Retailers Peddle Padded Bras For Girls
by Jane Metlikovec
Breast-enhancing padded bras for girls as young as six are being sold in Victorian shops
Childhood experts have warned parents they could be baiting pedophiles by dressing their young girls as raunchy women.
Tiny matching lingerie sets of lacy bras and knickers in many children's brands including Bratz, Saddle Club and Barbie, have hit the shelves aimed at girls who are barely old enough for school.
The Herald Sun last week revealed the latest Bratz Babyz range included sexually provocative baby dolls dressed in leather and lingerie.
The padded Bratz "bralettes" were among more than 30 different junior bra styles starting at size six on sale at a city Target store visited by the Herald Sun yesterday.
The Australian Family Association warned parents against sexualising their children. "We have a growing problem with pedophilia and people viewing children as sex objects," spokeswoman Angela Conway said.
"Children do not need these products and I am appalled. It is more than bad taste. The sexual portrayal of children in this country is illegal and these products are pandering to just that."
Australian Childhood Foundation CEO Dr Joe Tucci said padded bras were "the most ridiculous piece of clothing a parent could buy".
Bratz distributor Funtastic defended the range.
"The idea of the padding is for girls to be discreet as they develop," a spokeswoman said.
"It is more about hiding what you have got than showing it off. It is certainly not there to make children look like they have breasts."
Target also stood by the underwear range. It provided "fashionable items that give girls modesty and style as they go through development changes", a spokeswoman said.