SEX abuse campaigners are calling for a “disgusting and irresponsible” child’s padded bra to be removed from shelves over fears it could sexualise little girls.
Rotherham CSE survivor and campaigner “Jessica” and MP Sarah Champion have backed the online campaign started by abuse case worker Judith Staff.
Judith, based in Northampton, tweeted Matalan on Sunday after seeing a black bra in the girls’ underwear section.
The £4 bra has a label which reads: “My First Bra, with soft padding, has been designed to give you maximum comfort and modesty.”
The bra — stocked in the Matalan branch at Parkgate shopping — starts from 28AA and goes to early teenage years.
Judith’s tweet said: “Can you explain why little girls need a black padded bra, as this won’t fit child over 8?”
Jessica — not her real name — said: “Why can’t children be allowed to be children?
“A padded bra for young girls sends out completely the wrong message.
“These bras need removing completely. If an 18-year-old woman wants to wear one, that’s her choice as an adult.
“But this is different and needs to be stopped.”
Judith continued: “It wouldn’t even fit a four-year-old. Not sure who it would be meant for?
“The child it would fit would be no more than eight, it doesn’t fit our little seven-year-old when tried as a test.”
Ms Champion said the bra was totally unsuitable for young girls.
She added: “The design of the bra, which is black with padding and a plunge-front, is too sexualised for any young child.
“The sale of clothes like this contributes to the sexualisation of children. These garments put children at risk and could be used in abusive images.”
Matalan said in a statement that girls’ bras were not sold to specific ages but in sizes.
“They have been developed following customer feedback that girls want bras to protect their modesty at this sensitive age,” the firm said.
“The bras in question are not padded so as to enhance cleavage but are a smooth, moulded shape to act as a modesty and comfort layer.
“We conduct thorough tests and speak to our customers for their feedback and as such, will always investigate any claims against Matalan regarding the suitability of our products.”
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.