An MP has slammed high street giant Matalan for selling a young girl’s bra which says is “too sexualised” for children.
Sarah Champion, Shadow Minister for Preventing Abuse and Domestic Violence, says the £4 item of underwear, which is marketed by the firm as an “ideal first bra” for young girls, is “totally unsuitable.”
The politician was contacted by a concerned parent about the bra which is sold in the 2-to-13-years-old section via the Matalan website.
She said: “The bra is totally unsuitable for young girls. The design of the bra, which is black, with padding and a plunge-front, is too sexualised for any young child.
“Furthermore, despite advertising this as a ‘teen’ bra, the sizes available to buy are tiny, which means that the girls actually wearing the item could be younger than eight.
“Matalan are compounding this issue by selling the bra in the 2-to-13-years-old section.”
She added: “The sale of clothes like this contributes to the sexualisation of children. These garments put children at risk and could be used in abusive images.
“It is tough enough for parents to protect their children from abuse without high-street stores selling items that make their job more difficult.
“I am calling on Matalan to engage with the parent who contacted me and remove the item of clothing from their stores immediately.”
A spokesman for Matalan said: “Since 2011 we have been working in conjunction with Mumsnet, where this sensitive issue was raised as part of their ‘Let Girls be Girls’ campaign.
“We purposely ensure that our girls bras are not sold to specific ages but are sold in sizes. They have been developed following customer feedback that girls want bras to protect their modesty at this sensitive age.
“The bras in question are not padded so as to enhance cleavage but are a smooth moulded shape to act as a modesty and comfort layer.
“We conduct thorough tests and speak to our customers for their feedback and as such, will always investigate any claims against Matalan regarding the suitability of our products. We take our commitment as a family business seriously, and Matalan is the only retailer in the UK to currently hold the Mumsnet Gold Award for being family friendly, an award we’ve held for the last three years.”