Published April 14, 2010
Popular U.K. discount retailer Primark has pulled a line of sexy padded bikinis from its shelves after complaints from child protection agencies and criticism from a tabloid newspaper.
The bathing suits had enough padding in the halter top to make girls as young as 7-years-old look like they had breasts. They came in both black and white polka dot, and hot pink with gold stars.
The Sun newspaper ran a front page story Wednesday criticizing the suits. Soon after, child protection agencies started making calls to the retailer, saying the swimwear encouraged sexualization of children.
Dr. Keith Ablow, Fox News Medical A-Team member and psychiatrist, said he thinks that sexy clothing like these bathing suits can be dangerous to young girls.
“It can be psychologically damaging to encourage girls at age 7 or close to that age to consider themselves as sexually attractive to boys or men,” Ablow told FoxNews.com.
Even though Ablow said he thinks the retail giant did the right thing by discontinuing the swim line, he said it is just the tip of the iceberg.
“This is just a symptom of a much larger problem. You could walk through any department store in the U.S. and find many objectionable items for similar reasons,” Ablow said. “Retailers have not taken responsibility, nor parents, to choose more wisely what young girls wear.”
Primark was accused by the media for encouraging pedophilia by giving little girls the appearance of a woman’s’ figure.
“Much more often now, we encourage these girls to be young adults and it is confusing to people who have abnormal feelings towards children,” Ablow said. “A mini version of designer jeans and a halter top for children creates a confusing scenario not only for little girls, but for adolescent and older males.”
Ablow said he thinks clothes for young girls are becoming more sexually suggestive not only in style and cut, but in even more obvious ways.
“Families are routinely buying clothing with provocative wording on the back of sweat suits where ‘juicy’ appears on a girl’s backside at age 9 or 10, or the words ‘pink’ appear near a secondary sexual characteristic at age 9 or 10,” Ablow said.
In a statement, Primark said it has acknowledged concern about the product and as a result would immediately stop selling the suits. Any profits already made on the swimsuits are scheduled to be donated to a children’s charity.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.