By Arzie Umali
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUbI8L90bFY[/youtube]Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has done it again. Known for controversies such as their risqué print advertisements with half-naked people and accusations of discriminatory hiring, now the retailer is selling padded, push-up bikini tops for girls as young as 8-years-old. In a story on Good Morning America, parents expressed their outrage over the over-sexualized message that selling such a garment to our young girls will bring.
As a parent of a tween daughter, I am faced with the power struggles everyday with her trying to be more grown up than her age (or I) will allow her to be. Young girls are already bombarded with images in the media of ideal beauty and the idea that sexing yourself up makes you more appealing. Usually these images come from adult women in magazines or music videos that our young girls wrongly aspire to be. But now, Abercrombie is giving them the opportunity to sex it up right away at the age of 8 by wearing a bikini top that will give them a fuller figure than any 8-year-old would ever realisticly have. That’s appalling! (And actually, we shouldn’t be surprised – they were also the retailer who, not too long ago, came out with a line of thong underwear in children’s sizes.)
So shame on you Abercrombie & Fitch, for, once again, perpetuating the myth to our young girls that their bodies are what’s important about them and for making it even more difficult for parents to convince their daughters that big breasts DO NOT triumph over brains. You’ve also just given every creepy pedophile more reason to hang out at our neighborhood swimming pools and beaches this summer.