Store Unveils Padded Bikini for Girls

Jodi - posted on 03/28/2011 ( 58 moms have responded )

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Famous for its risqué advertising and controversial staff look policy, Abercrombie & Fitch has hit headlines again for promoting padded bikinis for teens and tweens.

The fashion chain released a range of bikinis for girls aged eight to 14 called the ‘Ashley push-up triangle’ top which features thick padding in the cup to give the illusion of a larger chest size.

The Abercrombie Kids range has sparked outrage among parents for over sexualizing children; "You should be ashamed!" one commenter wrote on the company's website. "Remove the suits from the stores!"

"Shame on you for sexualizing small children," another added. "In a world where parents work hard to keep their children safe, you go and make little girls look like they have breasts? Perverts."

While the company may be ducking fire for its latest questionably marketed clothing, over sexualizing tweens is not new ground for Abercrombie, which stirred up controversy when it started selling thongs to pint sized customers in 2002.

A range of thongs bearing the words 'wink wink' and 'eye candy' sold by the retailer for the same age group in 2002 sparked a similar debate, but Abrecrombie Kids refused to recall the line.

The company said at the time: 'The underwear for young girls was created with the intent to be lighthearted and cute. Any misrepresentation of that is purely in the eye of the beholder.'

Last year, Primark, a major British clothing retailer sparked protests after it tried to market padded bikini tops for kids. It eventually pulled the tops after politicians, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, voiced concerns over the swimsuits.

http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/fashion/fe...

Ok, personally, I don't get why a kid NEEDS to have her breasts padded out. Not in this age group, not ever. Why is it that we feel the need to force our children to grow up before they need to. I would not even put my daughter in one of those bikini tops WITHOUT the padding, let alone with it. Why are we sexualising our children, and why are we ALLOWING these companies to keep bringing out these lines of clothing for our little girls?

What are your thoughts?

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I think light padding in swimsuits is a must for some 10 year olds. I had to wear a bra when I was 6.I was a c cup by the time i was 10. It was quite embarrassing going swimming in a child's bathing suit because my nipples would show through it. My mom took adult bathing suits with under wire and light padding and altered them so i would be more comfortable. Too much padding to give breasts to those who do not have them yet is wrong though.

Jenni - posted on 03/28/2011

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I'll have to take your word for it on the delias one. My desktop is on the fritz and won't load the page.



I do understand that there are far more risque products on the market. My issue isn't with padding meant to cover nipples, i'd prefer that! Of course there are girls that develop early. I realize no matter how an early developer is dressed she's likely to attract the attention of 'older men'.



The real problem I have with sexualized products sold to tweens (or teens) is one of self-esteem and objectification. The strong, underlying message that you're not good enough the way you are... you have to enhance this or that. Very damaging to young children, teens self-esteem. Putting importance on sexual allure to an age not emotionally or mentally capable of handling the responsibilities that go along with attracting the other sex.



Commercialism puts so much importance on sexual attraction not just for adults but for tweens who are highly impressionable. Sex sells and if there's a market for it, any age group is fair game.



A young girl in today's society has to combat images of flawless models (unachievable physical perfection), ideas that her sexuality is more important than who she is as a person, you're not good enough the way you are: You need bigger breasts, highlighted hair, make up, in style clothing. It's in their music, in television, in movies, on bus stops, in the mall... this stylized vision of physical perfection used to get tweens and teens to plea with their parents to buy more products to reach this unattainable goal.



If the bikini's are just padded to hide nipples. So be it. I won't get my panties in knots over that. But this whole debate just stirs up my resentment for commercialism.



Btw: I *never* call another woman a 'slut'.... It's a word of oppression... I personally despise the word and wish it would fall out of usage in the english language. Adult women who have sexual freedom are inspiring and encouraging to me. For the most part, they understand the responsibilites and consequences of sex or dressing sexy. As long as they understand the difference between sexual liberty and objectification.



Anyone interested in this subject "Sexy Inc." is a good watch. It's about the hypersexualization of children through commercialism.

Nikki - posted on 03/28/2011

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Our society is really screwed up.

Amanda your comment really saddens me, young woman need to learn to love themselves for who they are, not what their friends look like.

Unrealistic expectations and the need to look perfect is a huge contributing factor to self esteem issues.

