marytkelly

I've Got Issues...And Peace

marytkelly

marytkelly
Location
Boulder, Colorado,
Birthday
October 22
Bio
Family, marital, and individual psychotherapist. Mother to four who no longer need my services but still enjoy my love as I do theirs. I specialize in stepfamily dynamics and difficult transitions. I try to write from the heart with a sense of vulnerability, humor and a frank look at myself. Art shown: "Four Pots" by Lindsey Leavell

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MARCH 28, 2011 3:16PM

"Developing" Story: Padded Tops for Little Girls

Rate: 40 Flag

 

Abercromie and Fitch padded bathing suit for little girls

 

“Developing News” was flashing on my TV screen this morning.  I had become numb to any kind of “breaking” news but this one caught my attention.  The “developing” story (pardon the pun) was about a new bathing suit being sold by “Abercrombie and Fitch” originally called the “Ashley Push Up Triangle Bikini”.  In short, this bikini had a padded bikini top and was being marketed to seven-year-old girls.

Parents reacted quickly, spit-firing mad at this promotion of prepubescent pressure and A&F quickly changed the name to “Striped Triangle Top” despite keeping the offending padding in the swimsuit top.

Seeing this news brought me back to about 8 years ago.  Some old friends were visiting from out of state.  They brought with them their two daughters, one ten and one five.   Since they were staying with us for a week, they were welcome to use my laundry room.

One morning I needed to wash some clothes and took out our companies' clean clothes from the dryer.  As I was setting them aside, my eye caught a most unusual item.  It was the smallest tiniest black lacy padded bra I had ever seen.  I was puzzled.  What the heck was this and whom did it belong to?  Some kind of Amazon Barbie Doll? 

I brought it out into the kitchen holding it like a smelly piece of moldy food.  My children were in the room, as well as the ten-year-old visting girl.  Her parents were gone running errands.

“Who the heck does this belong to?”

The little girl, truly a little girl who was showing no signs of development or the advent of puberty, said shyly, “Oh, that’s mine.”

I was stunned.  What the heck?  Who would make a tiny little bra like this all black and lacy and padded for little girls?  And, gulp, who would buy this for their child?

Without thought or reflection, I instinctively knelt down next to the little girl and said, “Oh sweetie.  You don’t need to harness yourself like this.  You’re a little girl.  Your job is to go outside and play.  Play in the tree house, swing on the swings, dabble in the creek, jump on the trampoline, play with the dog, zip down the zip line.  Play and know that you’re beautiful just the way you are.”

I was met with the blank stare of one who did not understand.

I felt angry with her parents, furious at “The Limited Express” for making the damn bra in the first place.  Angry that this little girl was getting a loud and clear message at such an early age.  YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH. 

I thought back to my own prebuscent days, days that lasted well into my teens.  Without getting into any unnecessary details, let’s just say that I was a very “late bloomer”. 

Memories poured in of junior high school and of the taunts and teasing from clueless and stupid acne-faced boys.   As I would walk in the halls between classes it was not uncommon to hear, “There she goes, the carpenter’s dream…flat as a board.”  Or, “Oh there’s Mary, her chest is like a sunken treasure.”

At that tender and vulnerable age, I found this grossly unfair.  Hello!  I had no control of my breasts or the timing of when they would finally decide to come out and play.   And thankfully, I had a strong sense of self.  While the jibes and insults were hurled my way, I knew that the size of my chest, or lack of it, had nothing to do with my value as a human being. 

But I’m not saying it didn’t hurt, that it didn’t penetrate the heart of this wild-hearted little girl who longed like anyone else to be loved, seen and valued for who she was. 

This morning, I wasn't as angry at "Abercrombie and Fitch" as I was at the parents who are buying them.  I was quite sure A&F had done their market research and determined what there is a strong market for.  The company is simply reflecting the culture.

Call me a prude.  Call me judgmental but shame on any parent who buys their little girl a padded bra or swimsuit.  If parents don’t buy them, guess what?  The company will stop making them.  Period.

The “breaking” news today was nothing new.  The sexualization of little girls has been going on since the beginning of time.  But those behaviors have always been considered abhorrent, illegal and more than immoral.

