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Rowen
03-29-2011, 01:27 PM
Abercrombie & Fitch sells padded bikini tops to young girls

What the hey?

Posted: 03/25/11 at 10:55 pm EDT


BOSTON -- Abercrombie and Fitch is known for its racy ads for adults. But some say they went too far by trying to sell push-up bathing suits to young girls.

Push-up bras and bathing suits are certainly not unusual or shocking - except when they’re made for little girls.

“That’s weird. There’s no need for that,” said Allie Ellis.

“They don’t need push-up bras! They don’t even need bras,” said another woman.

It’s the latest shocker from Abercrombie and Fitch - long known for pushing the envelope when it comes to sexuality and teens.

The push-up tops are made for girls as young as 7-years-old.

“I just don’t think that there’s a reason for 7-year-old girls to be worried about having their bodies look good,” said Ellis. “They should be playing.”

While many express discomfort with the products, a local professor says this kind of thing is actually dangerous.

“It gets young girls to think about themselves in sexual ways before that’s developmentally appropriate,” said Professor Gail Dines of Wheelock College.

And she added that the potentially negative psychological effects are not limited to the young girls.

“It sends out really bad signals to adult men about young girls being appropriate sexual objects, objects of sexual desire for young men,” said Dines.

In regards to sending a message, Abercrombie and Fitch removed the words “push-up” from their website, but the padded tops are still there.

wench381
03-29-2011, 04:15 PM
Abercrombie & Fitch sells padded bikini tops to young girls

What the hey?

Posted: 03/25/11 at 10:55 pm EDT


BOSTON -- Abercrombie and Fitch is known for its racy ads for adults. But some say they went too far by trying to sell push-up bathing suits to young girls.

Push-up bras and bathing suits are certainly not unusual or shocking - except when they’re made for little girls.

“That’s weird. There’s no need for that,” said Allie Ellis.

“They don’t need push-up bras! They don’t even need bras,” said another woman.

It’s the latest shocker from Abercrombie and Fitch - long known for pushing the envelope when it comes to sexuality and teens.

The push-up tops are made for girls as young as 7-years-old.

“I just don’t think that there’s a reason for 7-year-old girls to be worried about having their bodies look good,” said Ellis. “They should be playing.”

While many express discomfort with the products, a local professor says this kind of thing is actually dangerous.

“It gets young girls to think about themselves in sexual ways before that’s developmentally appropriate,” said Professor Gail Dines of Wheelock College.

And she added that the potentially negative psychological effects are not limited to the young girls.

“It sends out really bad signals to adult men about young girls being appropriate sexual objects, objects of sexual desire for young men,” said Dines.

In regards to sending a message, Abercrombie and Fitch removed the words “push-up” from their website, but the padded tops are still there.

My 14 year wants me to remind everybody that girls as young as 7 shouldn't even be shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch. This store shouldn't be marketing to little girls, that is what garanimals are for, I won't even let her shop there much. I really won't now. Mothers especially should take a second look at where they take their daughters to shop. It seems like all girls clothes have gone to the extreme to try to make them look older and "sexier" than they should until they are 18. I make my daughter wear the layered look if she is wearing a "camisole" which is different than a tank top, strap width is an issue. I have even seen little girls, 2-3 years old wearing far too provacative clothing. I am not a prude but isn't the saying leave something to the imagination?

Torra
03-30-2011, 08:34 AM
Honestly? I have no problem with Abercrombie selling this stuff; if they can profit from it, then they're doing business and that is what they are. If I don't like what they do/make/advertise I don't shop there.

I have a problem with parents who buy things like that for their children. It shouldn't matter to a 7 year-old what a store markets because the buck stops with the parents. Parents who want to object to the marketing shouldn't give their business to Abercrombie. Also, even though I don't agree with it, as a parent you are absolutely allowed to buy things like the push-up tops for your elementary school daughter. Heck, buy for your infant too if you can find one. It's your right to decide how your child will be exposed to things like this. But don't put your responsibility, or lack thereof, onto me or some advertising agency.

