Mar 25, 2011

Teeny Titties: Abercrombie Kids has something for you!

Note: I hate the words 'tits' and 'titties', but I really could not pass up a title like that.  Sorry.

Photo from A&F Quarterly, via PopSugar.com
Abercrombie & Fitch has created yet another uproar with the introduction of their new bikini top for Abercrombie Kids, the "push up."  Since writing this post, the section under swimwear titled "push up" has been removed, and the top, named Ashley, is now under the title of "triangle tops." 

Parents have apparently gone ape on A&F, considering Abercrombie Kids is targeted towards 7 to 14-year-old children. 

Here's what I think. 

Abercrombie isn't immune to all kinds of bad PR, including legal woes like discriminating against ethnic minorities and an employee with autism, violation of privacy (a 16-year-old being taped in a dressing room by an employee), along with sexually explicit photos of teen models in A&F Quarterly (I remember this being similar to softcore porn when I was in high school) and a whole slew of other things that were offensive both racially and sexually.  (Ex: selling pre-teen thongs with "Wink Wink" and "Eye Candy" on them).

Here's my thing.  Abercrombie isn't  going to change their brand.  They're known to most people as the staple in their middle and high school wardrobe, with stores blaring overbearing music and wreaking of Woods cologne.  They're also a push-the-envelope store, where they see how far they can take things, whether it be inappropriate taglines on tees or suggestive photography.  This has been going on for ten years or more, so if you don't want your child exposed to sexually forward attire, like a shirt that says, "Female Students Wanted for Sexual Research" or, in this case, a push-up bikini for seven-year-olds, then don't let your kids wear their clothes.  Simple as that.  As a parent, you provide food, shelter and clothes for their naked bodies.  Take charge and make sure they're not buying anything inappropriate for their age.  Or, if you don't want them seeing any of it, don't let them go in!  If anything, make them aware of the sweatshop practices they have going on... that should be enough to deter them.  But, I will say when I was younger, Abercrombie was the place to buy my wardrobe (although it was infrequent).  It was expensive-Cali style clothing that everyone was dying to have, especially since "Summer Girls" had just become a huge hit.  And there were not (if any) as many sexually suggestive clothing items back in the day.

Furthermore, where does Abercrombie Kids get off (no pun intended) on offering children at this age a push-up swimsuit top?  I mean, let's get real here: their target market doesn't even have boobs!  Bee stings if anything!  Most of them, once they get some yabbos, head on over to the "big kid" A&F store.  Shouldn't they have just put it in A&F to begin with?

I remember being in 3rd grade and wanting boobs SO BAD.  I would stuff my bra at home.  Yes, I'm admitting this.  Of course, it was only at home -- imagine if I took my happy a$$ to school with my training bra filled with Bcup ta-tas!  That would be hilarious.  I SWEAR there is a point to this public humilation, bear with me.  When I did develop, I was mortified because I had before everyone else, including my friends, so I was trying everything to hide them: wearing two sports bras at at time, overly baggy tops, taping them (ouch).  Then again, back in 1999 when I was 13, being sexy wasn't something I was exposed to.  Sure, I wanted to be Britney Spears, but only because she was pretty, a great dancer and dating Justin Timberlake.  Not because she had giants breasts and sang about getting hit.

Which brings us to this question: in a day where sex is overly innundating our media, and sex tapes are a launchpad for fame, should businesses be held socially -- and morally --  responsible for their content?  Especially if they target children?  Or is this just a freedom of speech kind of ordeal?

I have to say answer with "yes."  We need to maintain children's innocence as much as we can (not like I have one)!  As someone who has a little brother, I think about if he was still 14-years-old.  I don't want him walking into a store reading a shirt about "sexual research."  And regarding the ethnically racist garb A&F provides, I don't think he would have understood the racist content, which would be terrible if he showed up at his favorite Chinese restaurant wearing it.  Not to mention one day I hope to be a mom, and I don't want my seven-year-old asking me to buy her a push-up swimsuit top for her non-existant breasts, because all her friends have one.  I don't even want to think about that.  I don't want to comprehend that the sole reason to own a push up bra is to draw attention to your cleavage, thus catching the eye of a man or two (or just to make you feel good about yourself -- I have a few great recommendatinos if you need any) and that my seven-year-old would essentially be wearing one without understanding the idea behind it all -- or in a worst case scenario, she does understand and I've essentially raise a slorebag.  No thank you!

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