Concerned parent Nicole Galea with daughter Jazmin, Nicole thinks little girls are growing up to fast.
Concerned parent Nicole Galea with daughter Jazmin, Nicole thinks little girls are growing up to fast. Scottie Simmonds

Girls switch Barbies for padded bras

IT seems Barbies and boardgames are a thing of our children's past, with little girls opting for bras and beauty products instead.

Underwear giant Bonds has this week come under fire for marketing padded bras and “bralettes” aimed at girls as young as six, a move that does not sit comfortably with Bundaberg mum Nicole Galea.

Mrs Galea said she had trouble finding simple kids' clothes when her daughter was born.

“They are selling all these fashionable clothes that look like they're made for adults,” she said.

“It was hard to find a simple one-piece.”

Mrs Galea said she wanted her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Jazmin, to stay a little girl as long as possible.

“I see people trying to make their kids grow up too fast, wearing make-up and high heels,” she said.

“That's okay for playing dress ups at home, but not when you're out.

“I want my little girl to be young for as long as she can.”

Impressions Lingerie owner Jenny Golchert said she thought bras made for six-year-olds were unnecessary.

“These kids need a childhood,” she said.

“They don't need bras until they start to change shape, which is usually around 12 or 13. They should enjoy being young.

“Most girls wear crop tops for as long as they can before changing to bras, around when they start high school.”

Mrs Galea, who is expecting her second child early next year, said it was not just the growing sexualisation of children that bothered her - it was the general race by youngsters to chase adult pursuits, such as having mobile phones and socialising without supervision.

“They shouldn't be allowed out alone at that age, so why would they need a phone?” she said.

“The other night, I saw a group of kids who couldn't have been any older than 10 hanging out on the street. Where were their parents?”

Psychologist Katie Murrell said quickly maturing children had come to be known as tweens.

“They are kids aged from eight to 12 who have adopted the adult way,” she said.

“In the '70s, magazine headlines aimed at this age group were things like ‘What Your Voice Says About You', but now they're ‘Sexiest Hairstyles' and ‘438 Ways to Meet Tons of Guys'.

“It used to be nice and gentle but now it is aimed at sex.”

Mrs Murrell said she had noticed changes in children over the years.

“They're a lot more vocal now,” she said.

“They are also a lot more demanding, but it's not their fault. This is what they are exposed to.”

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