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Children's bras

(61 Posts)
boheminan Tue 12-Nov-19 19:32:00

The other day I had a wander round the local Peacock store with my daughter.

We stopped to browse the children's underwear area, where I was stopped in my tracks by a display of children's bras, tiny size 28"AA's. However what I can't get out of my mind is that the cups were padded. Why??? Is it just me being silly but do little girls need padded bras? Are they seen as some sort of armour against any knocks in the chest, or (more sinister in my thoughts) to make their little breasts appear bigger.

I do realise that some young women may have the tiny bodies of children, but these garments are being displayed in the children's clothing section and small sizes of bras are also displayed separately in the adults area.

Paperbackwriter Wed 13-Nov-19 10:41:40

I would have been delighted to find a 28AA when I was 13 and had started growing. I was always absolutely tiny back then and it was hard to find anything less than 32A.

GoldenAge Wed 13-Nov-19 11:04:22

Crop tops for girls with developing breasts are absolutely fine - just because they weren't around for us. Times change, and if a cropped top helps the self-esteem of a 12-year old with a little more than a flat chest, then there's no problem. In fact, its's a responsible action, as it begins to instil some ideas of modesty. One minute we're complaining about teens showing all, and the next about them preparing themselves mentally. As for the padded issue - most bras in most stores are made in the Far East where females are smaller than in the West, and where breasts are not as big as most females would wish (as a result of looking at us fatter people in the West). A walk around any Hong Kong department store or market will reveal that bras without padding are not found. So we have a culture change coming in here as a result of mass production in a country many thousands of miles away. Personally, I hate padded bras, as in fact they provide an impression of a maturity not possessed by the young wearer and can bring unwanted attention. But cropped tops are absolutely fine in my view until a bra becomes necessary to properly support the growing tissue.

Craftycat Wed 13-Nov-19 11:37:13

I needed a bra at 11. I certainly never needed to pad it out!
I agree that girls are scared their nipples will show through a shirt so I see no problem with bras for pre- teens if they are anxious.

Alexa Wed 13-Nov-19 11:47:36

The very title made my blood run cold. The sexualisation of children is bad when pornographers do it but that children be made sexual objects in ordinary shops is appalling.

Callistemon Wed 13-Nov-19 12:30:47

Boys have nipples too.

NotSpaghetti I'd forgotten that! I knew there was a controversy.

Is the grammar school co-ed Coolgran?
Surely the changing rooms are separate?

3dognight Wed 13-Nov-19 14:21:12

I was a late developer, so when I got my Berlie (?) I think it was 28aa bra at age 14 I would have loved it to be padded! I got a blue and white checked one and a mauve and white checked one in some sort of stiff nylon.
On the other hand it must be comforting to developing girls to be able to cover their sore protruding nipples with abit of soft padding as they grow into breasts, in private!

boheminan Wed 13-Nov-19 14:26:51

These bras are a mini adaptation of adults bras, including straps to hitch the 'breasts' up. I still feel it's a rather creepy concept.

EthelJ Wed 13-Nov-19 14:50:42

I agree. They should not sell padded childrens bras. Totally unacceptable. As are any clothes (usually for girls) that make a child seem like an adult

Mimidl Wed 13-Nov-19 15:18:24

My 14 year old daughter is in a GG cup already and would never have been in these pre teen sizes.
I have to say she prefers a lightly padded bra to hide nipples and that has always been the case.
If ONLY I could buy her a £12 M&S bra! I’m forking out upwards of £30 for her bras - and sports bras can be double that! ?‍♀️

M0nica Wed 13-Nov-19 15:27:31

I think the main reason the children's bras are padded are for the same reasons that adult bras, making those shapes that look like breast plates with just one piece of fabric stretched over them is much cheaper than making a properly shaped bra, with its many different sized fabric pieces.

DGD, aged 12, and quie well formed already, just wears those simple cotton bras that look like a short crop top. and rely on stretch for fit.

tavimama Wed 13-Nov-19 17:09:25

As Mum to twin girls, both of whom were developing at a different rate (and still are), those tiny bras were a godsend.

As they went into junior school, they were taught the 'facts of life' from age 7 - leading to lots of immature behaviour from little boys when the children were changing for PE (all in the same classroom).

I tracked down some little bras in Tesco - and within one week all the girls in school had them.

Nothing wrong with preserving modesty - they grow up so quickly these days that, sadly, these things are almost a necessity.

Callistemon Wed 13-Nov-19 17:19:39

But that is putting the onus on girls to 'dress modestly' at a young age when they should, at 7, be carefree and unselfconscious about their bodies.

It's rather like saying boys/men cannot control themselves therefore women must cover themselves up.

