British Retailer Pulls Padded Bikinis for 7-Year-Olds From Shelves
It's not unusual for little girls to want to strut around the house in shoes with a little high heel or wedge to them. And carrying a tube of lip gloss around in a pint-sized purse? We've certainly seen that before. Yes, there's a fine line between appropriate attire and creating a Little Lolita, and, now, a British clothing store has been caught crossing it.
The popular Primark discount chain has agreed to pull padded bikini tops aimed at 7-year-olds from store shelves after complaints from children's charity groups and politicians, London's Guardian newspaper reports.
"All of us as parents can recognize there's something wrong when companies are pushing our kids into acting like little grown-ups, when they should be enjoying being children," Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who backed the campaign to stop sales of the padded bikinis, tells the Guardian.
The "Paedo" bikini sold for about $6, and Primark announced it will donate any profits made from previous sales to child welfare organizations, the newspaper reports. The halter styles came in pink with gold stars and black with white polka dots.
The bikini has added fuel to the "Let Girls Be Girls" campaign from British parenting site Mumsnet. According to the Associated Press, the online forum says this type of clothing, or items like T-shirts aimed at girls younger than 6 with phases such as "So Many Boys, So Little Time" enforce the idea "that sexiness is the most important quality for girls and encourages a culture in which children are viewed as sexually available."
Primark, the AP reports, refused to discuss the padding, but an anonymous source tells the wire service "the extra fabric was designed to preserve a girl's modesty and prevent any signs of a developing breast from showing through."
Though ParentDish couldn't track down any padded bikinis sold on U.S. soil in our quick search, we can't help but wonder what's around the corner -- nipple tassle T-shirts for infants and toddlers, perhaps? Maybe a pole dancing kit for kids? Oh, wait: Been there, done that.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.