Primark criticised for selling padded bikinis for little girls

High street giant Primark have withdrawn a padded bikini top made for seven year old girls and up, after criticism from parents, child protection organisations and others, who claimed the item was “too sexy” and exploitative for young children.

Following widespread criticism, the retailer removed the bikinis from sale, and issued a statement saying: ”

“Primark has taken note of the concern this morning regarding the sale of certain bikini tops for girls, a product line that sells in relatively small quantities. The company has stopped the sale of this product line with immediate effect. Primark will donate all the profits made from this product line to a children’s charity, and apologises to customers for any offence caused.”

Some photos of the offending bikinis can be found here, and we’re curious to know what you think of this move. Were Primark right to remove these from sale? Should they even have been selling them in the first place? Or is it all just a storm in a (padded) bikini cup?

19 Comments

  • April 14, 2010

    Rock Hyrax

    What concerns me is that there’s sufficient demand for such items for them to be developed in the first place. Most children want to play at being adults, and that’s what dress-up boxes are for. I can only imagine the people who buy such items are rather stupid mothers who think it would be “so cute” to turn their daughter into a mini-me. Ugh.

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  • April 14, 2010

    Minnie Burton

    In all honesty if there wasn’t a market for this sort of thing would it have been produced? While I do not agree with padded bikinis for 7 year olds (not even sure I agree with bikinis for 7 year olds let alone padded) The pictures of said item are not overly enhancing. They seem more like an extra layer to cover modesty. Making it less clingy and see through when wet.

    I think the public need to realise there is a lot of pressure on young girls to achieve a cleavage and have a certain body image which is totally wrong, but I bet alot of young girls when asked, would have loved to own that bikini.

    While maybe not for those as young as 7 this bikini was also made up to the age of 12-13 year olds. I would have been very grateful for the bikini at that age as I developed earlier than my peers. Lets not forget that a minority of children hit puberty as young as 8 and may be grateful of a more mature styled bikini for their growing bodies.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not siding with Primark but when told it was wrong they removed it and apologised, donated the sales to charity. Yes it should never have been marketed at that age ranged but it was probably a mistake on the merchandising buyers part.

    Labelling it as a ‘pedo magnet’ as some tabloids have is ridiculous. Perhaps we could find better things to read in the news as opposed to what some high street chain is selling for mothers to buy their little girls.
    .-= Minnie Burton´s last blog ..Book Review: Make Your Own Clothes: Twenty Custom-fit Patterns to Sew by PatternMaker and Marie Clayton =-.

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  • April 14, 2010

    eva

    Children are growing up too quickly already and there is no need to sex up children clothing even more! I hate to see 10-year-olds strolling down the streets in high heels and wearing lipstick! That’s just sick! OK, there is nothing wrong in playing dressing up, but this is just too much, I think.

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  • April 14, 2010

    Lynette

    I work in social services, and I can say with no reservation that this is precisely the sort of thing that can be a trigger for some sick individual. I’m no prude, but this is just wrong.

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  • April 14, 2010

    Kit

    I hate these so much. I used to work in a large clothes store that sold triangle bikinis for girls: the ages available were from 18 months right up to 14 years.
    There is a market for them, because people did buy them, but quite frankly I judged any mother that came in and bought them for their young child. They are so disgusting. PADDING is going a step further.
    If I was a designer and I knew I could make money from these, my morals and sense decency would make me never even consider letting these out.

    I hate seeing little girls looking too old…they have phones and heels and bags and it’s just wrong. When I was little, the only leggings I wore had Barbie prints on them: they most certainly were not wet-look. The only bags I had were little blue dressing-up ones. I had those really chunky jelly-shoe heels instead of real grown-up ones.
    My mum let me have a bikini but it was a little-girl’s two-piece, where there is a tiny bit of midriff shown but otherwise it was entirely decent, and in no way sexualised. AND NOT PADDED. I was a child, and I looked like a child and dressed like a child, just the way it should be.

    Vulgar.

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  • April 14, 2010

    Marianne S.

    It looks to me more like a lining than full-on enhancement padding, but the cut is awful! No 7-year-old should be prancing around in a bikini for an adult. What ever happened to the plain mid-riff tank style bikini for little girls? (Remembering that ‘sexy’ and ‘little girl’ do not belong in the same sentence.) The designer’s taste is questionable, the buyer’s taste is questionable, the store marketer’s taste is questionable. This thing never should have seen the light of day.

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  • April 14, 2010

    devrah

    The padding doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t look to be there to add bulk but to prevent obvious nipple display when wet. The cut is more of an issue in my opinion.

