More Bonds bras for little girls

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.

“They see this as where the dollars are and I’m saying: shame, take more responsibility for our little girls because when it’s Bonds, it says it’s reasonable and normal and it’s not,” Ms Gordon said.

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.

What do you think?

Let us know and let Bonds and K-Mart know too.
Contact Bonds here.
Contact K-Mart here.
As always, share your comments with us below.
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11 Comments

  1. tessa
    Posted 27 Sep ’10 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    ARGH!

    Thanks for the links… now to control my frustration and write something articulate to them!

    So disappointing as bonds underwear is comfy – but will be boycotting all the same!

  2. L.
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    What’s the problem exactly? If you as parents don’t like them, then don’t buy them… It’s not rocket science. The excuse that you are being “pressured” by your 6 yr olds is utter rubbish. The way I see it, if you give your child everything she demands, then you have bigger issues than a slightly padded bralette.

  3. Team CS
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    L. I don’t think the parents making the complaint are buying these items, but rightfully questioning why a company like Bonds is marketing bras and ‘bralettes’ to such a young age group.

  4. L.
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Team CS: According to news.com.au “parents” are having a sook because they feel pressured by their 6 yr olds, hence my initial comment.

    But again, what’s the problem..? If enough parents buy them, then Bond’s are justified with producing them, yeah? If people don’t buy them, then Bonds will cull the product line altogether…the “market” will have spoken, so to speak. So the questions which remain are: Are people (adults) buying them?, and if so, who are we to be telling them they shouldn’t be..?

  5. Team CS
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Hi L. Those are the words that news.com have used. In our article, we have said that parents have told us her their little girls are asking for them. It would have been better for news.com.au to have said that little girls are pressured.

    You’ve twisted it again by saying parents are ‘having a sook.’ No, parents are raising this as an issue.

    The problem? Bonds are saying they have responded to consumer demand. We believe they have created consumer demand with their marketing.

    This effects little girls understanding of their bodies. We suggest you re-read the comments from psychologists in the article.

  6. L.
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Well it seems to me you are having a sook about it. The first poster has even gone so far to say that despite the quality of Bond’s other products, she will boycott them altogether (personally I bet she doesn’t).

    This product line cannot survive in a market vacuum. As I said, it will be brought.. or not. If not, it will be removed pretty quickly.

    Now you state that you believe that Bonds have artificially created the market. Bonds state they are “meeting” market demand. My question to you is, can you prove your claim? Or is it a “hunch”?

    But lets entertain your your unsubstantiated assertion for one moment that Bonds did “create” this demand. Demand is still demand, however it comes to market. No-one has put a gun to the head of the customers who have already purchased.

    If this product sells, then there is the justification. The customers have spoken. Period. End of story.

  7. Annie
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    As far as I’m concerned, if parents are warped enough to entertain the thought of even buying bra’s for 6 year olds, then they appear to have never grown out of their own “barbie doll” mentality and need to grow up. Children at the age of 6 don’t need to be encouraged to be a sexual object for the gratification of an imbecile parent who obviously has serious issues of their own. And if a parent cannot with stand the pressures enforced by a 6 year old, then a responsible parent they are not !

  8. Kate
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh I just love it when people say “End of Story” oh ok, if you say so!

    L, how many six year olds have you seen with breasts? Try applying some logic here.

    A six year old with breasts doesn’t need a bra, she needs a doctor. Developing breasts on a six year old would be an indication of a problem.

    Little girls do not ask for things that aren’t available L.

    It works like this, create the bras, advertise the bras and little girls will want the bra. You can even throw in the idea that girls ‘need’ the bra so that mothers think they are doing the right thing by purchasing them.

    That’s marketing. That’s advertising. If it didn’t make people buy things they didn’t need, companies wouldn’t pour thousands of dollars into it.

    Clearly Collective Shout is challenging the marketing of this bra and in doing so, causing people to think twice about what they purchase. Some might choose to not purchase Bonds. After all your ranting about ‘the market’ you’re going to have a go at Tessa for that?

    If you don’t agree with the assessment of health care professionals about bras for six year olds – fine! But lets not resort to shallow stereotypes about ‘sooky’ parents. Don’t like it, don’t read the website. “Period. End of Story.”

  9. Jen
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I think this is a bit of a beat up to be honest. To me, size 6 doesn’t imply for 6 year olds – I’m 27 years old, does that mean I wear a size 27? No, don’t be stupid. It refers to the size of the person wearing the garment. Some girls start to develop around the age of 9, and when they do, they can become very, very self-conscious about their body, I remember vividly experiencing this myself – that stage you go through where your nipples turn into little buds that you can see through a t-shirt. I used to wear baggy clothes to try and hide them. Have you considered that perhaps a lightly padded plain training bra might actually give a young girl a sense of security and help to disguise a feature that she is embarrassed about?

    Look, sexualisation of young girls is a problem. The idea of a push up bra for young girls, or “sexy” styles is unacceptable, but let’s not get hysterical about it. Some of these products might actually be practical.

  10. Team CS
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Jen,

    Children’s sizing is different to adult sizing, which is why we pointed out in the article “for 6 year olds.”

    Size 6 does indeed fit a six year old. Size 10 is for 10 year olds and so on. This sizing goes all the way up to 16 and then you switch over to adults sizing.

    An older girl might need something to wear at the stage you described (such as the bralette), however they do not need a padded bra. It should be pointed out that the product is not only padded, but contoured in a way that would make a young girl look as though she had breasts.

  11. T
    Posted 29 Sep ’10 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Padded bras are not good for 6yr olds, but these bralettes from Kmart are NOT padded. Don’t forget they are underwear, under a dark coloured top you can’t even see them

2 Trackbacks

  1. By A win for our girls | kt-rae on 29 Sep ’10 at 8:54 pm

    [...] for our girls Posted on September 29, 2010 by katierae Yesterday CollectiveShout published this post about Bonds range of ‘bralettes’ which start at size 6. Size 6, of course is for 6 year [...]

  2. By Fierce, Freethinking Fatties on 12 Oct ’10 at 3:19 am

    [...] for girls as young as six. They weren’t the only ones. Retail chain Best & Less, and even Kmart was stocking “bralettes” for little girls. Another company went as far as selling padded bras — with lace — for [...]

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