Kae
03-30-2011, 09:12 AM
I agree. Businesses are in it for a profit - hence they are a business.
However; a parent or society does not have the right to sue a company because something they bought at the store brough the wrong attention to their child. As much as I advocate personal responsibility in my students; I advocate even harder for parental responsibility.
Kae

WenchLadyKate
03-30-2011, 09:30 AM
the 13 and 14 year olds who are buying this aren't having their parents buy it for them. They're sent to the mall with some money, or in my case, I had a job at 14 (bussing tables at the roller rink, yea, I'm that old) and had my own money to buy the stuff my mom wouldn't. Sure, she took away the stuff that she didn't like, but I learned to hide it. I blame the parents to a point, I do, but A&F should be held accountable as well.

Phoenix McHeit
03-30-2011, 09:57 AM
I love you gals.

Cricket - you and your mom did the eternal mother-daughter dance. It's been going on since the beginning of time. (with responsible parents, that is) Mom says a clothing/style rule, daughter tries to get around it. When found out, Mom steps in and reasserts. Daughter gets better at hiding. Mom gets better at finding. Round and round we go.

My mom and I did it, and if I had daughters I'm sure I'd be doing it with them. I do with my boys also, but its less about clothes than about curfew and other rules.

Bottom line - parent is a verb. It's a contact sport. If you can't handle your tween 'hating you' because you won't buy it, and you cave... then you don't have the cajones necessary to parent anyway. Ceding your responsibility for making clothing choices to a store is just pathetic. YOU have the pocketbook, the credit cards, the cash. YOU choose whether to buy it or not.

I don't have a problem with anything being sold. If I like it, I buy it. If I don't, I don't. Period. It's MY decision, not the responsibility of the advertising agency or store buyers. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Negative attention (publicity) is still attention.

As a matter of fact, I like when parents buy these things for their children. It helps me identify them, making it that much easier to steer my kids in a different direction. But that's MY parenting decision.

Triskel
04-02-2011, 11:45 PM
I understand the business aspect of it. They do have all right to sell what they design. Yes, their main audience is adults. And perhaps this is sending out a 'grow up fast' signal to younger girls.

Perhaps this is sending out a 'your body is not good enough' message to younger girls. My niece is 8 right now and she does not even know the real function of a bra. She has nothing to push up if she even owned one. But, I know that some girls at this time are starting to develope. But who wants to see a little girl with clevage?

It all goes down to parenting. Like Phee said, it's a mother-daughter battle. It's the parents choice to buy clothes and let their children keep clothes they buy.

Personally, I think this might be sending out the wrong message to young girls. We have enough media telling us that being yourself is not good enough. Why do we need more?

Lady Anne
04-03-2011, 08:42 AM
Ok, I'm jumping on the bandwagon here. While I do fault A&F for poor taste and fashion sense for 7-8 year olds, they are in business to sell things and make money, as long as someone wil buy it...some company will make it. Don't like it? Don't buy it. If it doesn't sell, they'll stop making it. Ahh...capitalism and consumerism at its best. But I digress....

Parents have an obligation to not only set the guidelines for their children and take their parental responsibilities seriously, but they also need to set a good example as well. Look at how many women, with young girls in tow, are walking around (say, Wal-Mart...) looking like a two-bit hussy, and their 8-12 year-old daughter looks much the same! With proper guidance, even a young girl knows that they shouldn't wear certain things, and WHY they shouldn't.

Yes, parents hold the purse strings, but they also have a large mantle of responsibility to teach their children WHY they should behave a certain way, and why they should or shouldn't do, or wear, certain things. Any of you who know Phee and her boys will see that very concept put into action. Four teen-age boys who behave well (in public anyway ;-) ), and understand responsibility and good manners! Why can't all teens be like that....oh, here we go again, that parental responsibility thing.......

Lady Hefron
04-03-2011, 09:11 AM
Parents have an obligation to not only set the guidelines for their children and take their parental responsibilities seriously, but they also need to set a good example as well. Look at how many women, with young girls in tow, are walking around (say, Wal-Mart...) looking like a two-bit hussy, and their 8-12 year-old daughter looks much the same! With proper guidance, even a young girl knows that they shouldn't wear certain things, and WHY they shouldn't.

