Is it appropriate for an 8- year-old girl to wear a padded push-up bikini? It's a controversy brewing over kids clothing lines at Abercrombie and Fitch and some more mainstream stores.
Dressed in sexy clothing, 7- and 8-year-old girls singing a Beyonce hit became an internet sensation.
"We're seeing younger and younger girls who are taking on this sexualized persona," said Dr. Eileen Zurbriggen, a psychologist. "As we sexualize younger and younger girls, it's sending a message that could be dangerous."
Psychologists say some blame lies with clothiers like Candies or Abercrombie and Fitch who market sexy "women's" clothing to young girls. This summer, Abercrombie is making a padded bikini bra, marketed to girls as young as eight.
"Some of the stores sell things I can't imagine my little girl wearing right now," said Lizzie Roberts of Arlington.
"It's a little disturbing, low necklines and short skirts seems to be getting worse," said Marilyn Barrette of Capitol Hill.
Retail giants like Target and Kohl's sell padded under-wire bras in the training bra section.
Bottom line? Research confirms: "Growing up too fast" can have devastating health effects on girls. These can include "increased depression, lower self-esteem and body image problems that include eating disorders," says. Zurbriggen.