Abercrombie & Fitch’s push-up bikini for kids causes controversy

Last year it was Primark. This year it’s Abercrombie & Fitch’s turn in the firing line over their push-up padded bikini tops for girls as young as 8 years old.

But while Primark backed down and removed their controversial bikinis from sale, Abercrombie & Fitch have defended their range, only agreeing to remove the term “push up” from the title in favour of the less incendiary “striped triangle”, but leaving the padded bikinis on sale.

Abercrombie & Fitch have a reputation for risque behaviour – whether provoked by their highly sexualised Back to School ad campaign in 2007 or their 2002 range of tweenage thongs bearing slogans including “wink wink” and “eye candy”, the company are no strangers to public outrage.

But is the public right to be outraged by such provocative garments? Or, as Abercrombie & Fitch argued in response to criticism in 2002, are the items in question simply cheeky and cute, placing the blame from any misrepresentation firmly in the eye of the beholder?

What do you think?

(Photos of the offending “push-up” triangle bras can be found here.)

11 Comments

  • April 4, 2011

    Amee

    Why the sexualization of little kids, exactly? I didn’t start wearing 2 pieces till I was 15. And people wonder about prostitots. Of course, it’s not just the stores. It’s a corporations responsibility to make money. Really, it’s parents that buy this and think it’s okay that are at fault.

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  • April 4, 2011

    Charlie Love

    Most 8 year olds havent got anything to “push up” anyway?

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  • April 4, 2011

    Molly

    Some 8 year olds do have something to push up…but I think it’s unacceptable to try to turn little girls’ bodies into women’s bodies. Parents and corporations are both to blame.

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  • April 4, 2011

    Molly

    Some 8 year olds do have something to push up…but I think it’s unacceptable to try to turn little girls’ bodies into women’s bodies. Parents and corporations are both to blame.

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  • April 4, 2011

    Pink Princess

    My daughter, who will be 13 in May, hadn’t wear a bikini top until she really needed one and I’d never buy hen a push-up bikini because I wouldn’t want her to look sluty and also because she doesn’t need one. If there is a person who needs one, this is me, after having two kids!
    And you know what? The irony in this is that these mothers that buy a push-up top for their 8 & 10 years old girls, they, later wonder why these girls go topless at 16, totaly ignoring how harmful the sun can be…
    Sorry but that’s sad.

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  • April 5, 2011

    Ashita

    No. Never. The designers should not design them, the stores should not carry them, the parents should not allow or buy them.

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  • April 5, 2011

    seastone

    Here in Greece 2-piece is the norm from the beginning. I still remember my triangle bikini when I was 6(1986), blue with orange dolphins. Still some little girls didn’t wear anything on top, that I could never do, and I’ve always worn my upper part, triangle or not, young or old, even if I had nothing to hide. Ah! The 80’s! There were no paedophiles then (so we thought!) Dad could take a picture of his naked 3-4 year old daughters playing and no harm done (really), and now everything is suspicious, with reason but not always.
    Ithe swimsuit is not push-up(really bad description!) but it is a bit reinforced, and the kid has developed some breast, the reinforcement would help the bikini to stay in place.
    To sum up, in a perfect world no harm done, now I wouldn’t buy it for my kid, except if she really had breasts. What’s wrong with feeling female?

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    • April 5, 2011

      Zoe

      According to articles I’ve read on this the padding if rather significant. I developed early (around 10) and had to buy swimsuits with a bit of a lining so my breasts didn’t show too bad, but they weren’t padded.

      This whole thing disgusts me. I teach kindergarten and it makes me think that in a year or two my female students would be getting messages from the media that they need to have large breasts.

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  • April 5, 2011

    Mair

    I remember having a two peice when I was about 7, but it was more of a tank-top style top than bra-shaped, and the bottom was a little pair of shorts. I think it’s stupid when parents try to dress little girls like they’re teenagers. (bikinis, skinny jeans, crop-tops, make-up) It makes them grow up too fast and then the parents wonder why their little girls are in bad relationships based on looks and getting pregnant in their teens. They think they’re grown up when they aren’t.

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  • April 6, 2011

    prom

    That’s so cheap, the quality looks good, i think i should consider to buy one.

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  • April 11, 2011

    Meryl

    It’s not even just about sexualisation. It was blissful just not to be able to THINK about my body’s looks, and its impressions on other people, while I was a child. There was a time it was about what it could actually do for me, and how good it felt to run around, climb trees, etc. When I was forced to weigh myself in class, and realised I was heavier than others, I could FEEL that era ending. I no longer felt like I could run around wearing whatever ugly, colourful thing I wanted. It had to be flattering. And that’s so depressing.

    But I guess in the 2010s you can’t even be an unfashionable/flat-chested 8-year-old without comment.

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