Inevitably the release of a new bra for nine-year-olds at Tesco’s has caused a storm, even though the bras has been developed in a partnership between Mumsnet and Tesco.
The bra in question is the Tesco Fleur First bra, which is aimed at girls hitting puberty early. Personally I can’t see what all the fuss is about. It’s a totally inoffensive bra and in no way sexy and comes either as a crop top sports bra in sizes extra small to medium or a traditional soft triangle shape from sizes 28AA to 34B. Plus it is non-padded and non-wired and made of cotton. Yet, despite this I’ve heard and read some ridiculous things about how ‘unnecessary’ this bra is with some people saying girls hitting puberty don’t need bras (they do actually) and others saying it’s all a ruse to make money.
Having been an early developer I would have loved a bra like this instead of the embarrassing training bra my mum had to buy. My version came with thick straps and was in beige (very embarrassing when I had to get changed for PE) and was very obvious under my school uniform.
However, what all the whiners don’t seem to be getting is this bra is not about the sexualisation of girls, but about filling a need. Statistics now show girls are starting puberty a year earlier than 20 years ago, meaning some will start as young as 9 years. And developing breasts even when they are a 28AA need a bra for a number of reasons:
(1) Unsupported breasts (even when they are small) can be painful if they are not supported.
(2) Many girls hitting puberty find it embarrassing to wear a vest or nothing at all under their clothes especially at school when they have to change for PE.
(3) Mothers of pre-teens know all of the above and want an affordable bra (the Fleur bra is £5) for their daughters that they can update at regular intervals.
So all in all I think it’s well done for Tesco but what do you think? Is the Fleur First Bra a good idea or yet more exploitation? Let me know.