Jenni - posted on 03/28/2011

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It was the 'preteen' grouping that really caught my eye more than anything else on this thread. Age 9-12 or 13 even. My objection isn't really a moral one, it's an objection to the commercialization of sexuality to younger and younger age groups.

Brandi - posted on 03/28/2011

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Oh, Jennifer, I didn't take it that way.. I was just clarifying why I felt/feel that way.

I mean, I don't agree with children 8 years old wearing these things, but I see no problem with a 13 or 14 year old to wear one. Granted, it better not look slutty. I just don't see a problem with this swimsuit if it was for a young teen. I think it is cute.

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58 Comments

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Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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My daughter told me a joke today....why are push up bras like chip bags?? Once you get into them....they are only half full!!

Jen - posted on 02/26/2012

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SHEESH when i was that age i didn't start until 14 and even my friends were all about 12.

Isobel - posted on 02/26/2012

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yeah, my 10 year old AND her best friend are totally starting puberty...I don't think I'd go out and buy my kid a leopard print padded bra, but she does have bras

Isobel - posted on 02/26/2012

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my 10 year old is having a sleepover right now and I went upstairs last night (and of course the entire contents of the suitcase were everywhere and my daughters friend has a leopard print padded bra with her...yeah :/

Jen - posted on 02/26/2012

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I think tops for 8 years old are ridiculous anyway as they look the same as boys. But this attempt to sexualize little girls truly is disgraceful.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/26/2012

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All I can say is it sickens me to know that there are actual parents out there that would purchase this for their young daughter.



I for one never would. Actually my daughter only "just" started being allowed to wear a bikini top for swimming last year, it is a normal type though. She must wear the skirt type bottoms... There is no need to show your stuff, I mean come on the intention is to go swimming not a fashion show for showing all....



BTW - I understand the concept behind a little padding but push up and lots of padding?? That's a bit too far...

Mrs. - posted on 02/26/2012

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I was trying to figure out why someone would drag out this year old thread...now i know it was to sell homemade tween swimsuits.

Diane - posted on 02/25/2012

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its pathetic, I think as parents we need more "picky" to buy undies for our kids. sadly some companies sell not appropriate tween age bra. thats why my friend ended up making them herself as she coudln't get any nice ones. you can check her site out or look up http://ZinkyZoo.com and sorry for the link, but I thoguht it was ok for the subject.

Casey - posted on 03/28/2011

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ok so I just read a couple of other mums posts about this bikini and I can see their point (the padding stops their nipples from showing) so I guess it is a judgement call that a parent has to make for their own child and whats best for them, but if you don't like it then don't buy it.

Casey - posted on 03/28/2011

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I'm lucky enough to have been blessed with a son so I don't have to deal with this kind of thing at the moment however if we did have a daughter there is no way on earth she would be allowed to wear a bikini until she was 18 lol let alone a padded one to enhance her cleavege!!! I think it's very wrong and I can't understand why any parent would want to buy this for their child.
I think the company needs to re-think it's ideas but really it's up to the parent to just not buy the product, if a company has an idea that might make them a buck then obviously they will run with it but it doesn't mean we have to get sucked in a buy it and if your child screams and begs then just tell them no after all your the parent.

Stifler's - posted on 03/28/2011

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And I agree about the padding making it more comfortable as your nipples aren't showing through the lycra when there's a thick bit there. That's the reason I buy padded bikini tops.

Stifler's - posted on 03/28/2011

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I've been wearing bikinis exactly like that with the tie sides since I was 12. Everyone wears them here.

[deleted account]

If my daughter inherits my breasts...you better believe she will be wearing one so people won't see a ten year olds nipples. Which one do you think is going to get more stares, hard nipples through a thin bathing suit or covered nipples and a shaping top?

America3437 - posted on 03/28/2011

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If we as parent's don't purchase them or allow our girls to either then who are they going to sell them to! Where have all the parents gone !!!!

Amanda - posted on 03/28/2011

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So I checked out the links, walmart, zellers and many other stores have been sellin these bathing suits for years for preteens. They even sell them for toddlers (without padding) but same style. If you dont like it dont buy it, when parents dont buy it fashion changes!

Jenni - posted on 03/28/2011

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I'm sorry you were hurt by those comments. It's not fair for anyone to be made to feel that way.
But if it weren't breast size... it would be something else that set you apart. I'm sure girls who develop early or are well-endowed have their share of comments and are treated differently by others.... well... in fact I know they are.

