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Abercrombie Thinks Your 7-year-old Needs a Push-up Bra

By Rebecca Odes |

abercrombie kids push up bikinis for girlsMy daughter inherited a bikini from a friend recently. She loved it, and not just because it’s pink. I think she might like it because of the ruffles, which in addition to being on the list of girly trimmings she approves of (along with lace, glitter, shine and/or sparkles of any sort) happen to be strategically placed. The ruffles are on the triangle tops of the bikini, and they stick out and make her look like she has boobs, or at least some semblance of them. I was not so happy about this, but I wasn’t going to make a stink about it, either. She’s little enough that the idea of being a woman is still like playing dress up for her. The bikini, in fact, was made for babies; it’s a size 18-24 months. I guess it was meant to be seen surrounded by rolls of baby fat. But the new bikinis from Abercrombie Kids are very clear about who they’re for and what they’re meant to do:

The spring line features three styles of tops: triangle,  bandeau…and push up. All starting at size 7. The push-up tops must be big sellers—they’re at the top of the list of swim top offerings. Of course, I can see why.  When you’re shopping for a bikini, there’s basically one ideal in the universal mind. Even a 7 year old knows you’re supposed to look like the girls in the pages of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

The thing is, it’s our job to show them why that’s not a good idea, not to help them achieve this fantasy sooner.

Maybe the reality of the top on a girl’s body is less disturbing than we imagine. But even the use of the word “push up” is unbelievably inappropriate. 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?

Playing at sexy is an inevitable and important part of growing up. But there’s a difference between exploring these ideas on your own and having them sold to you in a children’s catalog. Right now, somewhere in the world, a girl is shopping at Abercrombie kids and getting the message that her breasts might need a little help. Why not start now, with a push up bikini made special for you?

[via Moxiegirl]

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About Rebecca Odes


Rebecca Odes

Rebecca Odes is a writer, artist and mother. She was inspired to write her blog, From The Hips, during her first pregnancy when she discovered every pregnancy book she came across made her feel anxious or irritated. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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20 thoughts on “Abercrombie Thinks Your 7-year-old Needs a Push-up Bra

  1. Meagan says:

    I don’t actually understand what a pushup bra on a 7 year old would be pushing up anyway… there’s nothing there. Its gotta just be an inappropriate label rather than anything functional.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I like Peggy Orenstein’s theory: Abercrombie does this to piss parents off and gain cred with kids.

  3. Lisa says:

    Abercombie is gross. Their stores pump out gallons of nasty perfume and always have half-naked men with their pants half undone on their front door.

    I’ve never been able to bring myself to go into that store and I would not let my kids buy clothing from them.

  4. ME says:

    i too believe its wrong to try and put such young girls in this sort of thing and i certainly wont be putting my daughter in anything close to this but i must point out this article states that they think your 7yo needs a push up bra. It states at a SIZE 7 not AGE 7, this could be younger than 7 for some girls or older for others. I can tell u my 11 niece is only in a 7 now and all tho my sister would not let her wear this shes already stating to develop.

  5. kp says:

    My daughter will be 4 in a few days and wears a size 4/5 right now. So according to Abercrombie, there is nothing wrong with the idea of her wearing a push-up bikini in another year or two, when she’s in Kindergarten or 1st grade? Nevermind the fact that they’re trying to make her want to be sexy too soon; all media does that. What about the sexual predators out there that might drive by our yard and see her playing? Anyone who would dress a little girl in something so skimpy is begging for her to be attacked, and the attacker will no doubt blame the girl for being too “seductive.” What’s next: padded cod pieces for little boys?

  6. Sarah says:

    Grossly inappropriate, obscenely tacky, and wrong on Oh. So. Many. Levels. Where to begin?

    Teaching young girls that they’re not good enough unless they have boobs? Ugh.
    Teaching young girls that it’s a good idea to go outside barely covered up? Skin cancer anyone?
    Teaching young girls that they’re not cool if they don’t cavort half-naked? Don’t get me started.
    I don’t consider myself to be over the top conservative in attitudes toward clothing, but as a mum of three girls, is it too much to ask for normal, plain clothing? Plain t-shirts that don’t have “Hottie” emblazoned across the chest, or plain pants without logos across the bottom? Swimsuits which are more functional (and sun safe???) than fashionable? How long will it take parents to stop buying this rubbish, so that manufacturers and designers get the message – children aren’t adults!!!
    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  7. Karen says:

    Sarah’s right: Boycott is the one major tool we consumers have. That, and writing letters to Corporate to tell them that this kind of thing is inappropriate. Yet another reason I’m secretly relieved to have two boys at home. The only thing I have to worry about their clothes is to have them pigeon-holed as skater punks at age 5.

  8. Reb6182 says:

    It’s a disgusting example of simple capitalism. If parents don’t spend money on it they will not manufacture or stock it. When parents take a stand and stop throwing up their hands in the name of “making my child fit in” then there will be at least a minimal impact. I am sure A&F wants to make a statement…but the board of directors of their parent company is no doubt more concerned about profits and stock prices than their societal statement.

