WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 29, 2011, 08:28 AM

New padded bikini top for young girls is heavily scrutinized

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Whether it is half naked models plastered across its magazine and store walls, or racy outfits for kids to adults, Abercrombie and Fitch has made a name for itself by pushing boundaries in fashion. And they're at it again, this time a push-up, padded bikini tops for 8-year olds.

The instant, the company came out with this new padded bikini top called the Ashley, it's been heavily scrutinized across the country.

This is video of the bikini. You can see it's heavily padded and it was first marketed as the push-up triangle for girls 8 to 17. It is enough to get plenty of reaction from parents in Fargo.

CATHY SCHWINDEN – Parent: "Just inappropriate clothes. Girls should get to be kids for awhile."

PATRICK HARLING – Parent: "They're already starting to look a little bit racy for a younger age, obviously 7 is way too young."

LESLIE WEGNER – Parent: "I think things are going too far and I mean it goes with Halloween costumes and their little dance outfits and all sorts of things so."

After word began to spread of disgruntled parents, the bikini switched to the striped triangle on the Abercrombie website. Almost everyone we talked to today told us they weren't surprised when hearing about the push up bikini, blaming bad parents for creating a market for something like this.

PATRICK HARLING – Parent: "Stupid shows like toddlers and tiaras on, I don't even know what channel it's on, but I’ve seen commercials for it and it's disgusting. It almost seems like, the mother is like oh she likes it, but no I think it's for the mother."

CATHY SCHWINDEN – Parent: "To be able to be a child and not have those kinds of pressures put on you is becoming very rare very difficult, I don't want that for my granddaughter and it wasn't like that for my daughters."

Child psychiatrist Rachel Fleissner told us self image and body image is in a lot of 8-year olds minds. She says it comes from their environment, magazines, commercials, and media, all of them shouting sex sells and thin is in.

RACHEL FLEISSNER – Psychiatrist: "The 8-10 year olds will think it's cool if their friends think it's cool, if it becomes something that is popular in their community."

Emails and voicemails to Abercrombie went unreturned today. Also, as of today we could no longer find the push up, padded bikini on the company's website.