Normalizing those behaviors, in fact promoting them by buying padded bras and swimming suit tops for little girls is just plain wrong and again begs the question, “Isn’t there some way we could make people pass some kind of common sense test before they can become parents?”

But we can’t.

I’m glad there’s a “bikini backlash” to this new Abercrombie and Fitch bathing suit.  I’m glad parents are mad as hell and declaring that they aren’t going to take it anymore. 

But I'll be curious to see A&F's quarterly sales reports to see how this new spring line does because that’s the real bottom line.   If this suit is a hot seller, it's going to age me real quickly.  And you will find me fumbling and mumbling my way through life repeating over and over, "I just don't know what this world is coming to."

 

 

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Speaking as a 12 year old girl, I would have loved to have had that little bra over the tacky thing that came out of the box from Woolworth's - the training bra. Training for what?

My over 25 daughter is still called hubcap by her year younger brother. For good reason. I'm sending her the A&F info right away.
Nailed it. Point blank, the bottom line is revenue and although there is hysteria over all of this, only time will tell if the majority of people are actually against this. Its very sad.
Developing... I get it! Hi Mary!
I caught this disturbing story, too. Sometimes I wonder if we're all doomed. I loved being a carefree ten year old kid. What a shame.
I just got back from a doctors appt. This came on the TV and had the whole waiting area talking. Believe me, this isn't for the poor kids whose are the parents just getting by. This is for the people with money whose mom wants them to grow up so they can be girlfriends instead of mother and daughter. This isn't for the kids, it's for the grown-ups. The last I checked, little kids didn't carry credit cards!
Great Post!
There are many young girls who are very sensitive about their nipples/showing nipple, etc. A lightly padded top can actually keep them feeling more "covered". I don't mean heavy ,"add a cup size" sort of padding, but I have no issue at all with some padding.

But seriously, A&F is ALL about selling sex, so how is this a surprise to anyone? If your child is 7, A&F shouldn't be part of your world.
Not surprised when I saw the "headline"...just another sad commentary on how we don't want our children to be sexualized and yet we continue to sexualize them. This teeny weeny triangled padded bikini tells our girls that their primary value will be based in their endowments, padded or not. Maybe these tops have been around for awhile........have you ever watch a little girl beauty pagent?!
Great Blog, and we need far more women like you to keep saying it. The current trend of hypersexualizing our children really must stop. And you are correct, we need to allow our children to be just that --children. Thank you also to the other commentators for your stand on this outrage.
It makes me wonder what they will do when they reach their "second childhood". Just another reason A & F won't ever see my wallet.
Here's a little download for the A&F's of the retail world, pandering to young girl's sense of self esteem:

When and if these 7 & 8 year olds get their hands on these teensie weensie lacy poka dot bikini tops, they will suffer the worst embarrassment of all, when these well endowed, over sewn, lumpy cutsie tops don't stay where they are supposed to stay! If there's nothing going on inside the bra/bikini top, no "shelf" of nature's best to hold the little garment in place, it's riding high where baby boobs up under the chin should never live! Being a late bloomer as well, with no padded options back in the day, I wanted to develop so badly that I stuffed socks inside my t-shirt around the age of 10. Much to my chagrin, my dad took one look at my misplaced socks, one high, one had dropped, he gave me a scathing look of disappointment and disdain. That was enough for me and the little lecture that followed about vanity and wanting to grow up too fast. It was five years later before I attempted to fit my lean, boyish body with a plain white Maidenform bra (no Vickie's Secret then!), again much to my disappointment. But it was the opening size (smallest cup) to match it's opening price point and soon enough, there was reason to wear the uncomfortable contraption. Barely! I have yet to find a really comfy bra and much prefer going without, wearing a cotton (sure, some lace trim) camisole instead, as my preferred under garment.

Great post, Mare! Timely and valuable message.
PS - Maybe they'll come up with a GWP ("gift with purchase) of some strips of color matched double stick tape to keep those little patches of fabric in place. The horror!
Padded bras for seven-year-olds? I hope there is a special place in Hell for the person who invented this thing.
Honestly, this isn't just about parents, it's also about the age of puberty getting younger and younger. The girls see this and they compare themselves. I see the young teens walking around with tight jeans showing cracks or thongs and I cringe. That said, I'm not with you. Every generation does something that appalls us. Maybe same girl has her head on straight about other things, but crooked here.