    What happened to teaching our children to BE THE LEADER instead of following others? I will continue to teach my daughters to set the trend vice following others.

  9. PL says:

    Ok, At the risk of infuriating everyone here…I agree that 7 years old is too early to wear something like this AND marketing a ‘push up’ is totally inappropriate HOWEVER..I have a 10 year old girl who has ‘breast buds’. She is self conscious. Pe.rsonally, I see nothing wrong with her wearing a small padded bikini top. I would allow her to wear one if the top was padded evenly around. It would ‘even out’ her shape and make her feel better about herself in this semi-awkward time. As parents I think we should be really aware of the the pester power of other kids their age too. I let my daughter go with the trends while not letting her look too ‘sexy’ (the trend being short layered skirts with high socks? I must admit I nearly died one morning when my daughter had the socks puled up to her thighs…I channeled my own mother and resisted the urge to say she looked like a hooker!) I’m thinking we as parents have to be careful how we REACT and be aware the the stronger we react might create a more rebellious child later.

    P.S. While on the subject, please make sure your young girls and teenage girls try to avoid under-wire bras. I have heard that the wire acts like an antenna while using mobile phones.

    Finally, PM commented above: “Anyone who would dress a little girl in something so skimpy is begging for her to be attacked” Really PM???

  10. PL says:

    Sorry meant comment by ‘KP’ above…

  11. PushUpBra says:

    The most famous among them is the Wonderbra and the push up bras by Victoria’s Secret. In case you’re looking to buy one for yourself, my suggestion would be to go in for these two brands as they have the best collection of bras.

  12. Michelle says:

    Hmmm…. they seem to have removed the push up style from their website – only the triangle and bandeau styles are there. And those are bad enough!

  13. Kathleen L says:

    The bikini thing is just the tip of the iceberg. Go on Abercrombie’s Web site and look at the “style” offerings for sizes 7-14 in Abercrombie girls. The skirts only go a couple of inches below the crotch and the white shorts are as narrow as a band-aid!! Yes, my 11-year-old is asking to wear shorts with no inseam … because this is what some purveyor of “style” has put out there, and other parents are disengaged/dumb enough to say OK to it.

  14. PScott says:

    It’s simple talk to your kids and use your judgment as an adult to decide if your child should wear it. Take responsibility for your child and start raising them. Who cares what a company decides to sell, ultimately it is the consumer who decides if something is trendy or will sell. If it’s selling and is popular then I think parents really need to re-evaluate how well they are raising their children. You should be raising the next generation of humans. What will the future be like if we refuse to invest the time needed to shape and model our kids. Ultimately if your child is doing something that you don’t like, you as the parent are the one to blame. There is no other excuse and the companies are only supplying the consumers with items that are in demand. So if you don’t like that A&F is making your 8 year old look like a whore then don’t buy her clothes from there. It’s easy why would you let an 8 year old shop at a place that decorates their walls with half naked people. A&F is a very adult store and just because they decided to open up a kids division doesn’t mean they are okay. If Victoria Secret or Fredrick’s decided to open up Young Fredrick’s or Victoria’s Little Secret or what ever they would call it doesn’t mean I would let my little girl shop there. You are older than your kids so start acting like it and be the adult. If your little girl is attempting to make herself “hotter” maybe she has insecurity issues and you might want to think back to when the last time you told her you loved her. When was the last time you spent time with her. Ultimately parents need to stop placing blame on others and start raising their kids.

  15. Cynthia Paul says:

    Abercrombie Kids needs to redisign the entire top to make it age appropiate. Parents do not buy this item because its a terrible marketing ploy and invites pedophiles into your children’s lives. Really do they need any more help! This item should be strongly boycotted…children don’t need the lastest everything!

  16. DeeBee says:

    I guess they’ve figured that media has destroyed female self confidence enough – might as well attack the parents through their children. Wont be long before you see G String Diapers. Its a great day for pedophiles

  17. GALA MEHL says:

    So…DON’T BUY ANYTHING FROM THIS RETAILER!!!! If their customers don’t buy an item, they don’t sell it. The outcome of this type of disgusting pandering is in our hands.

  18. Palencia says:

    Girls in Europe don’t even use the bikini top till they start to develope, and we don’t have half of the pedophiles as you do in the States, simply because we see them as child and that’s what a normal person should see in a child, even if it is totally naked as we often see them all across Europe.

  19. Sally Hudson says:

    I feel a little differently. I have a daughter that is almost 13. She is very thin. She wears abercrombie clothes in small sizes. Most of the clothing is appropriate for her. She wants to dress her age. She is in no way ready for a push up bra bikini but the are some of her friends who are small like her that are developed and want to wear a bikini. Abercrombie kids sizes are from an 8-16, That fits most girls in middle school. My daughter will probably be shopping at abercrombie kids for years to come. So what about her. Will she be able to dress her age?

  20. Carina says:

    What is breast buds?

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