Push Up Bikinis for Tweens Aren't About Sex
Did 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
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