Victoria’s Secret has decided to delve into the pre/young teen market. Tweens and teens shopping at Victoria’s Secret??? Ummm…I don’t think so.
When I walk through the mall with my kids, it’s bad enough that I have to shield my young son’s eyes from the soft core advertising that Victoria’s Secret displays. Or the fact that a few years ago they extended their reach to late high school/young college aged women with their Pink line. Now they’re targeting our daughters who just barely traded in their Barbie’s for lip gloss and Beverly Cleary for Twilight. These young girls are still trying to figure out WHO and WHAT they are…and they’re already trying to sell them sexy panties?
As a mom I have to ask, “Is nothing sacred anymore?” I mean, is there ANY reason to introduce our daughters to an identity that is obsessed with being sexy or sexual any earlier than is absolutely necessary? And by absolutely necessary I mean—at all before they’re out of college?
We live in a culture that over sexualizes kids very early on. From music, clothes, televisions shows…it’s everywhere you look. And our young people are trying to emulate what they are being introduced to on an almost daily basis.
What’s crazy is that the executives with Limited Brands aren’t even shy about it. They have absolutely NO qualms with lowering the bar for the young women in our society who are trying to learn about who and what they are.
Limited Brands’ Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said this about the expansion into younger markets, “When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be?” Burgdoerfer asked. “They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at Pink.”
The magic? Yeah, I don’t think so.
BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS….and they’re selling underwear…to teenagers. Is this what we think of when we want our young girls to grow into “bright young” women? Sexy panties?
I’m no prude. I remember being young and wanting to be like the older girls. My grandmother would watch soap operas and I can still remember watching them thinking that was how I needed to act in order to “be a real woman”. When I was around 6 or 7, I would pretend that I was one of the dramatic actresses who graced the screen on my grandparent’s console television. I thought that’s what ALL women were like…except of course the women in my family. I didn’t want to be like them! No, I wanted to be just like the glamorous women who played fake characters on t.v.! Their lives were OBVIOUSLY more interesting than the boring lives that I saw on a daily basis. As time went on and I was exposed to more and more “adult” content, that’s what I thought was normal. And that line of thought often made me think that I was a lot older and mature than I actually was—and it got me into trouble. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and now that I’m a mom I have a TOTALLY different perspective on these types of things.
I want my daughters to fit in but I also want them to be young and innocent for as long as possible. Allowing them that opportunity is very difficult with everything that’s thrown at them these days. Those in the music, fashion and entertainment industry definitely aren’t interested in allowing them that. They see young customers and will do everything they can to push the envelope. As a parent it’s difficult to navigate the often torrential waters of influence.
I also learned early to pick and choose my battles carefully. I know that I can’t protect them from every negative influence in the world. As much as I want to, I know that my job as a mom is not only to protect them but also to PREPARE them for the real world.
As a parent I try to teach my daughters that their intrinsic value is in WHO they are and WHAT they stand for. That value is found in their hearts and mind…not how much skin they show or how much makeup they wear. I’ve tried to instill in them the belief that NOT wearing certain things or being like other girls is perfectly acceptable.
It’s about them having respect for themselves. By setting a higher bar for themselves people will see them for what their contributions are to society…not because they wear certain clothes. Like it or not, they understand that people will look at how they’re dressed and make assessments about them within a few seconds; it’s called a first impression for a reason. But shielding them from the negative influences is a never ending battle and it’s especially hard when their friends are allowed to wear these types of things.
Girls in middle school often wear the same, if not more, amount of make-up than women 15 years older than them. The clothes they wear expose far more than I, as a mom, thinks is appropriate and trying to find a pair of shoes that doesn’t have 3 inch heel on them is nearly impossible.
But what I find amazing is when my fellow “conservative” mom friends allow their daughters to wear these things. Girls wear these things because that’s what we allow them to wear and some moms are perfectly fine with their daughter’s having the image of a hussy. I’m not that mom, but I digress.
This problem goes far beyond make-up and high heeled shoes. We’re talking about parts of our daughter’s wardrobe that NO ONE should be seeing.
In what world do we think it’s acceptable to have 13, 14 or even 16 year old GIRLS wearing black lacy cheekster’s with the word “wild” on the back of them, a cheetah print thong with “call me” printed on the front or cutesy black and white polka dot panties with the words “feelin’ lucky”. This is just CRAZY!!! (The only thing that ran though my mind with I had the image of my 13 year old daughter wearing a pair of panties with the words “feelin’ lucky” on the back of them, was Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry…because THAT’S exactly what I would be saying to anyone who was unlucky enough to be reading them.
I’m sure that there are going to be parents out there that think “what difference does it make” what kind of underwear they wear? If I’ve raised them right it shouldn’t matter what kind of “cute” little sayings they have embroidered on their butts. That’s crap. If I spend my entire mothering career telling them that one way of behavior is appropriate and then let them wear this kind of thing, it’s sending them a very confusing and inconsistent message.
And from that confusing and inconsistent message I can assure you that NOTHING good will come…for ANYONE involved. The only words that should be plastered across my young daughters panties should be “STAY AWAY”, “MY FATHER OWNS A .45″ or “TURN BACK NOW OR DIE” . That way, IF anyone is ever foolish enough to take their life into their own hands by discovering what their panties say, they can’t say they weren’t warned.
Needless to say, my daughter’s won’t be shopping at Victoria’s Secret any time soon (as in like EVER before they’re in their 20’s). I’d like to maintain their innocence of youth as long as possible.
They’ve got their entire lives to be adults…there’s no point in starting them any earlier than they have to.
Cindy Chafian-Founder The Mommy Lobby
What do you think? Over protective or right on the money? Would you allow your young daughters to wear these types of underwear from Victoria’s Secret? Or would it be a cold day in Hades before your little girl had “wild’ written across her backside?
And share your thoughts here: