Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Padded Bras. For Children.

Tesco, a UK brand, has come under scrutiny for advertising and producing a padded bra marked to the seven and eight-year-old age range. This is not the first time Tesco has gotten itself into hot water for sexualizing girls waaaaay too early. In 2006 it had to remove a pole dancing kit from toy shelves after being accused of "destroying children's innocence". Tesco, in defense of the bra, delivered the following statement: "It is a product designed for girls at that self-conscious age when they are just developing. It is designed to cover up, not flatter, and was developed after speaking to parents."

This brings to mind a couple of questions: what, exactly is being covered up? If you have teeny-tiny breasts the only way they would need covering is if you were to wear tight, shear shirts to begin with. Ohhhh... I guess the bra is supposed to go with the sexualized children's clothing sold one aisle over in Tesco. Moreover, who are these parents crying out to the brand to develop a padded bra for their children? A padded bra, I might add, that is not just padded, but designed to draw attention to and enhance a young girl's... nothing. Sounds like Tesco and Mama Lohan have been having some conversations.

I might be willing to buy the whole 'cover-up' excuse if it didn't have such weird implications; Jessica over at Feministing has said it, and I think it bears repeating: "If you need to cover up a [child's] non-breasts in order to feel like she's being 'discreet', there's something wrong with the way you look at [little] girls."


K. E. L. said...

On a related note, check out Philadelphia Magazine's article "Pretty Babies": http://www.phillymag.com/articles/pretty_babies/page1

Jillian Gordon said...

Thanks for blogging Aviva, Antigone is always interested in hearing from subscribers. Insightful post.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty universally known that girls are developing earlier than ever.

I think it's also known that, when breasts develop, they often have a strange, pointy shape.

If a padded bra is what girls feel they need to cover up their shape, size, or geometries, who are we to criticize?

ESPECIALLY since breasts are regularly the topic of peer teasing and torment.

Why NOT spare little girls this pain/embarrassment? Isn't feminism all about feeling comfortable with yourself?