Last week, I wrote about the insanity of Abercrombie Kids offering a “Push-Up” Triangle bikini to school-aged girls. The news has been spreading, along with the outrage. CNN picked up the story this morning, with a video segment and a web piece that quoted me and a sociology professor on the potential negative impact of this marketing and messaging to young girls—and the men who look at them.
Though Abercrombie declined to comment, there are some signs that the outcry is not falling on deaf ears. A look at the Abercrombie Kids site this AM showed just two categories of swim tops. The Push-up category has disappeared, as has the word “padded” in the description. But the product remains, renamed “striped triangle”.
Compare this with how it was marketed before.
Is this enough? Just last year, a similar product was pulled from shelves after being accused of “premature sexualization”. Should Abercrombie follow suit?
Primack stores were picketed by disturbed parents and challenged by child protection services.
“Penny Nicholls, director of children and young people at UK charity The Children’s Society, explained, “We know from our research that commercial pressures towards premature sexualisation and unprincipled advertising are damaging children’s well-being.”
Child protection consultant Shy Keenan of the Phoenix Chief Advocates had stronger words to share regarding Primark’s actions. She told the Sun UK, “It never fails to amaze me just how many High Street household names are now prepared to exploit the disgusting ‘pedophile pound.’”
I can’t recall a similar intervention in the U.S., but I guess we’ll see what happens as the coverage continues to mount. The Today show is taping a segment tomorrow…will increased visibility translate to increased pressure on the retailer?
I’m personally pleased that they changed the name as I think the way the product is framed is as much a part of the problem as the product itself. But I still think padding on a child’s bikini top is very questionable. Although I can see the value of padding for girls who are beginning to develop breast buds and are self-conscious about exposing too much detail ·(as some commenters pointed out), I do feel that anything that creates a larger bustline in a young girl is sending a mixed message, and a potentially dangerous one.
Some of the comments on the original post referred to the skimpiness factor, saying that anyone who dresses young girls in such revealing clothing is “asking for them to be attacked“. I disagree. I don’t necessarily think coverage is the problem here. While it’s not so acceptable in this country, in some ways, I think the custom of little girls wearing just bikini bottoms makes a statement about their bodies as non-sexual. This is about telling young girls that their breasts need augmenting, and telling the world that young girls are sex objects. Neither message is acceptable, and we as parents need to make our voices heard. Abercrombie, we get that you’re about sexy. But these are children we’re talking about, and your products are crossing a line.
Read the original post:
See the CNN story below: