels really overly sexualised, particularly the girl in the centre with her legs spread I normally love their shoots’. 

Other Twitter users were also furious, threatening to boycott the brand over the shots 

Leggings in teen sizes cost £45 and crop tops come in at £30, compared with the standard £60 leggings for adults and £45 sports bras. 

Emma Sugden added: ‘This is too much, @sweatybetty real role models come in all shapes and sizes. Let’s not demotivate girls who may already be body conscious.’

Pictured: The Sweaty Betty Mini-Me range also features leggings for young children 

Becca Johns wrote: ‘Seriously @sweatybetty who signed this off? I love your products, but I can’t buy from you again if you think this is an appropriate way to ‘present kids clothes.

‘Bad enough that adult women are expected to be sexy whilst exercising but now kids too?’ 

Mrs Tamara Hill-Norton wrote a blog post on the shop’s website to explain why she decided to launch the collection.

In it she explains she chose her two teenage daughters, her niece and a Sweaty Betty model to pose in the promotional shots.

She writes: ‘We shot the campaign for this with my two girls, my niece Esme and our model this season Penny Lane. 

‘This shoot is quite a step away from our usual more serious and active images, and it was incredible to see the girls all laughing together creating these really light hearted images. 

‘I hope these leggings inspire you and the teen and mini in your life to get active.’

She also says the range is designed to ’empower women’ after statistic revealed that by 14-years-old girls are dropping out of sporting activities at twice the rate as boys.

She adds: ‘Since I founded Sweaty Betty, our core values have always included our empower women of all ages through fitness, so I knew I wanted to encourage teens to lead a more active lifestyle in a fun and playful way.’ 

MailOnline has contacted Sweaty Betty for further comment.  

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