My friend's parents wouldn't let her buy Barbie dolls and made her read stories from Ms. Magazine (quite good.) I got the Barbies. In college I walked around with hairy legs and armpits spouting liberalisms while she got drunk a lot, married cause she was pregnant and is now divorced. (Head on straight anyway.)

Meanwhile, my transgender daughter would LOVE a padded bra and I am searching that site. Thanks for posting it!
This is discrimination! It won't be right unless A & F sells a padded wallet for 7 year old boys.
The only "padding" a 7-yo girl should be wearing is when wearing a helmet or skates.

Let kids be kids for as long as they can be.

Any parents or adults who buy swimsuits, lingerie, or any other undergarments that tweens or women wear creep me out.
I think it all started with Shirley Temple, but took a wrong turn along the way. Totally in support of your thinking, count me in for the battle.
♥R
Wow.

You got it right about the sales figures. What a world. . . .
Gabby: Thanks for reading. I agree about the "training" bras. They truly were gross. As for wishing as a 12 year old you'd had one of those A&F bras, no judgment here. There were plenty of girls at 12 who were stuffing their bras with nylons and socks back in the day. But at least 12 isn't 7. "Hubcap"? That one is new to me.

Cfranc: Thanks. Nice to know I don't feel this way because I'm "old" because clearly you are not.

trig: Hi Trig! I knew you would get it :)

Sarah: Like you, I loved and appreciated the carefree time of childhood and I was quite dedicated to stretching it out as long as possible. The power of play is so important, especially for children and for adults alike. Thank you.

scanner: Excellent point. This is a trend among the more affluent and perhaps for some mothers, a way to live vicariously through their child...a most unfortunate thing for any adult to do to their child. (And I hope your doctor's appt. went OK)

kh3333: Good point about the nipple sensitivity issue, although I'm quite sure as you pointed out, that's the furthest thing from A&F's mind. A&F tried to sell a line of thongs aimed for girls between 7 and 10 awhile ago. The thongs were thankfully a bust (no pun intended) and they discontinued them. Thank you.

lorimarie: You are right when you say that these bras have been around for awhile...and the beauty contests for little girls? I hope those are an anomaly and not mainstream, but that's a whole another post (or a volume of books).

faulrooy: Of course I agree with you. I tried to extend my children's childhood for as long as possible, not so easy to do when raising kids in a college town. And I believe there is a current trend of hypersexualizing our children and it is heart breaking as well as out and out maddening.

BuffyW: Hi Buffy! Thanks for reading. You make such a good point. I remember so much of growing up was having to wait for certain things and there's an advantage to waiting, as hard as it was at times.
Sad.

Just Cathy: Hey, I love the angle you took on this and how true! Your memory of Dad catching you with the sock made me laugh. Your points about how deflating (no pun intended) these push up bras can be to a girl's self-esteem are very well taken. Thank you!

Patrick: Hell is sure gonna need a lot of special places! Thank you for reading and your comment. I appreciate it.

neilpaul: Yes, when there's money to be made, therein lies the rub. That's why ultimately the responsibility goes to the person buying the item.

megwc: While I totally agree with you that every generation does something that shocks the older generation, these teensy weensy padded bras weren't produced by 7 year old girls who are insisting on wearing them. And they aren't being bought by 7 year old girls. Any wise parent knows that they don't buy their kids stuff just because they "want" them.

As for your friends and the Barbie dolls, I'm not sure you can draw a causal effect from withholding Barbie dolls to an eventual life of booze, pregnancy, marriage and divorce. Yikes! As for your transgendered daughter, yes, padded bras will be a blessing. I just hope she isn't 7, but that's me. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

noah: Your comment made me laugh, despite the truth inherent in it. Thank you.