The boys should have been reprimanded and told their behaviour was totally inappropriate.

They should be taught at a young age to respect each other.

CBBL Wed 13-Nov-19 17:26:37

At 11 I had a 34 18 34 figure and was sent home with a note saying that I should be provided with a bra (girls wore vests for PE in those days). My mother cobbled together (cutting and sewing) one of her own! I was mortified! I bought my own bra's once I left school and earned a wage. Until then, it was make do as best you can. I did my best to avoid all sports and exercise for as long as possible. I volunteered for example to run round the outside of the playing field or running track, claiming that I had not brought my kit, or was unwell, as often as possible. This only changed when I went to a school which had hot showers (unheard of in our house!).

M0nica Wed 13-Nov-19 17:56:06

Callistemon, it is no different from girls and boys wearing underpants to conceal their genitals. Female breasts are part of a woman's sexual apparatus, once they start to develop it is best if they are covered in the way genitals are.

I know in principal we should all be able walk naked down the street without fear. In the same way we should be able to go on holiday with all our valuables on display in the front window and the front door left open, but the fact of the matter is, by doing that we are offering too much opportunity to those less well intentioned and I think there is a happy point between being recklessly trusting and obsessively protective. I think that point is reached when girls who have reached an age where there breasts are beginning to develop. At that point they should wear some kind of light underwear top.

Tedber Wed 13-Nov-19 18:38:09

I haven't seen any of the bras in question but assuming they aren't on the lines of 'Wonder bras' each to their own.

I was trying to think back to my first bra or indeed my daughters' first ones and I can't remember! I think I was more interested in wearing sheer stockings before my mum thought I was old enough and I went and bought a suspender belt with my pocket money. I can remember that vividly! mum wasn't happy at all and when I grew up and imagined having daughters... I wondered at what age THEY would demand to wear stockings, and what age I would think it appropriate! Of course it never happened because in meantime tights came in and actually NON of my daughters wanted to wear sheer tights or stockings - and still don't lol.

I don't think it is a huge issue t.b.h.

Hetty58 Wed 13-Nov-19 18:46:09

My very thin and entirely flat chested (9 yr old) gd says she has to wear a bra top - because all her friends do!

Saggi Wed 13-Nov-19 19:08:19

Should be stopped.... it’s promoting child sexuality! Disgraceful!

Luckygirl Wed 13-Nov-19 19:10:07

I think we need to remember how important it is to adolescent girls to be like their peers.

I was a really skinny lass (please note the WAS!) and all my friends had bras - I was the odd one out. I was desperate to have a bra like all my friends. My Mum was very unsympathetic to this and it took a lot of persuasion for her to give in.

I made sure that all 3 of my DDs were listened to and the appropriate garment produced as wanted. I did not think of it in a sexual way, but just wanted them to be able to hold their head up amongst their peers.

Callistemon Wed 13-Nov-19 19:14:38

M0nica I realise some girls may start to develop at 7 but it is very rare.
I was responding to tavimama's post where she specified Y3 girls and boys.

Callistemon Wed 13-Nov-19 19:17:47

Yes, I agree Luckygirl but tavimama mentioned pre-puberty girls who have just started Y3.

I hope my nearly 8 year old DGD will not be that self-conscious about herself.

jennilin Wed 13-Nov-19 19:22:26

Bras for children and adult fashion for children is inappropriate . let children enjoy their childhood . It's too short as it is

Merryweather Wed 13-Nov-19 20:25:59

At 5 and 8 both of my girls hate changing for PE in a mixed room. Children know from an early age the differences between male and female. To be honest I'm not happy with co Ed changing. Some if the boys are real pervs already. So I personally think it's needed to protect their modesty as the teachers don't. Even at their catholic school!
FYI, a light padding is needed to stop young ladies nipples showing which are much larger and protrude further than boys. They are trying to protect themselves from being over-sexualised. And well done to them. Who wants all that testosterone driven attention.

4allweknow Thu 14-Nov-19 00:06:25

Think the padding is very light. If you feel it, it is about as thick as two pieces of cloth. Adult padded bras are different!, they can be very thick with the intention of boosting the size of the bust. Can understand the young girls wanting the padding to hide nipples.

Jaxie Thu 14-Nov-19 07:39:46

What about bikini tops worn by toddler girls on the beach. If that isn't sexualising a child I don't know what is.

M0nica Thu 14-Nov-19 08:09:00

Its not sexualising, I actually think it is excessive prudishness and fear of sexualising - that some one on the beach is a paedophile and seeing a toddler exposing their chest area or genital area might lead to their child being abused in the offender's mind, if not actually.