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 @ https://abercrombie.custhelp.com 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.