Do six year olds need a bra?
Check out this snapshot from the latest K-Mart catalogue.
The caption reads ‘Bonds girls wideband bralette, sizes 6-14.’
Size 6, is for 6 year olds.
Some time ago, there was a lot of media attention given to Bonds when they began selling a padded bra available in child’s size 8, for 8 year olds. Melinda appeared on the morning show about this and made the point that 8 year olds do not need a bra.
Bonds countered that they were responding to ‘consumer demand’ that little girls were developing earlier and needed this product to provide ‘light support and concealment.’ Melinda argued that a product as padded and contoured as this one, does not provide ‘concealment’ but actually enhances the appearance of breasts on little girls. Others agreed.
“It blurs the line between what is a little girl and what is a woman, and in doing so violates an important societal norm that states that children should not be seen as sexual objects,” Dr Carr-Gregg said.
Clive Hamilton, academic and former head of the Australia Institute which put out the controversial report Corporate Pedophilia in 2007, said the bra would only serve to make a young girl look older.
“It is designed to make an eight-year-old look as though she has budding breasts,” Mr Hamilton said. “In our research, paedophiles told us that the presentation of eight-year olds in bras justified their activities.”
Amanda Gordon, the clinical psychologist who authored the Australian Psychological Society’s submission to the 2008 inquiry, accused Bonds of cashing in on the sexualisation of children.
Are Bonds now going to claim that even 6 year olds need a bra, or ‘bralette’? While these ‘bralettes’ might be helpful for a 10 or 12 year old, why are Bonds marketing to such a young age group? The obvious answer is profit. Supporters of Collective Shout have contacted us saying that their little girls are asking for these items because other girls in their class – their prep class – are wearing them. Of course they don’t need them. There is a lot of money to be made from convincing women that their bodies should look different to how they do naturally. Clearly Bonds have realized this same principle applies to little girls. Shame.
Further, if Bonds really do want to provide the ‘concealment’ that older girls might need as they begin to develop, why are most of their bras and ‘bralettes’ available in hot colours – pink, purple, orange. Any mother trying to find suitable underwear for their daughters, that can’t be seen through a t-shirt from 3 feet away, is going to find this difficult. It seems the very thing that would provide ‘support and concealment’ (hello…a skin coloured crop top?) is the only thing Bonds aren’t offering. It may not be as trendy, but it would be helpful for a young girl when she needs such an item, not for when Bonds think you should be handing over your money.