It is the way it is. But it shouldn't have to be, that's all I'm trying to say.

PS: I wasn't singling you out and saying you lacked confidence in other areas. I was speaking in general. About my feelings that the importance of sexuality on young girls is far too disproportionate.

Brandi - posted on 03/28/2011

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I am not saying that I wasn't confident in myself.. I mean with my knowledge and my witty attitude, of course I was confident. But, to this day, snide comments from people because they think I am younger than what I actually am, those hurt. A lot of those comments come from lack of boobs.. do I think it is stupid? Of course I do. But, it happens. That's how it is. If I was walking around with a full C cup I pretty much doubt I would have those comments. In fact, I know I wouldn't. I was a full C when I was pregnant, before I started showing. So, I just had a normal, fit body with big boobs. People treat you much differently. It's true.

Jenni - posted on 03/28/2011

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Hey I have nothing to brag about, believe me... never had. I don't know... it never really bothered me. I'm not going to say there weren't times I wish I had bigger breasts to fill out a bikini better but it wasn't something I dwelled on either.

Why do we as a society put so much importance on a woman's breast size? Why are there so many young girls who feel this sort of pressure in the first place? Shouldn't we be getting our self-esteem and confidence from our abilities, our hobbies, our goals and achievements. Not our breast size? Really, what does that have to do with anything aside from sexuality? Our breasts have two functions; sexuality and to provide nourishment to our babies. The latter is not affected by breast size.

Fine, if some of our confidence comes from our sexuality or appeal I think that's natural. Even men/boys experience that. But when young women base more of their confidence on their sexuality it can be self-destructive. We run into issues of being objectified rather than impowered.

Brandi - posted on 03/28/2011

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I am 26 years old I barely wear a 32B. I hated that all my friends had boobs and I didn't... I can somehow see how this could be helpful to a girl in highschool who is very self conscious of her body. I wish I had this option when I was in school. It is very embarrassing... still to this day I am compared to a 12 year old because of breast size. I think for an 8 year old it is a little extreme, but for a 13 or 14 year old, honestly I don't see why not. If it makes them more confident in themselves, I am for it.

LaCi - posted on 03/28/2011

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Honestly, I just don't care.

I think 8 is too young for padding. A 13 year old might have breast envy, her peers have got boobs, she doesn't. So, I just don't really care. I think my best bud was stuffing tissues in her training bra at that point. What's the difference?

Rosie - posted on 03/28/2011

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i guess i'd have to see them IRL first. if they are thin, and more for covering nipples then i would actually want that for my child. if it's padding is to give the illusion of substantially more breast, than yeah, it's pretty disgusting.

Isobel - posted on 03/28/2011

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I actually faced this last month. My daughter needed a bathing suit for swimming class in February and the only place I could find one was at Sport Check ($50 stupid dollars for a Roxy Girl suit but that's another story...lesson: don't shop for kids bathing suits in February).

Anyhoo...the suits in her size were all either super-athletic speedos (that she would never wear in a million years), or string bikinis. We finally found a two piece that was kinda cute and chunky (cause that's my rule, it can be two pieces but those pieces need to be substantial) but it had "pads" in the top. They were really thin, probably more for concealing nipples than padding the boobs but still...it made her look like she had boobs and she doesn't.

It was honestly a living nightmare before the saleslady finally realized that you can pull them out but I was truly shocked at how inappropriate MOST of the bathing suits were.

If she HAD breast buds I would probably have let her keep the "pads" in because they would push them in a little and make them look a little less awkward, but I have a problem with ten-year-olds faking boobs...seems like they're being sexualized too early for my liking.

Bonnie - posted on 03/28/2011

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I don't think girls under the age of 13 should be wearing bikinis padded or not. They should be wearing one piece bathing suits.

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2011

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Hard to tell about the Vic Secret one, it's on a model. Suits look different on models.



And yeah, if my tween came to me and wanted a little padding, I'd probably just be happy she was talking to me and not sulking in the corner ashamed to do so.



I kinda think that if you have a problem with the inappropriate nature of these suits bugs folks...it's probably more the whole bikini aspect. Easy then, don't buy a bikini....and call the other mom's kids slutty ;) (or just call the moms clueless).