Yes, parents hold the purse strings, but they also have a large mantle of responsibility to teach their children WHY they should behave a certain way, and why they should or shouldn't do, or wear, certain things. Any of you who know Phee and her boys will see that very concept put into action. Four teen-age boys who behave well (in public anyway ;-) ), and understand responsibility and good manners! Why can't all teens be like that....oh, here we go again, that parental responsibility thing.......

Exactly. You need to teach your children the WHY, then they will get the HOW and the WHAT.

I do have to agree that A&F has a very bad rep when it comes to making "appropriate" cloths. I personally despise the place and won't even walk in the store.

Torra
04-19-2011, 10:53 AM
A great op-ed from CNN on this subject can be found here. (http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/04/19/granderson.children.dress/index.html)


Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) -- I saw someone at the airport the other day who really caught my eye.


Her beautiful, long blond hair was braided back a la Bo Derek in the movie "10" (or for the younger set, Christina Aguilera during her "Xtina" phase). Her lips were pink and shiny from the gloss, and her earrings dangled playfully from her lobes.


You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word "Juicy" was written on her backside.
Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. ... I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she's not even in middle school yet.
Abercrombie & Fitch came under fire this spring for introducing the "Ashley," a push-up bra for girls who normally are too young to have anything to push up. Originally it was marketed for girls as young as 7, but after public outcry, it raised its intended audience to the wise old age of 12. I wonder how do people initiate a conversation in the office about the undeveloped chest of elementary school girls without someone nearby thinking they're pedophiles?

(http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/03/26/abercrombie.kids.bikini.cnn)
What kind of PowerPoint presentation was shown to the Abercrombie executives that persuaded them to green light such a product?
That there was a demand to make little girls hot?

I mean, that is the purpose of a push-up bra, right? To enhance sex appeal by lifting up, pushing together and basically showcasing the wearer's breasts. Now, thanks to AF Kids, girls don't have to wait until high school to feel self-conscious about their, uhm, girls. They can start almost as soon as they're potty trained. Maybe this fall the retailer should consider keeping a plastic surgeon on site for free consultations.


We've been here with Abercrombie before -- if you recall, about 10 years ago they sold thongs for 10-year-olds -- but they're hardly alone in pitching inappropriate clothing to young girls. Four years ago the popular "Bratz" franchise introduced padded bras called "bralettes" for girls as young as six. That was also around the time the good folks at Wal-Mart rolled out a pair of pink panties in its junior department with the phrase "Who Needs Credit Cards" printed on the front.


I guess I've been out-of-the-loop and didn't realize there's been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel.


What's that you say? Ten-year-olds can't drive? They don't have money, either? Well, how else are they getting ahold of these push-up bras and whore-friendly panties?
Their parents?


Noooo, couldn't be.
What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? What parent is looking at their sweet, little girl thinking, "She would be perfect if she just had a little bit more up top."


And then I remember the little girl at the airport. And the girls we've all seen at the mall. And the kiddie beauty pageants.


And then I realize as creepy as it is to think a store like Abercrombie is offering something like the "Ashley", the fact remains that sex only sells because people are buying it. No successful retailer would consider introducing an item like a padded bikini top for kindergarteners if they didn't think people would buy it.


If they didn't think parents would buy it, which begs the question: What in the hell is wrong with us?


It's easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what's appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.
I get it, Rihanna's really popular. But that's a pretty weak reason for someone to dress their little girl like her.


I don't care how popular Lil' Wayne is, my son knows I would break both of his legs long before I would allow him to walk out of the house with his pants falling off his butt. Such a stance doesn't always makes me popular -- and the house does get tense from time to time -- but I'm his father, not his friend.


Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, "No, and that's the end of it."
The way I see it, my son can go to therapy later if my strict rules have scarred him. But I have peace knowing he'll be able to afford therapy as an adult because I didn't allow him to wear or do whatever he wanted as a kid.


Maybe I'm a Tiger Dad.
Maybe I should mind my own business.
Or maybe I'm just a concerned parent worried about little girls like the one I saw at the airport.


