Abercrombie & Fitch's Push-up Bikinis for 7-Year-Old Girls—Not OK!
Abercrombie & Fitch's children's swimwear offerings have landed the retailer in hot water with parents, reports Racked.
The pink-striped Ashley push-up triangle bikini top from Abercrombie Kids—targeted to girls as young as 7—is drawing criticism from those who say the garment (also available in turquoise and navy) is inappropriate and an attempt to sexualize children.
Known for its racy campaigns, the retailer also drew controversy in 2002 after selling children's thongs featuring the sayings "Wink Wink" and "Eye Candy." Can you say, "Eww"?
"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)," parenting blog Babble writes.
"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."
Besides the padded triangle top, Abercrombie Kids's swimwear selection for girls aged 7 to 14 include "lightly lined" bandeau tops and Lindsey string bikinis, neither of which we can imagine parents happily bestowing upon their young daughters. While "guys" (i.e., boys) are offered fairly conservative board shorts, there are no modest one-pieces or tankinis available for their female counterparts.
Abercrombie Kids isn't the first brand to draw ire for "mature" children's garments. In the U.K., Primark was forced to remove padded bikinis targeted at young girls, while Marks & Spencer issued a public apology for selling bra tops for kids.
Will Abercrombie Kids—which has not yet responded to our request for comment—follow suit and wise up to the fact that little girls don't need to look busty? Or can we expect them to make waves with Minnie Mouse-print monokinis for the mini-me set?
Hopefully, they'll keep in mind that the beach babes they're designing for are still babies.