New Look are "sexualising" children with padded bikinis for 9-year-old girls
I recently vented my anger about how hard it is to find clothes for my 11-year-old daughter that don't look like something made for someone years older.
...And I am not alone in feeling like something is seriously wrong with the children's clothing industry.
Recently, a UK mum took to Twitter to express her fury at how the high street chain selling padded bikini tops for children as young as nine.
And as if the padded tops aren't enough – they are also paired with some very skimpy bikini bottoms – complete with ties on the hips.
In the UK, the swimwear ranges in questions are for sale in the brands 915 children's departments across the UK.
I mean; I don't know who needs reminding of this – but a nine-year-old (and an 11-year-old too) is still a child. Legally, mentally – a child.
Vicky Snowden was the mum who first highlighted the problematic range, taking to Twitter to vent:
"It's hard enough shopping for my daughters in New Look with the insistence on all the tops being cropped but, PADDED BIKINI BRAS?!
'Padded bikinis for 9-year-olds. Really?'"
@letclothesbe @PinkstinksUK @ObjectUK it's hard enough shopping for my daughters in @newlook with the insistence on all the tops being cropped but, PADDED BIKINI BRAS?! Padded bikinis for 9 year olds. Really? pic.twitter.com/exrriAXmql
— Vicky Snowdon (@vef76) May 16, 2021
Naturally, other parents soon chimed in with their disgust at the matter – and shared how they too are finding it hard to buy age-appropriate clothing, and especially swimwear, for children these days.
Furious mums and dads retweeted Snowden's tweet, claiming New Look are 'sexualising' children.
One mum said: 'Holy crap, girls just don’t stand a chance of a childhood do they?'
Another added: 'I know. Couldn’t find non-padded bras for my daughter anywhere in NL. Had to get them shipped from M&S and they still had a slight shape. Aren’t natural breasts good enough anymore?'
Online, the pieces are described as 'a must for girls updating their swimwear'.
Following the backlash, New Look still opted to defend the garments, releasing the following statement:
'The bikinis in the New Look 915 range are designed with shaped foam cups to offer structure to the garment and to provide modesty for the wearer.
'This type of swimwear is widely available from other brands on the high street. We always listen to our customers and comply with all the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Responsible Retailing guidelines to create products that are age-appropriate and best suit their needs."
After Snowden posted her tweet, UK campaign group, Object, which opposes the sexual objectification of women, also reposted the images on their social media, writing:
'Stop sexualising children @newlook. It's wrong and damaging. Take them away. We object.'
— OBJECT! (@ObjectUK) May 16, 2021
Do YOU struggle to find suitable clothes for young girls?