Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nine years old and wearing sexy underwear

Dublin - Girls as young as nine are being encouraged to give themselves womanly curves by wearing figure-enhancing padded bras on sale in Irish stores.

The National Parents' Council has condemned the practice as inappropriate and potentially damaging to girls' self-image at a vulnerable age.

Penneys is selling padded bras aimed at girls aged just nine to 10 years, while Dunnes has figure-enhancing bras on sale for girls aged 10 and over.

Penneys is also selling knickers to girls aged nine to 10 with the message 'This chick bites back' emblazoned on them .

The sale of this type of underwear is part of an unwelcome trend toward early sexualisation of children, and gives them the wrong messages very early, said National Parents' Council (Primary) chief executive Fionnuala Kilfeather.

"At this age, girls should be running around outside playing, they shouldn't be worried about their figures and making themselves look older. If they start to give themselves a bust at nine, what will they be like when they're teenagers," she said.

"It's a very insidious practice to target a girl's self-image at this age and sell clothes to give them a figure they don't naturally have at this stage.

"It also might make some people look at them differently on the street and that's entirely inappropriate and worrying at that age," she said.

Parents should exercise common sense by refusing to buy these garments for their daughters, she said.

"They could also mention it in store and bring pressure to bear on the management not to stock inappropriate items," she said.

But Penneys defended the sale of these bras to young girls. "These are moulded rather than padded items and they are made that way for modesty rather than shape enhancement purposes," a spokesperson said.

"Many young girls feel self-conscious at that age and want to make sure they are well covered-up with a lightly padded item," she said.

The cut and shape of these bra and knicker sets was fuller than those targeted at adult women and was felt to be appropriate for their age, she added.

They had been on sale, sized by age, in Penneys children's departments since last year after initially being sold as small adult sizes within the women's lingerie department.

In regard to slogans on knickers, Penneys felt the colours and patterns on all their children's underwear was suitable for the age groups targeted.

Last year, a number of stores stopped selling children's stationery emblazoned with the Playboy bunny logo after criticism from parents' groups.

By Aideen Sheehan


Mama said...

NO! NO! and NO! Childhood is but a blink of the eye and adulthood is a long and winding road. Pushing young girls (or even boys) to rush throught their childhood should not be encouraged on any level I may have to re-teink my patronage of Penney's.

Aunt Laura said...

I can't believe that there are people out there who think that little girls should look like women. As mothers we should be trying to protect our little one and keep them young as much as we can. I see these little girls in beauty pagents with all the makeup and i think what are there mothers thinking. Even adult women sometimes where clothes that they should not wear. We need to be mothers not our childrens friends. I am rambling so i will stop.

Ruthie said...

Ick, just ick. I do not think that is appropriate at all. Children grow up so fast anyway. Why would you (Penney's) encourage this? Those designers should be shot.


Ruthie said...

But of course, it is the parents decision to buy this nonsense. If you don't plunk down your money for this trash, it will go away.

My question is, who is buying this stuff for their child? I'll tell you. The same ones who think it is okay to model themselves after Britney, Paris and Miley. It's a disgrace.


Rita said...

Go Ruthie!!!

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