The sun is trying to come out, and suddenly shops are selling flip-flops and bikinis as though it is already 100 degrees outside. Abercrombie & Fitch are no exception, and they have stated selling their new season swimwear range featuring padded bikini tops. While this in itself is not really a news story, the fact that these bikini tops are for 8-year-olds makes it so.
WTF? This is creepy on so many levels. For a start, how did the company think that a padded bra was even appropriate for an 8-year-old girl, and how come nobody along the production line thought that making a product which enhances the non-existent cleavage of a child was wrong?
ABC News filmed a story about this latest fashion “trend,” which set the blogs alight, as Huffington Post noted. One commenter wrote “the push-up bra is, effectively, a sex tool, designed to push the breasts up and out, putting them front and center where they’re more accessible to the eye (and everything else). How is this okay for a second-grader?”
Sadly though, Abercrombie & Fitch aren’t the first clothing store to market this overtly sexual and inappropriate clothing to young girls. British chain Primark pulled their range of padded bikini’s last year and vowed to donate all money made from sales to a children’s charity. But that brings up more worrying questions. How much did they sell that they were able to donate a sizable number to charity? Second graders can’t get themselves to a store, and they don’t have their own money, so their parents obviously have to make the purchases for them. Why did their parent’s buy a padded bikini for their daughters?
While some have claimed that there is nothing sexual about an 8 year old at the beach, and the outfit is just a fun gimmick, child protection consultant Shy Keenan of the Phoenix Chief Advocates said that selling bikini tops for young children is not just harmless, but in fact puts their children in danger of “the disgusting ‘pedophile pound.‘” Penny Nicholls, director of UK charity The Children’s Society, added, “we know from our research that commercial pressures towards premature sexualization and unprincipled advertising are damaging children’s well-being.”
What do you think about your children wearing padded bikini tops? Would you ever buy it?