Why Would A Child Need A Bra?
In case you haven’t heard, there is a new wardrobe accessory available to little girls, and it is becoming widely popular. Why would a child need a bra? The child’s bra, more affectionately termed the “bralette.” These little bralettes look like stretchy camisoles or tank-tops that stops at the midriff, and they come in a variety of patterns and colors. Many little girls are wearing these innocent looking garments and they are becoming so popular that major retailers like Target and Old Navy are stocking them on their shelves. But bras are traditionally for adult women, not little girls; so will allowing little girls to wear these “bras” condition them towards more adult-like behavior? Behavior that is beyond their level of maturity and understanding, while also causing children to act more like mini grown-ups and less like innocent children. According to Amy Shearn’s article, yes it does. Amy Claims that this is just one more product on the market designed to hasten our little children away from childish innocence and into maturity. Should we as parents be horrified by these “bras” and ban these unnecessary and “dangerous” garments from our daughters wardrobe? Probably not.Children model their parents behavior and reenact it in imaginary play. Wearing “bras” can be a costume piece while playing pretend. Imaginary play is extremely beneficial and is a necessary part to normal child development. When children pretend play they are engaged in high levels of cognitive activity, which enhances cognitive skills as well as increases their ability to think about things creatively. Research has also shown that make-believe games are the forerunners to things like self-regulation, including reduced aggression, delaying gratification, empathy, and civility. Every little girl dresses up in her mother’s clothes, wears her mother’s makeup, and pretends to be mom. This includes wearing her mother’s bras! I will embarrassingly admit that I did this when I was a little girl, I was pretending to be my mother. Was I psychologically harmed because I did this? So far it doesn’t seem like it. If anything, it only enhanced my pretend play, allowing me to further immerse myself in my imaginary world. It would have been nice to have a cute flower-printed bra that fit instead of my mother’s old worn out bra! Imaginary play is one thing, but what what about wearing them regularly. Won’t wearing bras too early groom our daughters to become hyper-sexualized and sensitive to gender stereotypes? These bralettes are an unprecedented article of clothing, so it is really unknown about what the long-term effects will be when worn on a daily basis. The stores that retail these garments market them as a comfortable “undershirt” and are meant to be worn under the main shirt to provide an extra layer. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with girls wanting to wear MORE clothes. In a society that is constantly bombarding girls and women with images of super-skinny models with pumped up cleavage, I think a little more modesty is needed. Mothers and fathers strive to teach their daughters to have self-esteem independent from their external appearance. And these unrealistic images of perfect women sends the message to our daughters that their looks are more important than their brains. Getting our little girls accustomed to wearing more clothes is a good thing, and hopefully this habit will stick as they get older and develop into young women themselves. Plus, when you live in a hot area, a whole camisole or tank top can be stifling and uncomfortable, making children less willing to wear a whole undershirt. When I was a kid, and when my parents where kids, and their parents were… well you get the idea, it was common to allow little girls to run around completely topless; because after all, they had nothing to show. From the waist up they look just like boys, and most parents don’t have a problem with letting their little boys run around shirtless. In this regard I would say that these little undershirts are a good thing because it allows our daughters to be more comfortably modest. You can never be too safe with your children, and you just never know what your neighbor, or the guy walking his dog down the street, is thinking when he sees your cute little girl running around topless. All in all, I would say that these little undershirts are harmless for our daughters to wear. Personally, I probably wouldn’t buy them because I am too cheap, but if my daughter wanted to buy them with her own allowance I would be okay with it.