Abercrombie padded bikini tops
But shockingly, one of America's largest clothing retail chains, Abercrombie & Fitch, is marketing padded bikini tops to girls as young as eight.
Included in the current spring line for Abercrombie Kids (a division of the fashion company specifically dedicated to eight to 14 year olds) is the "Ashley" Push-Up Triangle -- a triangular-shaped bikini top which comes complete with thick padding.
Moms and child development experts are aghast over the garment and the damage it could potentially do to young girls in making them feel inadequate with their pre-adolescent bodies.
"This is appalling! If a parent buys a padded bikini for an eight-year-old, children's services should be called! The sexualization of teens is bad enough and now this trend is trickling down to our babies," parenting expert Dr. Janet Rose said."If we continue to try to make our children value 'sexy' I shudder to think what damage we are doing to their future self-concepts and adult values. In the long run, I fear we are creating girls who will suffer from low self-esteem and all the issues that go along with that," Rose added.
A rep for Abercrombie & Fitch was not immediately available for comment.
Los Angeles-based psychologist, Dr. Nancy Irwin, said wearing a chest-boosting bikini top at such a young age can pave the way for sexual promiscuity.
"Wearing a padded bra at that age when unnecessary is encouraging sexual precociousness, a dangerous muscle to flex for the girl as well as for peers and predators," she explained.
Other experts say the onus is on parents, not the fashion industry, over what young children wear.
"It doesn't matter much, these days, as to what the comments are surrounding what the fashion industry has decided our teeny-bopper sex tantalizers should adorn themselves in," said Shirlee Smith, CEO/Founder of "Talk About Parenting With Shirlee Smith.
"I'm slapping the blame on moms for not seeing any further than their own breast implants when it comes to purchasing push-uppers for girls that don't, as yet,