Push-up bikinis for grade-school girls?

posted at 4:00 pm on March 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Is it possible to be both disgusted and jaded at the same time? As a grandparent, the latest line of swimwear from the purveyors at Abercrombie & Fitch disgusts me, but hardly surprises any more. ABC reports that A&F has a new line of bikinis for preadolescents that feature padded, “push-up” bikini tops for girls as young as eight years old — the same age as one of my granddaughters. Not only is the retailer already known for its near-soft-porn exploitation of teens to sell sex to preadolescents, they’re now selling inadequacy and insecurity, too:

After A&F took heat from the media, they changed the wording on their website to “striped triangle,” but the product hasn’t changed at all:

CNN also covers this today:

“How is this okay for a second-grader?” asked Rebecca Odes in a recent post on the Babble parenting blog.

“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,” she wrote.

Gail Dines, a sociology professor at Wheelock College in Boston, similarly slammed the top, saying it would encourage girls to think about themselves in a sexual way before they are ready.

“It (also) sends out really bad signals to adult men about young girls being appropriate sexual objects,” she told CNN affiliate WHDH.

The biggest danger is to the girls who feel they need to compete on bust size before they even start to develop. What this product and its marketing tells them is that their bodies are inadequate and that they need to change their body shape immediately in order to be seen as attractive. Adolescent girls and young women already get bombarded with that message far too much as it is without starting in grade school.

The question isn’t why parents would buy something like this from Abercrombie & Fitch.  It’s why they would allow their money to be spent there at all.

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Well at least the Progressive Left values the young child for something.

We know they love to kill them when they are unborn (so the unborn are worth nothing) but at least they think they can slut up a 7 or 8 year old and be of some value to our culture.

Nothing to see here in Gomorrah folks just keep moving.

PappyD61 on March 28, 2011 at 1:28 PM

All things may be permissible but not all things are helpful. It’s a shame our society had degraded to the point that anybody would even want these things. And the shop owner has a certain responsibility too.

abcurtis on March 28, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Are we to ban all things deemed “not helpful”? If so who has the power to make that distinction, and why?

Shop owners have a responsibility for what? To only produce “helpful” products? I guess we’ll all be lining up for our Mao suits.

Alden Pyle on March 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

wearyman on March 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Aaaand that’s what I get for not reading through all the pages of the thread before commenting. Sry about that ladyingray, I didn’t notice that you had already come to a detente on that issue.

wearyman on March 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

What is particularly sad is A&F in its original form was one of the best sporting goods stores ever. Then it got Eddie Bauerized into a dreadful reincarnation of yuppie pretense then off the deep end into pedophile fashion wear.

viking01 on March 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Back when it was a respected retailer, a fly-fishing set from A&F was a unique status symbol for the sporting gentleman, like a custom side-by

Jaibones on March 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Several years ago I found in a thrift store and bought (for about ten cents) one of Abercrombie and Fitch’s catalogs from the 1950s. From back in the day when one could watch the weather on one’s best in the world American TV set, take one’s best in the world American fly rod and reel hop in one’s best in the world American car, listen to listenable music on one’s best in the world American car radio whilst headed to a trout stream not hounded by the EPA or PETA… then drive back home to one’s non-dysfunctional family and non-desperate housewife to enjoy the catch for dinner.

viking01 on March 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

viking01 on March 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Just imagine…

Jaibones on March 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Alden Pyle on March 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Alden, abcurtis was paraphrasing a Bible verse: 1 Corinthians 10:23 – “Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.”

It’s not about forcing someone to do something against their will, it’s about admonishing people to exercise restraint voluntarily, as while we are free to do what we wish, just be cause we can do a thing, doesn’t mean we should.

wearyman on March 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

The current Abercrombie & Fitch comopany has nothing to do with the old outdoors gear store you guys are talking about except the name. That store went bankrupt. The name got purchased by Oshman’s, who tried unsuccessfully to revive the store, and then it was purchased by the Limited company, who hired their current CEO, who is responsible for the sexed up image.

This problem is not limited to A&F, which is basically just a really shallow store for heathens. The other day I was at Target and in the *girls* section they had a wide selection of string bikinis for sale, ruffles, animal print, sequins, glitter, etc. But I find it less weird to protect your undeveloped little girl from scanty clothes than your maturing teenage daughter. Pedophiles don’t molest children because they are scantily clad, they do it because they are sick. And no normal man is going to be turned on by a little girl in a bikini. But all sorts of “normal” men do terrible things to older girls and frankly you are advertising for the wrong type of man if you’re wearing such clothes–at any age.

Polynath on March 28, 2011 at 7:46 PM

You wore a bra when you were 8? I didn’t start wearing one until I was 11. Perhaps I can’t relate.

ladyingray on March 27, 2011 at 6:29 PM

No, I think you misunderstood. I just mean that by the time I was wearing them, it wasn’t because I needed support but because I needed more fabric. And I was wearing swim suits similar to what I had when I was 8 – they just all had liners.

I only mean that lining can be more modest than the alternative depending on the girl. Didn’t get a two piece until I was a teen, and even then it was one of those that covered my stomach and had short bottoms. First bikini was for my honeymoon, and even then my mother didn’t really approve.

I agree with your sentiment overall. Sure, some kids will be messed up no matter what a parent does, but most people really overlook the importance of good parenting. My brother and I had our rebellions, but we never strayed far. To pretend that the world is some sick trap that you can’t prepare your kids for is to feed your kids to the wolves without remorse.

Sorry about the nastiness you had earlier, but you’d be better not responding to some. I go out of my way to avoid some, even if I’m agreeing with him.

Esthier on March 28, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Sorry, but L.A. Gear only made boy’s shoes. They didn’t have a special edition for girls with massive chips on their shoulders.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 28, 2011 at 12:59 AM

Did you really come all the way here to hassle me?

Grow up and get a life.

DangerHighVoltage on March 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM

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