Most parents feel that their children grow up too fast. The trend the last several years has made it more difficult for parents to keep their little girls from wanting to grow up too fast. Retailers like Walmart have a line of cosmetics geared towards the 8 to 12 year old and although some parents don’t mind the occasional playing with makeup, many aren’t going to allow them out of the house with lipstick on.
Now Abercrombie has gone a step further with pushing sexuality on little girls. Their spring collection geared towards girls as young as 8 years old includes a push-up, padded triangle bathing suit top. Because of negative feedback, Abercrombie has changed the name of the bikini top from “push up triangle” to “striped triangle”. One only needs to view it on their Abercrombie Kids website to see that this bikini top is heavily padded, giving the illusion of breasts where none exist.
Although many girls are developing earlier than a decade ago, most 8 to 10 year olds do not have a figure worthy of being a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. They are not supposed to. There are little girls after all.
The message we are sending to little girls suggests that there is something wrong with their bodies and by wearing a padded bra, they will somehow be more desirable. Words such as “desirable” and “attractive” should not even be used when describing an 8 year old. Turning our little girls into Lolitas by dressing them in provocative clothing is wrong on so many levels. Some might even call it a pedophile’s dream.
Any parent who thinks that these bikinis are cute needs some serious therapy. What kind of message is a parent sending to their child when they approve of attire like this for their little girls? Psychologists asked about this controversy agree that allowing your pre-pubescent daughter to dress like this not only promotes earlier than normal sexual experimentation but also is confusing to their self-esteem.
We want to raise our daughters to be comfortable with their bodies and teaching them that they need to enhance themselves artificially leads them to believe that they are not good enough. This can set a young girl up for a lifetime of poor body image and low self-esteem.
Some might argue that moms who have breast enhancement surgery, botox treatments or even just wear a padded bra themselves are giving their daughters a negative message by what they do.
Little girls should be allowed to be little girls. Even if an 11 year old begins to develop breasts, it is not acceptable for them to dress in a provocative way. Any parent who gives in to their young daughter’s desire to dress in a way that is not age-appropriate is most likely not thinking about the long-term damage they can be causing. The best way to combat this is for parents to boycott retailers who are trying to make it acceptable for little girls to wear inappropriate clothing.
Children do seem to grow up too fast but as parents we can stop the push to force them to grow up faster by making thoughtful choices about what we buy for our little girls.