Belinda: I agree, it's "creepy". Thanks for reading.
And this is surprising because? If parents wouldn't buy slutware for their gradeschoolers, the shops wouldn't sell the stuff. No matter how much a kid whines, as a general rule children that age don't have credit cards. There's something seriously wrong with parents who buy sexy looking adult clothes for little kids. And then wonder why their 14 year old is pregnant...
I saw that article too, Mary. We are becoming an ever more really superficial and nutty country I'm afraid. Who needs ever earlier worry about body image?
Well done, as usual.
Fusun: Shirley Temple? Really? I always thought that she was so great at being such a little girl, but that's my little girl memory. But I see what you are saying when you say, "but took a wrong turn along the way." That's the understatement of the century isn't it! Nice to know I'm in such good company. Thank you for reading.

Chicago Guy: Hi Roger! Yup...if it makes money, it's going to be made. Thanks for reading.

jimmymac: Hi! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Enemy: Despite my occupation, I still am just a tad naive because yes, it surprises me! And of course I agree with you about the parents buying it. It was one of the points I was trying to make. And yes, no 7 or 8 year old has the credit card to buy this stuff and so what if they want it? This is supposed to be why we have "parents". Thanks for reading!

Lea: Yes, it just breaks my heart that even little girls worry about this non-existent non-realistic and quite frankly sick expectation. I was watching one of those "real" housewife shows (yes, I know, I am duly ashamed but hopelessly addicted) and one of the scenes show little girls at a party. These little 6 year olds had makeup on and I wanted to throw up. There is nothing more beautiful to me than the innocent, purity and beauty of childhood faces. Thanks for reading Lea.
Mary, you said it all. I saw this insanity on the Today show while I was getting ready for work. So wrong. Just so wrong. ~r
When I first saw this just now, I was thinking this is a joke. As I got to the end of the first couple of lines my thought was it's a good thing the credit card has my name on it because this isn't happening.
Wow...way to completely humiliate a ten-year-old, Mary.

Am I completely skeeved out by the existence of a black lace push-up bra for a fourth-grader with nothing there to push up? Oh hell yes. But good Lord...bringing the child's underwear into the kitchen, "holding it like it was a smelly piece of moldy food," acting like she'd done something wrong by owning it, and making her claim it in front of your children? What on earth possessed you to think that THAT was a good idea?

And of course, growing up is rarely a smooth or strictly linear process--just because this little girl owned what we'd consider sexy lingerie does not mean she was not still playing on the swingset and being a little kid in the next moment. It's just a bra--it's not a bra design I would EVER buy for my hypothetical 10-year-old daughter, but had such a thing existed in my size when I was 10, it might have been something I'd have bought for myself behind my parents' backs just to see what wearing a "sexy" one felt like. Girls that age try on being sexy (or what they think of as being sexy) and cast it back off numerous times. That behavior is entirely normal. It doesn't even necessarily mean that they're trying to be "enough" for the outside world--speaking from the other side of the development divide, I got attention from much older boys who would only back off when I got through to them that I was only twelve, and when I was out in public I very much wanted to go back to the relative anonymity of prepubescence.

But in private, or under my clothes (which is, of course, where bras are worn), I might well have tried to wear something like that bra you described, again, for myself, just to see what being a grown-up felt like. But I would have been mortified if anyone knew that I was "trying" to be sexy.

As for the padded swimsuit issue, kh3333 nailed it--forget whether girls that age SHOULD be worried about their nipples showing in a wet swimsuit, some of them are. And are teased pretty mercilessly about it by their friends.

Sometimes I think that well-meaning adults are so caught up in romanticizing the innocence of childhood that they forget why the kids themselves are so desperate to leave it behind.
I saw this obscenity this morning on the news too.
It brought to mind the years I live in Nowhere, West Texas ('82-'84). My eldest started kindergarden there and came home one day wanting pierced ears. After all, she was the only kindergardener to not have them. We said No, not until you are old enough to care for your ears yourself. She was relieved.
Children want boundaries. There is safety in them. They dont mind mimicing adults, but the sexualization part is scary and the adults who play on that for profit's sake need to be exposed for the greedy vile people that they are.
[R]
A most righteous rant Mary. I was also a late bloomer. My Mom never did the "training bra" thing though thank heavens! Puberty may be coming sooner but there is no 7 year old I have ever know who need a bra of any type! I love what you said to the child, and am sad that she was so bewildered. It's just so odd to me. Thanks for writing about it.
Children tend by nature to be largely androgynous in the pre-sexual phase. At puberty, males and females begin to exhibit the secondary sexual characteristics which emphasize gender, creating a polarity between the sexes resulting in erotic tension. This kind of erotic tension is highly valued in human culture because it is conflated with beauty, with love, with excitement and adventure.

