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The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: May 13

3. Skechers' Skinny Shoes for Girls

For the shoe industry, marketing "magic shoes" is a part of its sole. Sorry, soul. This pair makes you run faster. These help you jump higher. And so on.

But the industry stumbled upon the ultimate gimmick with the introduction of so-called toning shoes, and kudos go out to Skechers (SKX - Get Report) for pushing the concept to the apex of ridiculousness.

Skechers has decided to bring the widely discredited toning shoes to those who surely need it most - little girls. Skechers Shape-Ups for girls come in sizes 2-6, perfect for those pre-diabetic fatties in preschool to grade school. Never mind that the shoes don't so much, you know, work or that by that fact Skechers is perhaps trivializing the seriousness of a growing childhood obesity epidemic in order to make a few bucks.

Skechers didn't want to go and call little girls fat. Instead, they were more subtle with the product's introductory cartoon. It features a lively all-girl band, all rail thin of course, who bounce to and fro. More importantly, they are "looking good and having fun" while three winded boys dressed as a cupcake, an ice cream cone and a hot dog attempt to keep up.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 17% of kids between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. That's about 12.5 million kids. That's a real problem that needs real solutions.

Skechers suggesting that they're offering even a sliver of a solution to the problem is laughable. Allowing them to run a cartoon commercial aimed at young girls that tacitly suggests their magic shoes will keep them fit without a healthy diet and regular exercise, that should be criminal.
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