Tesco, a UK brand, has come under scrutiny for advertising and producing a padded bra marked to the seven and eight-year-old age range. This is not the first time Tesco has gotten itself into hot water for sexualizing girls waaaaay too early. In 2006 it had to remove a pole dancing kit from toy shelves after being accused of “destroying children’s innocence”. Tesco, in defense of the bra, delivered the following statement: “It is a product designed for girls at that self-conscious age when they are just developing. It is designed to cover up, not flatter, and was developed after speaking to parents.”
This brings to mind a couple of questions: what, exactly is being covered up? If you have teeny-tiny breasts the only way they would need covering is if you were to wear tight, shear shirts to begin with. Ohhhh… I guess the bra is supposed to go with the sexualized children’s clothing sold one aisle over in Tesco. Moreover, who are these parents crying out to the brand to develop a padded bra for their children? A padded bra, I might add, that is not just padded, but designed to draw attention to and enhance a young girl’s… nothing. Sounds like Tesco and Mama Lohan have been having some conversations.
I might be willing to buy the whole ‘cover-up’ excuse if it didn’t have such weird implications; Jessica over at Feministing has said it, and I think it bears repeating: “If you need to cover up a [child’s] non-breasts in order to feel like she’s being ‘discreet’, there’s something wrong with the way you look at [little] girls.”