When I was 12 with a D cup, it didn't matter what I wore, I always got attention in a swimsuit. Mostly, from other kid's moms giving me dirty looks. Now that's hard.



I gotta go to class...if I don't respond for the rest of the day (I know some folks get excited if you don't respond in the middle of a debate), I'm busy doing that stuff and spending time with the family.



Enjoy the rest of the day. I'll peek back later if it's still interesting.

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2011

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http://store.delias.com/item.do?itemID=5...

Delias is a "junior" store yes? The whole swimsuit section is far worse than this "Ashley" thing.

Not to mention, the nipple thing. How ruthless can tweens be about the "nip-on" effect? A little bit of padding could avoid that whole problem...not that I ever had that problem (cough, cough).

Jenni - posted on 03/28/2011

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Ok. That one looks far different from the first link. No, that one doesn't look overly padded. I personally still wouldn't put a tiny triangle topped bikini on my preteen. I do understand that it's probably getting more hype than it should over the padding.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/28/2011

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You can actually see how thick that padding is, and no way in fucking hell am I gonna let my young preteen daughter wear a string bikini! OVER MY DEAD BODY!

This certainly looks like it could be in victoria secret. I don't find clothing like this suitable for young girls. If you are fine with it, go for it. Just expect negative attention from the wrong people.

Jenni - posted on 03/28/2011

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I don't know Rebecca, I'm still a little skeptical. It looks like there's more than enough padding to hide nipples. It looks like an adult style padded bikini.

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2011

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http://www.abercrombiekids.ca/webapp/wcs...

This is what we're talking about. Hardly the Victoria Secret collection. I don't see the difference between this and half the shit I see at the tween stores. In fact, Old Navy and Gap make really similar products for infants. There may even be a bit of padding for the whole nipple issue. The difference is the marketing, which was in the article but no longer seems to be on the official page (‘Ashley push-up triangle’ top which features thick padding in the cup to give the illusion of a larger chest size.). So, if they removed that language (was it there originally or was that just a press release to stir up marketing?) and it was just in the store, would you even notice? I wouldn't have. I think this is just a ploy to stir up a buzz with a product that doesn't seem all that different than many of the tween suits I've seen at any of the major stores.

Jenni - posted on 03/28/2011

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The whole marketing of sex to children just disgusts me.

The problem is... if there's a market for it. They'll sell it. Make up for example use to be marketed to 20-30 somethings, then they discovered a new market in teens... nowadays they market it to tweens and it keeps going down the line.... at this rate when my children are grown people will be putting padded bikinis on their one year olds.

I'm sorry to be so harsh but any parent willing to buy 'sexualized' products for their tweens or allow them to wear them. Needs to get their head examined.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/28/2011

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Most underwire bras that have the padding you are refering to, is a very slender pad that actually is to hide an erect nipple and give the illusion of being smooth...without telling everyone you are cold. That is different than buying a padded bra to give the illusion of bigger breasts to a young girl that hasn't fully developed.

ME - posted on 03/28/2011

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So...I think these are disgusting and unnecessary, but I also think that parents who would purchase these padded bras or suits for their 7-12 year olds are far more to blame than the store!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/28/2011

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I am talking about the swimsuites that also have like a jogging bra inside of them. Infact, some 2 pieces that are not bikinis are really cute and offer more support than anything else.

Not everyone needs to have a name brand. Some people cannot afford it, and if my kid wants a name brand to be like everyone else, tough shit. If we cannot afford it, and they are not happy with what they have...tough shit.

I was fine with being different than everyone else. Not wanting to look like everyone else..green hair before it was "cool", lip ring before it was excepted (in 10th grade, well before body piercing was popular). I want my kids to embrace their differences with their bodies, personnalities, expressing themselves not with the latest fasion...but rather how they treat people etc. This is not to say I want them to never fit in, but if they find that fitting in is having big boobs, and name brands...well..then I will not feel I have done my job to its fullest.

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2011

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Why is "support", by that I'm guessing you mean underwire, different than padding? Most underwire swimsuits or bras have some padding. I'm pretty sure, if what you say is correct, the tween padding revolution has already happened without much outrage.

