So Victoria’s Secret for teens…I’m on it. I meant to write this a few days ago but time got away from me and I still wanted to weigh in.
I kind of think people are freaking out way too much on this. First of all, Victoria’s Secret has said that the line, “Bright, Young Things”, is targeted to college-age girls.
Some parents are upset because they think high school/tween girls just want to emulate college girls so the supposed demographic target doesn’t matter.
But Victoria’s Secret is nothing new. I remember girls buying VS bras in middle school — many moons before this line came out. I, of course, was in awe of those girls because I had no idea whose mother would go out and buy that for them. But, my puberty years were also really weird and my parents never once talked to me about sex or any of the stuff that comes with becoming “a woman.”
That “weird” teenagedom for me actually shapes how I’m thinking about this. You can’t shelter teenagers from the big, bad world of sexy underwear. They’re already buying it. VS is most likely just responding to basic market research!
Additionally, the models don’t look like they are tweens. To me, they look college-age or early twenties (they are.) It’s actually better than what you see at Abercrombie and American Eagle. Those stores have been sexualizing youth — really young teens — forever.
Also, even generic brands have been touting “I love boys” and other inappropriate material for pre-teen girls for several years now. I’m actually surprised it took VS this long to come up with a younger-targeted line.
Lastly, we’re dealing with girls already inundated with a sexualized buffet of media everyday in the form of music, movies, and television. Victoria’s Secret is not the problem — its just joining the rest of the culture.
Instead of focusing on VS as the problem — think bigger. This isn’t about one brand. It’s about a perpetually sexualized culture. Where does it begin? When did it get so bad? What makes it so bad?
I don’t have the answers. And I’m not a parent so I’m sure there will be some that disagree with me based on that alone. However, this all means one thing to me: parents have a big, important job to talk to their kids about sex and sexual stuff. They have a responsibility to explain it, expound on family principles and do it in a way that doesn’t make sex or sexuality sound like a bad thing!
But I don’t think anyone should put faith in pop culture to be the keeper of principle and integrity. The change has to come from the inside out. If teens don’t demand it via the marketplace, VS won’t make it. Yes, it’s much harder and a much bigger jump to say, fix the culture instead of “end this line of clothes.” But that truly is the root of the problem — a place we should look more often.
Was a little nervous to hit publish because I hate being controversial so hoping if you disagree you will be nice 🙂