The problem as I see it with push-up bras for children is a lack of imagination in adults. We fail to grasp beauty if it isn't "sexy", happiness if it isn't "sexy", magic if it isn't "sexy", adventure if it isn't "sexy". There is something wrong with a society that has come to rely too heavily on sex to make life bearable or meaningful, which even imposes on children the expectation that they view the world through a sexual lens.
@noah tawls lololol!

Well, I know I won't be buying one for my eleven-year old. pffftt!
Something to ponder: A&F totally did this as a marketing stunt, knowing that the "push up" angle would create a huge controversy and get their otherwise ordinary-looking and totally non-push-up swimsuits talked about on the Today Show.

Speaking as someone who's been through the sheer hell of swimsuit shopping in the past few days, that wouldn't be a push-up top even if it were made for grown women and stuffed totally full of padding. Push-up tops and bras don't even necessarily HAVE padding (at least not in the larger sizes)--it's all in where the seams are placed, where the straps hit, the shape of cups and the underwires, etc.

A bikini top of that design won't hold anything up, let alone push it up. Trust me on this one.
rjheart: Thanks for reading. I'm still reeling from reading your powerful post this morning. Thank you for your supportive comment. Thank you for acknowledging what I do. I will admit to a certain "prejudice" when I see children being rushed through childhood. But I've seen how devastating it came be. It is a time lost that can never be recovered. And about that, I'm quite sure you know what I'm talking about. Thanks again.

Joan H: "So wrong. Just so wrong." Yes, agreed. Thanks for reading despite your busy day.

Catnlion: When I saw the headlines I wondered why it was "developing" news. The Limited Express started doing this a decade ago. And yes, a sane person might think/hope/pray it was an early April Fool's joke. Thank you much for reading and commenting.

Leandra: Ouch. A hell of a lot of assumptions on your part...you read a lot more into that post than anything I had written. And if you had read the post a little more carefully, you would not have jumped to the conclusion that I was #1) aware that the bra belonged to the 10 year old, and 2) that knowing that, I deliberately strolled into the kitchen to make a mockery out of her.

So...let me make something perfectly and crystal clear. I had NO idea the bra belonged to the little girl, nor did the thought even occur to me that it was a possibility that the bra belonged to the little girl. I honestly and sincerely believed it must belong to some oversized doll or that one of my daughter's friends (my daughters were 16 and 18 at the time) may have left theirs over although it seemed to come in such a miniature size so I was honestly baffled. When I brought the bra into the kitchen, I wasn't even looking at the 10 year old girl because my mind had instinctively (although ultimately falsely) eliminated her as a possibility.

My biggest mistake was not to assume that the bra could even belong to the little girl. You can accuse me of being naive or stupid, but never in a million years would I ever deliberately humiliate a little girl like that. Ever.

The rest of your comment has nothing to do with the post but about you trying to imagine yourself as the hypothetical 10-year old girl. If you had found a way to sneak the purchase of that bra to see what it felt like, that's a different story and a different post. But this post is about parents who are buying their 7 or 8 year old daughters push up padded bras and/or swim suits and a culture that promotes it and nothing more.

As for the point kh3333 made, again, I would welcome you or her to write a post about the different reasons young girls-women buy bras in the first place. Becoming microscopic in the comments about times where a 7 year old might need a padded bra feels picky and quite frankly, a distraction from the point of the post which is this: Children are being more and more sexualized by our culture and it is up to the parents to protect their children from this, not encourage it.

