A SHOCKED mum from Sheffield has spoken of her disgust after she discovered padded bras aimed, she claims, at young girls, being sold in a city store.
Heather Thompson, 32, was stunned when she visited Matalan at Heeley Retail Park and found the padded bras near the school uniform section.
Heather, from Meadowhead, who was shopping for a uniform for her nine-year-old daughter, said: “I couldn’t believe it. I saw the bras and I thought, ‘Gosh, they are small’, and then I realised they were padded.
“The idea of a padded bra is to enhance the cleavage. A family store like Matalan selling these things normalises sexualisation of girls from an early age. It’s wrong.”
The mum-of-three added: “The bras were next to the school uniform area, which only goes up to ages 10 or 11.
“Behind them were all the things like hair grips and bobbles, the little girlie things.
“It was definitely the pre-teen area.”
Heather, who is studying to become a social worker, said she complained to the store manager who gave her the telephone number for head office. She rang the company and was put through to the complaints department where she left a message on an answerphone. Her call hasn’t yet been returned.
A Matalan spokeswoman said its bras were sold by size and not aimed at young children.
“We take responsible retailing very seriously and are proud of our leading standards in the area of childrenswear retailing,” she said.
“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 to enhance cleavage but as a smooth moulded shape to act as a modesty layer.
“We are extremely conscious, and proud, of our role as a family retailer.”