There’s nothing a politician likes more than to climb on the bandwagon of moral outrage, but even bearing that in mind, Labour’s Sarah Champion seems to be particularly hysterical / opportunist (delete as applicable).
You might expect the MP for Rotherham to be more concerned with that city’s organised child sex abuse rings that recently made headlines. But no – she is instead outraged at supposedly ‘sexy’ underwear aimed at children, being sold by clothing retailer Matalan.
After being contacted by a ‘concerned parent’, she told the Sheffield Star that “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.”
This is Sarah Champion, and that is the sexually provocative bra in her hands:
Now, we might be jaded old degenerates here at The Reprobate, but is that really such a sexual item of underwear? It’s hardly Agent Provocateur, is it? It looks like a pretty ordinary, plain bra to us. And just how would it be used in abusive images? Does she seriously think that the kind of people who make child abuse imagery will be scuppered by the presence of more sturdy underwear?
Champion continued “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.”
Of course, if Matalan have a 2 to 13 section, then we can assume that not every item in that will be aimed at the whole age range. The idea that eight year olds will be buying these bras – presumably without the approval of their parents – is frankly ridiculous. And look at that picture again. Too tiny for a thirteen year old? It looks as though it would fit the MP.
But proving that we live in an idiocracy, her comment that “girls wearing the item COULD be younger than eight” (but almost certainly won’t be) has resulting in a handful of morons on Twitter demanding to know why the chain is aiming sexy bras at eight year olds – which of course, they are not. But although a few other papers have picked up the story (including The Sun, which Champion – a No More Page 3 campaigner – praised for their coverage), public reaction has not reached the dizzying heights of outrage that she had perhaps hoped.
In truth, the only person sexualising children in this story is Champion (and possibly the original complainant) – only she seems to look at these bras and see something sexual. Of course, that is to assume that this was genuine moral outrage and not just a case of cynical political opportunism and publicity seeking.
Matalan sensibly responded “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.”