As for romanticizing the innocence of childhood, I would again ask: What innocence? The only kids I know who are desperate to leave childhood behind are the ones who never got to experience one.
At least they'll have some good bras to burn when the pendulum swings back (to the days when the pendulous were allowed to swing).
When I was ten I needed to wear a bra every day because my nipples were very sensitive as a result of my early development. When I was eleven I needed feminine hygiene products. So, I don't know if this is all bad. I still remember in eighth grade when I was 12, I was already wearing a 34 D, and that Becky Crutchfield was jealous, though for the life of me, I didn't know why. Bras ate a large portion of my newly minted babysitting income.

The measurements on the website are within the range that I was at that time, by the way. Some times the old days are just old. A pad works to hide nipples, which for a developing girl might just be exactly what makes her feel 'normal.'
All can I say is the marketers behind A&F are sick bastards who sexualize young girls. Seven year-olds deserve to have a childhood before being thrown into the adult world where worth is measured by their body type. I understand by watching the evening news A&F changed the words in their advertising now but it has worked for them already by being controversial.

It's up to the parents to not buy into it. Anyone with half a brain should stop shopping there. Yup, sometimes it just seems like we are going to hell in a hand basket to me too Mary.
I'm not a prude either, but I find this shocking! What are people thinking? Who in the world would buy that for their child?! There are truly nutty people in the world. Where is common sense these days?
I remember my first training bra. It was simply stretching material to cover me up as I started developing.....and I hated having to wear it. I remember missing the days when I was more "free."
They will market and sell anything. I am not really surprised. I bet you anything the one who came up with this idea got a big bonus. You said it so well, Mary. R
All it takes is one little girl with an asshat mother and the trend takes off. Find one smart, hot boy to say, "You look like a ho" and it's back to basics. If only.
madness. right up there with the low slung butt crack showin jeans in tiny girl sizes.
I think everyone should just go topless an call it a day. Old, young, svelte, zaftig, male, female -- what is the big f*cking deal, people?

This is why Europeans laugh at us.
Your last line says it all. -R-
Tim: I hope you had your breakfast first. I seriously lost my appetite for a good rest of the day. You are 100% right. Children do not only need boundaries, they want them. They feel loved. They feel more secure. In fact this is true for adults as well. And how sad it is that it should even be debatable whether or not there should be padded bras for 7 year old girls. Your daughter was much fortunate to have you as parent. Thanks for reading.

Kellylark: Thanks for reading and your great comment. And I agree, it was for me a bewildering experience...the whole thing. And sad.

Monsieur Chariot: As usual, your much appreciated presence and comments always adds a different and elevated level, perspective, and dimension. Thank you. There's just no way I could have said that myself.

Boreville: I hate to say it but I agree.

sweetfeet: Noah tawls totally cracked me up to.

Leandra: I heard that on the Internet a short while ago. I'm just really speechless over the whole thing at this point. A potential marketing ploy? How slimy. As for your knowledge of the bikini top design, I know nothing. I'll defer to you on that one.

Snippy: Your comment made me laugh out loud. It was brilliant.

Dr. Susanne: So, please remember that my experience was with a 10 year old who needed absolutely no kind of bra. Of course there are girls who are 9 and 10 who are developing early and need a bra. But in this case, The Limited Express and A&F are pushing push up and padded bras to 7 and 8 year olds. I don't think they are designed to help the already developing girl. But I appreciate your point.

Scarlett: I agree and I think this is nothing new for A&F. And you're right, ultimately it's the consumer who decides whether a product is successful or not. It's pretty simple. Thanks for reading.

patricia k: "Where is common sense these days"? It would be nice if were that simple wouldn't it? I postponed growing up for as long as I could and I'm so glad I did. So let's figure out how to be more "free" now :)

Thoth: Hi Thoth. Thanks for reading. And yes, there's a big bonus if this line pays off I could imagine. But A&F tried that thong line for little girls awhile ago and it was a bust. Hopefully the same thing will be true here.

Sally: That's true. Now, how many boys would be willing to say that?

lorianne: ..."the low slung butt crack showin jeans in tiny girls"...will wonders never cease? I'm so glad when my girls were in middle school, the "fashion trend" was big baggy pants and long T-shirts and Mervyn's was a "cool" place to shop.

Lonnie: Well that is one solution that would take care of the whole thing!

