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Mom Talk: Padded Bikini Tops for Children?

Public outraged at new padded bikini tops aimed at young girls.

This spring season, Abercrombie & Fitch presented its new push-up bikini top for girls 7 to 14. Since the itsy bitsy top has gotten so much flack, Ambercrombie & Fitch took the words "push-up" out of the bikini's name, but the padding remains.

Is it right for us to keep putting so much emphasis on appearances, and to encourage sexuality at such a young age? 

Is there a lack of substance for young girls today to model in a positive, non-sexual way? As Pink! so clearly put it in her hit song "Stupid Girls," "What happened to the dream of the girl president? She's dancing in the video next to 50 cent."

What do you think of Abercrombie's new bikini?

What are some positive influences on your daughter?

Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:08 PM
So much of this seems to be about manufacturers marketing toward what we buy. Im not saying padded bikini tops for young girls, but fashion in general for girls seems way out of control. From Ugg boots for a newborn to hair clips w hair extensions, I find it rare to see a girl under age 5 in jeans these days.
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:10 PM
At a pool party last summer, I saw men in their 30s and 40s ogling my 10-year-old niece, who was wearing a very tiny bikini. I was horrified, and totally agreed with my brother-in-law when he asked her to go changed.
Heather Camps March 30, 2011 at 05:11 PM
When I saw this I could not believe it, then I thought about all the other "fashions" I've passed in the girls' dept and I realized overly sexualized clothing for young girls is not a new thing. Like Lindsay, I have all boys, but this concerns me 1) as a woman and 2) because my sons go to school with girls and I don't want them forming ideas about gender based on sexy clothes or distracted from learning once hormones kick in!
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:14 PM
I agree, Lindsay. I have to admit that my nieces look super cute all dolled up in the latest fashions, but I can't justify the money spent or the lessons lost.
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:16 PM
That's interesting, Heather. I think people are on to the idea that modern girls' fashion may be going too far, but we don't often think or talk about how these revealing and highly sexualized outfits affect boys. I'd say by junior high, if not earlier, boys are likely to be distracted by girls.
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Its on a whole other level for the young girls as oppose to the young girls. I was thinking the other day that if I had a daughter, I would be way more apt to her wearing cute jeans and such, because these are kids. They climb and jum and romp around, its always so odd to me all the "average" days I see little girls in dresses. I don't know, for me growing up I wore dresses on special occassions, like church, or holidays. Now a days its all about being "pretty", but what message is that sending?
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:18 PM
That is truly, truly, disturbing. I hope something was said to the older men!
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:21 PM
On another note, we have older woman trying desperatly to appear young. Botox, lip injections, curled eye lashes, all to give that "young" luster of youth. In recall in my college sociology classes the comparison of beauty products designed to make us appear as child like. Big open eyes, pouty lips, wrinkle free, etc...it's quite creepy to say the least.
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Me too. If I have a daughter at any point, she will wear functional clothing. Girls can still sunbathe in swim while wearing a one-piece suit or even a tankini!
Heather Camps March 30, 2011 at 05:23 PM
This morning on the news I saw public outrage over a new "breastfeeding doll"...Apparently it's been a hit in Spain for awhile, but is new here and some jerk said that the breastfeeding doll is "endangering the innocence of little girls" and 72% of the viewers felt it"is forcing little girls to grow up to fast." while only 28% felt it was not a big deal...[doctors and child pyschologists also felt it was "not damaging" to children. So if a breastfeeding doll is robbing young girls of their innocence and making them grow up to fast then why aren't more people making better choices about "fashion".
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:24 PM
It's very creepy. And a little sad. So many women still not comfortable in their own skin!
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:26 PM
I don't even wear a bikini any more because of functionality. I need to be able to run after my kids in the water or pounce up at a moments notice without having to worry about anything popping out. I'm at beach to swim, play with my kids, etc... I guess I'm asking at what point should fashion over ride function? And at what age?
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:28 PM
