Monday, March 28, 2011

Passed agreements about Tznius

A “push up” bikini top for girls was recently in the news. Abercrombie and Fitch market the product, and that wouldn’t be so weird if the product were not literally for girls, little girls, starting at around age seven. Ick.

Passed the shock of parents and other concerned groups, shouldn’t Abercrombie and Fitch be asking who, which designer and which marketing wiz thought that this was a reasonable, nay, even good idea? I think the company should take a much, much closer look.

There maybe on going discussions and disagreements about what in particular is appropriate clothing based on any number of variables. But I think at some places in the road, there is common ground. And I think this might be it. Whether we agree with modest dress or not, and passed all arguments of the fault of the media and blaming parents and/or schools in general, I think most of us agree that sexualizing little girls is wrong.

The problem with a product like this according to Professor Gail Dines of Wheelock College is “It gets young girls to think about themselves in sexual ways before that’s developmentally appropriate.” And as if this were not problematic enough, the negative effects are not limited to girls according to Dines, “It sends out really bad signals to adult men about young girls being appropriate sexual objects, objects of sexual desire for young men.” (WHDH-TV3/25/2011)

First, let me say that I don’t want to give Abercrombie and Fitch any undue press. I think that would only further the insanity. What I would like is a solution or at least an answer. Perhaps parents and others would be willing to contact the company either via email @ or by visiting the manager of their local store. It may seem like these small acts do not amount to much, however, people who answer email and who work in stores have to be paid, generally by the hour, and you and twenty other people like you are going to cost the company time and money. If it cost enough money, perhaps they will find that marketing items to sexualize young girls is not only creepy and amoral, but not at all cost effective.

Additionally, since the publicity the company has removed the term “push up” from their website. The product, however, is still listed.


  1. Dear Rebbetzin,

    I thank you for publishing this. I had to read the first two sentences twice before believing it.

    I do not see things like this much in AU where I live but I notice some of my daughter's friends on facebook, who are now mothers themselves, sending their 3-year olds to beauty pageants, complete with swimsuit competitions in diminutive heels (ICK!) and all the make-up and hairspray that goes along with this sort of activity. 3 is the age when our little babies become little girls and learn about dressing in a more tznius way - like mommy!
    Indeed, we live in a world so degraded that people dress their 7-year old girls up in 'push up' bikinis - with nothing to push up! I am sickened.

    I will dispatch an email straight away and forward this blog entry to my daughter as she is the mother of a 17-month old girl and will no doubt want to write, phone or visit as well.

    I never would have seen this as I do not visit large shopping malls unless absolutely necessary so I thank you once again.


  2. Leeba-Thank you very much for your compliments and for your participation. (Me too about the shopping malls.)