The fact of the matter is, girls are developing faster these days. By that, I mean like at 10-13, which is the tween market. They seem to be catering to that market. I'm just saying that, when I was in that situation, I would have very much liked a name brand swim suit like Ambercrombie to wear that would have been like the ones my friends were wearing.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/28/2011

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Now a days, they make plenty of swimsuites for young girls with support that don't include padding. Or even if a girl is well endowed and needs to use and adult swimsuit, there are plenty with support that are young and hip looking. Some girls develop faster than others, but to market a padded bra or bathing suit to make girls look like they have bigger boobs at such a young age is totally innappropriate. Why can't kids just be kids without having to look more mature? This is not just going to capture the attention of little boys, but adult men. WRONG!

Mrs. - posted on 03/28/2011

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Wait, I'm confused. I thought the market was tweens and teens. I'm not even sure Ambercrombie sells clothes that fit a 7 year old.

I find padding gives a bit of support. When I was 9, I was a B cup, at 10 I had my period and was a C cup and by 12 I was already a D. I would have loved a little "support".

The other thing is, at that age, when my boobs looked like they belonged to an 18 year old, I had to wear ugly old lady suits. It was embarrassing. I wasn't thrilled with getting boobs before everyone else but wearing my mother's bathing suit was less thrilling. What I really wanted was a bathing suit that looked like a young tween would wear it and had room (or the support) for my expanded ta-tas. So, yeah, I would have been pretty excited to feel like the rest of my peers in a trendy swimsuit that actually fit me. That is if my parents could have afforded it - Ambercrombie can be pricey.

Jodi - posted on 03/28/2011

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Yeah, I saw that too Tracey. My husband and I were lost for words, to be honest.

Sneaky - posted on 03/28/2011

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For the life of me, I can not figure out why anyone would want to stick a seven year old into a padded, skimpy bikini top (yes, seven years old was the target customer that they were discussing on the news report I saw tonight). The idea makes me physically want to vomit.

Amanda - posted on 03/28/2011

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Niki I agree its sad, but its reality. Many children want to be like their peers, its human nature. Come on as adults, we dress to impress, put on make up (some of us) to make ourselves feel good. We eat well to look good (some of us), plenty of us work out. People spend a lot of money on teeth whiting, hair dye, and many other things to look good. So its a no wonder our preteens, want padded bathing suits (btw padded bras for preteens have been out for years now which is no different).

Stifler's - posted on 03/28/2011

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I never even had big boobs, just was freaked out that I had any and didn't want them. I was a weird kid.

Jodi - posted on 03/28/2011

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To be totally honest, I was thankful to have small breasts - I was a horserider, including showjumping and cross country racing. I know someone who had to give up showjumping because of her boobs. It was a relief to be so small because that never became an issue, LOL.

I'm with Nikki, I think there are always some positives, and we should find the positives in who we are instead of trying to change ourselves.

[deleted account]

You know, my first reaction was disgust, but then I thought about it and I'm torn. The clothing line is for "Tweens" is that not 10-13 year olds?

If it is marketed for kids under 10 then I'll stick with my original disgust, but if it is for 10-13 year olds, I would reconsider because many tweens start developing breasts earlier than others. As a girl who didn't get breasts until well into my teen years, I was always self conscious in the summer and avoided swim tops. If the padding helps them fit in with the "bigger girls" I don't see a problem. The pads should be removable though, because those with breasts already won't need them (they look funny on someone with breasts anyway--if you've seen them, they bulge in the wrong place if the natural breasts are too big).

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/28/2011

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I was in 4th grade when I started getting little boobie buds. I really didn't even notice. I wore a white t shirt to school one day, and the teacher told my mom that either I needed to wear a bra, or stop wearing white t shirts. How embarassing.

Stifler's - posted on 03/28/2011

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pss Marina I tried to hide my breasts at that age too. I always wore crop tops to try and flatten them down. Then by 15 I was like I have boobs so what and started wearing normal bras and that's when the bra snapping started.

Jodi - posted on 03/28/2011

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Ah, Marina, you should try going through the bra snapping age with no bra, that was embarrassing too. You should have seen the looks on the boys faces when they tried to snap my bra......I had no boobs until I was 14, LOL. I probably would have loved one of these things at 12 or 13 :D

Stifler's - posted on 03/28/2011

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G strings for little kids WHAT!!! Why do they need padding lol I doubt their breasts are saggy at that age!! Ridiculous.

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