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  • April 14, 2010

    Couture Coco

    Def. the right thing to withdraw them. They should not have been made in the first place. I just can’t believe someone let it all go to production. I have young daughters and am absolutely appalled. The stark fact is padding=looks like boobs=on 7 yr olds=disgusting.
    .-= Couture Coco´s last blog ..Vintage drool =-.

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  • April 14, 2010

    lizvocal

    I’m with Lynette. We sexualize our children and then wonder why we have pedophiles who think the little girls wanted it. Not that clothes are an excuse! But really, can’t they just be kids for awhile?

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  • April 14, 2010

    Namukale

    What does padding in a swim suit have to do with “sexualization of our children”. If you want to blame get upset about something maybe you should ask why seven year olds are wearing bikinies in the first place. Some girls may need the padding, kids are maturing faster than they used to. I started wearing sports bras in 2nd grade. Not only are we maturing faster physically were much more mature mentally. Little kids are much older inside then people think. They don’t want to be seen and little kids, they want to like the older kids and to be accepted by them. Besides who decides what is ‘childlike’ and what isn’t, and maybe the old definition of childlike is out of date. A girl is not going to have an awful life because she wore a padded swimsuit when she was 7. No matter what girls are going to have body image issues- padded swimsuit or not.

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  • April 14, 2010

    Jaynie

    I agree that the cut is the problem, more than the padding; it could be just as cute (and more age appropriate) with a little less midriff, but girls are developing at quite young ages and might appreciate the padding for less superficial reasons. Better fitted clothing doesn’t need to be sexualized. I’m dubious of the pedophile-magnet claims, too, since to the best of my knowledge* the clothing of the child makes very little difference, and to cite rare cases where it does is uncomfortably close to victim-blaming, especially since I don’t doubt a lot of (possibly misguided) young girls would have begged their parents for such items.

    I think Primark responded pretty maturely, though, by donating the proceeds to children’s charities, rather than just pulling the items in question. Most stores wouldn’t have done that, I don’t think, so good on them.

    (* as a psychology student with an interest in both childhood development and criminal behaviour, that is…)

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  • April 14, 2010

    Areya

    THE PARENTS ARE THE ONES BUYING THE BIKINIS. they’re the ones encouraging this sort of behavior. it’s not like these children are completely pure and innocent and are immediately turned into sex fiends as soon as they put on the bikini. besides, girls with a little extra meat on their bones will be happy for the extra coverage.

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    • April 15, 2010

      CoutureCoco

      Er no it’s not the kids turning into sex fiends in these bikinis, it’s the sick adults who want to see them like this in their twisted minds that we’re worried about.
      And while the kids mature earlier physically due to better nutrition and health (vacinnes and medical treatment in the ‘West’ at least) emotionally children take the same amount of time to grow and develop. If you believe kids are maturing faster then by the same argument at some point toddlers will need padded bikinis? No we don’t want to wrap up each kid in cotton wool until they’re 18 or 21 but we have a duty to protect them in a reasonable and sensible way. It’s not our kids we are underestimating, it’s the amount of evil out there.
      .-= CoutureCoco´s last blog ..Vintage drool =-.

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  • April 15, 2010

    Diandra

    Hmm, is it possible that these swimsuits were made for little girls who are larger, and need that support and coverage?
    Well anyways, if they’re not, I do not much care either way about it. If people don’t like them, than they shouldn’t buy them, it’s as simple as that. :/
    Besides I don’t think wearing a padded bikini puts a girl in immediate danger. Can anyone really tell if their bikini is padded or not? Probably not! I don’t think it makes a difference to child predators either.

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  • April 15, 2010

    Ash

    When I was 16 and tried on a bikini top my mother said without a second thought ‘Your father said No.’ This is just disgusting. I feel like the mothers who buy ‘My mom is hot’ shirts for their babies and those sweats with writing like ‘Bad’ across the butt are the same mothers who buy things like this.

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  • April 16, 2010

    Miranda

    I just think bikinis on little girls are tacky. My 7-year-old niece wanted one last summer and my SIL — who is an awesome mom — said no. She would have let her have a tankini, but niece didn’t want one of those, so she got a one-piece.

    I definitely think they were right to pull this product. I think they were insane to put it out in the first place.

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  • April 17, 2010

    Shanaia

    I don’t have a problem with it. I mean, what if she needs the padding?

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  • May 31, 2010

    maddie

    I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I saw the swimsuit and it’s not like it said sexy across the breast or anything. People are being real prudes lately…

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    • June 17, 2010

      SUE

      CHILD MOLESTERS WILL ABUSED LITTLE GIRLS HOWEVER THEY DRESS. I WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED WHEN I WAS A KID AND I WAS A RIGHT TOMBOY. NEVER WORE A DRESS IN MY LIFE

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