Christine: Thanks for reading and resonating.
Are these parents happy or surprised when their daughters are pregnant at 14 or 15 or 16???? I once chastised a coworker when she was getting her daughter's shoes for the prom. I suggested the very rude description of those shoes that includes F_____me in the name. She was pregnant at 17 and got married. I was sad.
and yet, many moms will buy them.
It borders on pedophilia, Mary. Any 7 year-old who worries about nipples is probably being coached by an adult. That's what disturbs me as an adult and a parent. We're role models to children. If a child is self-conscious about his/her body, no padding will ever replace that child's self-esteem; that's where we adults work together by encouraging them to realize that no matter what they look like they're loved.


I've got four children and I wouldn't ever allow any of them to feel insecure, inadequate, or uncomfortable with their bodies or their self-esteem. I'm more than an adult and a parent. I'm a role model who chooses to give children of all ages support and encouragement...
Returned to rate, rant, and add you as a fave. Rock on, momma. :)
"Lonnie: Well that is one solution that would take care of the whole thing!"

I'm nothing if not a problem solver, Mary.
Liberal Southern Democrat: I think many of them are genuinely shocked. "F.....me" on the name of shoes? That makes me sad. And yes, pregnant and married at 17 is even more sad. The statistics of her future aren't entirely promising. And in fairness, parents who are over strict produce the same kind of results. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Procopius: I know! I don't get it. I really don't get it. Was thinking of you today when I saw the news do a piece on teachers being bullied in California. Crazy. Thanks for reading.

Belinda T: Well, thank you very much! I look forward to reading your future posts. 4 kids may not leave you too much time. I have four also and it's the best (especially since they are no longer teenagers!). Your children are most fortunate to have you. As for the bordering on pedophilia, The Today Show did a segment about this today and yes, it is definitely bordering on pedophilia and definitely attractive to pedophiles. Shudder. Ugh. Yuck. Thanks for coming back.

Lonnie: Good thing some things never change :)
I don't know that theres' a solution here, tho the retailers of this crap are clearly beyond the pale -- as are the parents who buy this crap. I recall (just barely) from my youth that it was common for young girls to "enhance" themselves by stuffing kleenex in their bras.

There is a parallel of sorts with boys. One Christmas the adults all agreed no guns for the seven and eight-yr-old boys, who promptly turned the carboard tubes their posters came in into makeshift rifles and ran off to play cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians.
I think a collective WTF is in order.
When Mrs. Pauls starts selling cod pieces for nine-year-old boys, then we've really jumped the shark.
Imagine my great perplexity as seeing something called bottom padding panties thingies in Walgreens. Yes, to give a little something extra in the derriere area. Do kids buy those, too? I just want them to get off my lawn in their padded clothing! xox
for awhile, all chinese went around in 'mao suits,' as they were known in the usa. girls got to put a ribbon in their hair during a 'date.' that would be a walk in the park. underwear strictly private since no one would see it before marriage.

sometimes, communism seems very sensible.
You said it. Again. It is completely unconscionable, indefensible. Thank you for your brilliant, clear voice in the wilderness.
The market tries to exploit girls earlier and earlier. 7 years ago Victoria's Secret came out with their Pink line. It was pastel colored and fun; watered down versions of their more adult line complete with candy-colored thongs. At first it appeared to appeal to college age women, but then I was stunned when many people I worked with bought their 12 year old daughters stuff from there, but even younger girls shop that section. Obviously they are counting on recruiting customers earlier and earlier. When it comes down to it it's all about $$$$$ The guy who owns the company has one of the largest yachts in the world but continues to pay the bulk of his employees minimum wage- perhaps capitalism is evil
Kh333--
There is a difference between child nipples and adult nipples. Befor the onset of puberty, children's nipples don't pucker. They are not visible, even if the kid is freezing cold and in a wet short ---Unless the shirt was sheer --- and in which case, why is a child wearing a see-through shirt?
Scanner nailed it: "This isn't for the kids, it's for the grown-ups. The last I checked, little kids didn't carry credit cards!
Great Post!"
OMG!!! I'm finally dumbstruck! I need to cuddle up with my 36C Paddington Bear and suck my thumb! Great post!!!