Push Up Bikinis for Tweens Aren't About Sex


Abercrombie push upDid you hear Abercrombie Kids is marketing push-up bikini tops to young kids? Ready to beat the "OMG, they're sexualizing our kids" drum? Hold that thought!

Abercrombie Kids is marketing push-up bikini tops to our tweens and teens. Seriously, folks, it's not about sexualization. It's about reality.

According to Sociological Images, the blog that seems to have broken this tempest in a teapot, the brand is focused on girls 7 to 14. That's why they're worried. But I've got a news flash for you: every item in a store is not made for every person who walks in. And that's what's happening here.

The smallest size for these push-up tops that now have multiple sites warning us that our little girls are being sold a tale of "big boobies make you better" is a small. According to the Abercrombie Kids size chart, that's for girls 56 to 58 inches tall with a 27.5 to 28.5 bust. The average girl won't hit 56 inches until she's 11 or 12. Not 7 or 8.

Do I need to spell out the difference between a 7-year-old and her 12-year-old sister? A little girl with boobs is icky. I'm not putting my 5-year-old in a bikini any time soon -- forget the push-up issue.

But a tween who is beginning to fill out is pretty dang normal. And one who wants to can be filed under "not news." Tweens may not have a heck of a lot going on up in the chest area, but they are plenty conscious of how they look on the beach. You can talk up how breast size does not mean a thing in the real world, but it will take years for their emotions to catch up with their brains on that one.

A little push-up can go a long way toward making them feel like their top won't fall off on the beach (because there's nothing to HOLD IT THERE). So is it sexualization to make kids comfortable? Not really.

I dare say a parent who is buying this knows that a push-up top on a swimsuit is more about acknowledging puberty is a painful process. It's a time when girls feel awkward, when they start standing out from their friends. And when you're a tweenage girl, you don't want to be the different one!

What do you think? Much ado about nothing? Or a big problem?


Image via Abercrombie Kids

puberty, tweens


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sassy... sassykat122

:-), you bout had my hackles raised on this one because I definetly would not be putting this on a 7 year old. And I about said I wouldn't on a 12 year old then i stopped and remembered what it was like for me at 12 with really no chest to speak of and being horribly self conscious about it. I would have done anything to add a couple extra inches onto my bust just to look normal. However for those parents who are about to yell at you they just need to stop and remember that they are the parent and all they have to do is just not buy it if they feel that strongly about it.

Jeric... Jerichos_Mommy

I don't have a daughter so it is hard to say what I would do.  I guess it really depends on the tween and her parents.  I developed early getting my first bra at age 10 a 34 B, I wasn't teased for being too small but for being too big,  My initial reaction was girls this young don't need push-ups.    However after reading the first  reply I can see where this may be a confidence booster if a girl is more flat chested.

nonmember avatar ChiMomWriter

Holy cow, the moms on the FB page are pissed at this very notion right now. I have a daughter, I want to promote her mind, her self-esteem, and I don't want her dressing/acting older than her age. But, heck yeah, I would consider this if she were close to the teenage end and had no chest. I still remember a guy who used to pat the walls at school and say, Don't be jealous."

If you raise your kids with good values and to respect themselves (I know, easier said than done), giving them a little padding so they're not so self-conscious does not mean they're going to be sluts.

sassy... sassykat122

ChiMom...what facebook page, I would be interested to check it out.

Laure... LaurenElyssa

I see what you're saying, but the fact that we're saying that padding will boost the esteem of young girls is just sad to me. Breast size shouldn't be a concern, whether it's when they're 10 or 100. Boosting their esteem this early with "padding" only supports the notion that ones breast size matters. Reality sucks, I guess ... because I myself own several pairs of padded bras.

Julie Thompson

There will be no push up bikinis on my 12 year old.  TWELVE is still a child!!

Cherina M. Davis

I'm not standing in the mall right now so I can't look at the item myself BUT...Living on the beach and with a tween, she would probably be wearing something like this. I have looked at tops and summer beach wear and the "push up" versions of halter tops are padded and don't become see through like the thin little things in most stores. A good wind and some water or even sweat makes some fabric almost obscene on little girls in this age group. I look for the extra padding just so mine doesn't look like she bought the clothes out of Frederick's of Hollywood once outside. There are so many,many reasons not to want your little girl drawing attention from the opposite sex at this age and a little padding in the summer beach clothing is NOT one of them. My girls get their first bra in kindergarten with the thin,cotton white uniform shirts required by our school system so this is a non issue for me. Pad the clothes, cover the child...if there isn't anything to push up naturally this department store isn't going to make it appear with the purchase of the top.

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

All I can say about this is that I am so glad God did not bless me with girls, despite my begging and pleading.  I was never allowed to wear a bikini.  That's right, never.  At least not without a shirt over it.  Even now, I wear tankinis with shorts, because I have never seen the purpose in wearing so little in public.  You might call me a prude.  That's okay.  If I had girls instead of boys, I would probably have the same rules my parents had for me.  Except I would require that the top of the swimsuit had a little bit of padding.  No one wants to see "headlights" on a child, or anyone else for that matter. 

MrsGusty MrsGusty

Bikinis on little girls are just wrong, push-up or not.  Even at 12, a girl is still too young to be sexualized in the way a bikini intends.  My girl will be wearing a one-piece or a tankini as long as I have a say in the matter.

nonmember avatar Ame

What happened to teaching children to accept themselves as they are? I would never teach a girl to stuff her bra, or buy an overly padded bra. How self conscious would she feel when she gets older, still stuffing, and gets intimate with someone. Seems like a bad, snowballing, idea all the way around.

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