This picture here? This is lingerie for kids. The mesh lace over the belly and the butt? The lace on the sides? If I wasn’t convinced already due to my own familiarity with lingerie as a grownup lady, I would turn right to the Porscha Starr press release and its vehement protestations that their lingerie for kids as young as eight is “age-appropriate” and not lingerie:
Intimate apparel has never been created for all women of all ages, until now. … Porscha Starr Lingerie will launch the first adolescent apparel collection in the United States. In the past retailers have failed to present a comfortable selection that is not only socially acceptable by parents but age appropriate for its target market. … Porscha Starr is well known for its sexy, edgy, alluring, futuristic, fashion forward designs. However this line is NOT to be confused with lingerie. The Starrlett collection is a charming, appealing and most important an age appropriate line fashioned specifically for young girls.
It’s not true that retailers have failed at selling underwear to adolescent girls which parents (who likely pay for it) already like. Walk in any mall and you’ll see tweens and young teens flocking to Justice, Limited Too, Abercrombie Kids and even Victoria’s Secret PINK. Sure, the bra and panties sets at those stores may not be everyone’s cup of tea; some of them have been criticized for selling thongs to tweens. But if you have a daughter or niece ranging in age eight to 15 ( the Porscha Starr Starlett collection demographic) who is starting to grow breasts and needs a cute, age-appropriate training bra, you can find one at these stores.
Kids don’t need “intimate apparel” because they’re not getting intimate with anyone. So, I’m skeptical that this company calls its bra and panties everything from training bra to dance costumes or “loungewear.” Calling it a “dance costume” may make your bras and panties sound more palatable to parents, but I think Porscha Starr Lingerie uses that description as a cover to sell sexually provocative items to young girls.
Again from their press release:
Each piece is catered for the various stages and activities of a young lady. For young girls between the ages of 8 to 11 pieces from this collection can be used as the perfect ensemble for dance, gymnastics and pageantry related activities. Other features provide young girls items for sleepovers and comfortable loungeware. For the pre-teen and teenage clientele the Starrlett Collection offers a smooth transition into young womanhood with a fashion forward approach to the training bra.
If the company wants to offer “fashion forward” training bras with matching panties, there’s no need for all the lacy ruffles or gauzy fabric.Those additions, while cute for an adult, are unnecessarily frilly and sexualizing for kids. The company says it wants girls and tweens to feel more comfortable shopping with Mom for “intimate apparel” and make it fun ‚ but I would suggest that many young girls would feel really uncomfortable buying items that looks a lot like grownup lingerie.
Kids may need bralettes or bras, but they don’t need to dress older then their age.