In 2007, the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx) issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. There's nothing inherently wrong with parents wanting to appease their daughters by buying them the latest fashions. But is getting cool points today worth the harm dressing little girls like prostitutes could cause tomorrow?
A line needs to be drawn, but not by Abercrombie. Not by Britney Spears. And not by these little girls who don't know better and desperately need their parents to be parents and not 40-year-old BFFs.

Phoenix McHeit
04-19-2011, 11:07 AM
Wow Torra, I was JUST about to post that!

A few personal favorites: (bolding mine)
A line needs to be drawn, but not by Abercrombie. Not by Britney Spears. And not by these little girls who don't know better and desperately need their parents to be parents and not 40-year-old BFFs.


It's easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what's appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.


ETA: Please do go to the link Torra posted. There are two videos embedded there that are worth taking a peek at. One interview with the author of this piece, where he calls out (paraphrased) 'cowardly parents, afraid of saying no to their own child'. I wanna give that man a standing ovation.

Torra
04-19-2011, 12:53 PM
Great minds think alike, Phee - I take it as a good sign you were going to post it too. :toocool:

My favorite part was when he said:

I don't care how popular Lil' Wayne is, my son knows I would break both of his legs long before I would allow him to walk out of the house with his pants falling off his butt.
and

The way I see it, my son can go to therapy later if my strict rules have scarred him. But I have peace knowing he'll be able to afford therapy as an adult because I didn't allow him to wear or do whatever he wanted as a kid.


To me, the last statement is what good parenting is all about. You don't worry you made a mistake (how many parents have made at least one?) but instead concern yourself that if you err, let it be on the side of enabling your child to succeed in a world where he or she isn't everyone else's pride and joy.

Blue Pixie
05-02-2011, 01:38 PM
Wow Torra, I was JUST about to post that!

A few personal favorites: (bolding mine)




ETA: Please do go to the link Torra posted. There are two videos embedded there that are worth taking a peek at. One interview with the author of this piece, where he calls out (paraphrased) 'cowardly parents, afraid of saying no to their own child'. I wanna give that man a standing ovation.

Okay- I just read this (I have been in a black hole called cleaning for a while) and I have to say that I agree completely. I don't know about you guys- but it didn't matter if it was my money or my parents money- if my parents did not like what I bought- it was sent back. I didn't even have a chance to hide stuff because as soon as I walked in the door- I had to model my clothes (which I did willingly) or hell my mom would be with me when we bought them and I would get an okay or no right then and there.

I could count on one hand what I did hide and I usually never wore it because I would be inspected as I walked out the door. You can ask RedFox as we both have the same parents and she had the same thing.

Then I would get upset about not being able to get some clothes (most of what I picked was reasonable) but now that I look back- I'm happy they did.

I go in and out of schools now as a sub and you can tell what kids there parents look out for them and what parents could care less about what their kids look like.

I know when Joe and I have kids- we will be the same way as our parents- hell Joe plans on having my father come over the first time his daughter brings over a potential suitor and start cleaning guns, bows, and swords in the poor boys present. For those who know Joe- can you see this or what!

MillieWylde
05-03-2011, 03:06 PM
I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again:

There are some ways in which I am SO GLAD that I mine is a boy-child. Of course, having a boy provides challenges all of its own, but ... at least I don't have to worry nearly as much about the media/culture issues inherent in this discussion!

Growing up the youngest daughter of two, I got a WHOLE LOT of hand-me-downs, at least until I got taller than my sister. :snicker: (Bless her, but she's never quite forgiven me for that!) So on those rare occasions when I did get "new" clothing, 4 times out of 5 it came from second hand stores. Not because my parents couldn't afford to buy truly NEW clothing, but because we all understood (even me!) the value of getting full use out of a product, especially things like jeans that usually have a LOT of wear left in them when they come into second hand stores! (Also, I grew so fast that I needed new pants every year. It would've been more often, but shorts can kinda keep up when length is the issue...)

Besides which, I've always viewed clothes with more eye to functionality than appearance ... possibly part of the reason I almost completely lack a sense of fashion now. :roll: Oh well.