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“Sex sells because people are buying”

April 29, 2011

PreventionRecently, Abercrombie and Fitch came under attack for including a push-up swim top for girls as young as seven years old. After the public expressed outrage, A&F changed their stance on push-up swimwear to market the product for older women–like, 12-year olds–and removed the top (called the “Ashley”) from its collection entirely.

LZ Granderson, a CNN columnist, responded to the headlines coming from the point of view as a parent. He pictured the PowerPoint presentation pitched to Abercrombie execs that led to the business conclusion that there was a market for making young girls hot. “That’s the purpose of a push-up bra, right? To enhance sex appeal by lighting up, pushing together and basically showcasing the wearer’s breasts,” Granderson writes.

His point? “Sex only sells because people are buying it.”

“…I guess I’ve been out-of-the-loop and didn’t realize there’s been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel. What’s that you say? Ten-year-olds can’t drive? They don’t have money, either? Well, how else are they getting ahold of these push-up bras…?

Their parents? Noooo, couldn’t be. What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? What parent is looking at their sweet, little girl thinking, ‘She would be perfect if she just had a little bit more up top.’

And then I realize as creepy as it is to think a store like Abercrombie is offering something like the ‘Ashley’, the fact remains that sex only sells because people are buying it. No successful retailer would consider introducing an item… if they didn’t think people would buy it … [Emphasis ours]

…It’s easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what’s appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.

Granderson notes that the consquences of sexualizing young girls isn’t going unnoticed. “In 2007, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression.”

Click here for the original post by LZ Granderson, a weekly columnist for and senior writer/columnist for ESPN. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 21, 2011 1:20 pm

    The only thing I can think of that would be beneficial about these would be more modesty for younger girl who are naturally endowed with bigger gifts from God and need something that’s small enough for their tiny figure but gives padded support. Also, I am extremely tiny myself and have a hard time finding anything that fits my figure. When I was seven, I certainly wasn’t thinking about the fact that I was flat. That didn’t happen until I was ten when I started developing. I began wearing t-shirts over my bathing suits because I was embarrassed about my small chest. At 25, I would probably fit these bikinis meant for seven-year-olds perfectly. HOWEVER, I wouldn’t! I much prefer the style of the one piece bathing suits from the 50s and have mine custom made for my tiny figure.

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