In some ways, I feel as if I'm coming across as uptight. But I can say that I wore bikinis from a pretty young age. I had a string bikini in 10th and 11th grade. And I wore it to attract attention from males. There was no other reason. At all. Ever. Looking back, I see how confused and misled I was, and I would want my daughter to be stronger and more confident that I was.
Heather Camps March 30, 2011 at 05:29 PM
Yes, especially for school jeans or "functional" comfortable clothes should be worn. I cannot count how many times I have read the classroom news and read that girls really need to come in tennis shoes or shoes that could be used for gym etc or in particular pleas from teachers for No Heels! Heels? In Kindergarten? For school? You've heard dress for success right? Well in elementary school heels will never equal success.
Heather Camps March 30, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Oh and this year I volunteered in my sons 2nd grade class on pajama day and there was a girl wearing a spagetti strap nightie in January...i do not think that was the type of pajamas they meant and it was styled to look like an adult woman's silky nightie!
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Still, like as a young girl, I dress "up" when the occasion calls for it. I don't wear heels to the park with my kids, more so because it could be dangerous, and I don't wear gym shoes to business meetings. Todays society is banking on the idea of being sassy on a daily basis, why? Money!
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Interesting questions, Lindsay. I don't think clothing that is revealing in a way that degrades a person should ever over ride function. A push up bikini is totally unnecessary from any angle it's looked at. There are other ways to be fashionable. I could see fashion over riding function in the case of high heeled shoes. Mostly on special occasions like you mentioned earlier, Lindsay.
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:38 PM
Wow. I don't understand how that could ever be considered a good--or even ok--thing to do.
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:38 PM
Absolutely!
Tina DeBord March 30, 2011 at 05:40 PM
My son just woke from his nap, so I have to duck out early. Thanks, Lindsay and Heather, for the interesting conversation! See you back here next week.
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:41 PM
A conversation a mom needed to have with her daughter should've taken place here.
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:43 PM
I can attest to dressing in bikinis and revealing clothes, and yes, I did it for attention. I was older, middle school, but it was inappropriate. It seems like today the age is even younger.
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Thanks Tina!!!
Heather Camps March 30, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Yeah, mines up too, talk to you guys later. =)
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:55 PM
I was just reading some of the ocmments on Hartland patch, who is discussing the same topic. One woman was concerned that her daughter wears hoodies and jeans too much. I just want to point out, their kids. focus should be, and I know even with my boys this is not always the case, but school and learning should be priority #1. Then socialization whether it be through sports, friendships or clubs. Its ok to dress cutesy. Lord knows I try, but can't we be cute without being scandelous? Can't designers make clothes for young girls that isn't skin tight, off the shoulder or PINK?
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Thanks soo much Heather!!!
Lindsay Leppek March 30, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Thanks so much for all the comments on this topic. Once again the idea of balance and parental involvement seems to be key. Let them be "cute" without being sexy, and if they want the too sexy clothes maybe its time for a discussion on why they want these clothes? Maybe we as parents need to find ways to build self confidence in other positive ways.
julie Hine April 03, 2011 at 03:00 PM
As a continuation of this topic- I suggest a discussion about the Daddy-Daughter Dance. Also you young Moms may want to check out websites for prom dresses in 2011. Also some time watching MTV would be informative.... On a positive note, I am happy to have my daughter at BHS which provides positive reinforcement for skills and hardwork away from courtesan training.
Beth Kelly April 03, 2011 at 04:10 PM
WOW!! As if our young women arn't inindated with "not-so-real" women in advertising and on tv. When I first heard this story I was outraged adn began to feel very sad for the children who's parents think it is cute or ok in any way. Children are just that...children and need to have the chance to grow and mature into the natural young women they will turn out to be. Arn't there enough pressures on our maturing girls today? As far as positives...I see only long term negative effects.
Sondra Pavlak April 19, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Mothers who dress their girls in slutty clothes should expect the worse. Use your heads women!

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