Your Eight-Year-Old Needs a Padded Bikini…

Abercrombie, a clothing line known for pissing people off with its risqué ads and problematic hiring policies, has done it again with a new line of swim-wear aimed at tweens (ages 8 to 14) that features padded bikini tops that push up and enhance breasts.

“This is appalling! If a parent buys a padded bikini for an eight-year-old, children’s services should be called. The sexualization of teens is bad enough and now this trend is trickling down to our babies,” Dr. Janet Rose, a parenting expert, told Fox411’s Pop Tarts Column.

The general consensus is that this new line of swimwear is pretty fucked up.

“Wearing a padded bra at that age when unnecessary is encouraging sexual precociousness, a dangerous muscle to flex for the girl as well as for peers and predators,” Dr. Nancy Irwin, a Los Angeles based psychologist, said (quoted here).

The question seems to be: who is to blame? Dr. Patrick Wanis, a human behavior expert, and Shirlee Smith, CEO/Founder of “Talk About Parenting With Shirlee Smith,” both seem to agree that it is the parents, particularly the mothers, who are to blame.

“Is this the extreme extension of the beauty-pageant mother who now seeks to make up for what she can never be?” Wanis asked.

“I’m slapping the blame on moms for not seeing any further than their own breast implants when it comes to purchasing push-uppers for girls that don’t, as yet, actually have any breasts,” Smith said.

This story has a curious connection with Clawdeen Woolf, a new female werewolf doll put out by Mattell that has also come under fire because some say it encourages girls as young as six to view their bodies sexually.

“My hair is worthy of a shampoo commercial, and that’s just what grows on my legs. Plucking and shaving is definitely a full-time job but that’s a small price to pay for being scarily fabulous,” is the official line from the teen werewolf.

“These dolls are training girls to feel ashamed of their bodies, to focus on being sexually appealing and sexually attractive from a pre-pubescent age,” Wanis said in another instance of the Fox411 column.

Between the teen werewolf doll and Abercrombie’s new swimwear line for tweens, and not to mention the thinly-veiled sexualization of Elle Fanning in Sofia Coppola’s film Somewhere, a strange and clearly problematic cultural trend seems to be gaining momentum. TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • Michael Koh

    Is this for real?

  • Jess Dutschmann

    As one of the girls that 'grew' a lot faster than others this would've been a lifesaver. To me it's just fitting a population that's reaching puberty a lot younger.

    • Fakes and Ladders

      Really? You needed a “push-up” bikini since you had larger breasts as a child?

      • Louvisa

        Maybe not push up but padding is nice. It hides nipping, not something a little kid wants their friends to see.

      • Fakes and Ladders

        Push up ≠ padding, if it were the latter I wouldn't have any issue at all.

        And I don't know about you, but when I was eight years old my nipples were the last thing on my mind when I would be playing in the pool with my friends. It's not exactly something a child is self-conscious about.

      • Jane

        yes it is.

        also, push up = padding, A&F just decided to call it “push up”. girl's swimsuits in the 80s had padding, they just stopped adding it in the 90s.

      • Jess Dutschmann

        What you guys seem to be ignoring is that this line is for 8-14 year olds, about. Yeah, no, I wouldn't want this at 8, but by 12? Yeah. Also yes, push up=padding…

      • emily

        Idk, I think push-up is padding at the bottom to give the breasts “lift” whereas padding is all-over and more of a structural, design thing.

      • earlobe

        it's products and clothing like this that makes children self conscious which in it of itself is miserable.

  • earlobe

    i think it's a bit rough to place all the blame on the mothers. granted, some mothers are completely asinine and deserve to have their children taken from them ASAP, but i think the bigger picture should be considered AKA the companies and conglomerates, the focus groups and the inventors, who are pushing this stuff out there on the market. regardless of what people may think, all of the aforementioned controls what we purchase, when we purchase, why we purchase it, and how much of it we purchase. they know what they are doing in terms of controlling societal behavior and before we attack the mothers, i think we need to attack the companies at large who are getting away with murder by marketing this bullshit.

    • Fakes and Ladders

      I completely agree with you.

  • shauna

    i'm glad that this was actually something to read, not “hey look at this link, i'll type one sentence about it and then that's it.”

  • Fakes and Ladders

    I would definitely not “blame the mothers!!111” for this mess. There is so much pressure put on young women today to fit this sexualized ideal of what a “real woman” should look like and no one is profiting more from this than the clothing and beauty industry. You don't have to look very far to see that such a large portion of advertisement these days is directly targeted towards impressionable young women looking for ways to “improve” their physical appearance. I guess now we're just shifting from teenage girls to young children. Whatever gets a profit, I guess. tl;dr.

  • Joey Martino



    I'm sure all future rapists and pedophiles are thrilled with any development that further sexualizes children.

  • george brostanza

    next up: bras for fat rich frat boys.

blog comments powered by Disqus