Clothing retailer Primark is being blasted on social media for sexualizing young girls by selling them padded bras.

By Hollee Actman Becker
July 31, 2017
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Apparently padded bras for tweens are a thing. And after one mom woman spotted a pink version with a tag that read "My First Bra" at Primark, she snapped a pic and posted it on Twitter, where she then took the retailer to task for sexualizing young girls.

It should be noted that the tag on the bras doesn't actually specify an age range. But the word "first" on the tag along with the whimsical bows-and-polka-dot styling have led many parents to believe the undergarments in question are being marketed to girls between ages 7 and 13.

One the one hand, I totally understand the outrage. Why on earth would a retailer make a padded bra for a child who is just starting to hit puberty, essentially telling her that body isn't good enough as is? But on the other hand, there is a part of me that gets it. Back when my own daughter was a tween, she begged me to buy her padded bralettes at Target because she was embarrassed by her changing body, and the extra bit of padding simply provided more coverage.

And that's exactly the argument Primark made to Cosmopolitan UK.

"We would like to be absolutely clear that these bras are molded, not padded," the spokesperson explained. "'My first bra' ranges are designed and constructed purely for support, comfort, and modesty. There is no enhancement. This type of molded bra is extremely common, and selling them is entirely normal practice."

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That may be. But adding the bright pink tag with stars that look weirdly similar to the ones on the American Girl logo probably didn't help. What do you think—are padded bars for tweens OK if they are relatively modest in design? Let us know in the comments!

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram

Comments (1)

Anonymous
March 24, 2019
During development, that little bit of padding is for comfort and avoiding nipples showing. Also, I have seen adult bras in those patterns, so I'm not sure where the author gets off acting like these are trying to lure the unsuspecting into a shady practice. A moulded, lightly padded style is more comfortable and easier on sensitive parts. The thin cloth variety literally did nothing but dig into my ribs and shoulders and cover nothing when I was a kid, I will not wear that kind as an adult. But you know. It's nice to shame people for practical underwear. Right?