Store retreats on padded bras for kids

The Australian April 16, 2010

LONDON: A British clothing retailer has been forced to stop selling bikinis with padded bras aimed at seven-year-olds. The bikinis triggered a newspaper campaign, angered children’s advocates and become a British election issue.

Critics said the swimsuit was yet another product that sexualised children and encouraged them to grow up too fast. “It’s a shame it was ever put on the shelves in the first place,” Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, a parenting website that attracts a large, vocal audience, said yesterday. Primark, a popular discount chain, is not the first retailer to draw criticism for offering padded bras for kids younger than 10. But the outcry of protest is prompting a growing number of companies to pledge support for Mumsnet’s “Let Girls Be Girls” campaign.