By now, you've most likely heard all about Victoria's Secret and the "Bright Young Things" controversy. But just in case, here's the CliffsNotes version: Basically, thousands (literally) of "concerned" parents are freaking out over what they believe to be a new lingerie line created by the company with the sole purpose of selling scandalous underwear (panties with the words "I DARE YOU" on the back, etc.) directly to tweens. Indeed, these morally superior matriarchs and patriarchs have started an anti-underpants petition (take THAT, Vicky Secrets!). Among the many, many examples of righteous parental indignation on the petition's website are fears over "sexualizing young women before they are capable of making careful choices about how they will share their bodies and with whom" and accusations of downright "targeting sex to kids." (Huh?)
As the mother of a tween girl, I guess I'm supposed to share in the collective horror. Hey, nobody targets sex to my kid! (Huh?) But I don't.
I think the whole controversy is absolutely ridiculous. Because not only are these parents misinformed, they're missing the entire point.
First of all, "Bright Young Things" isn't supposed to be an "all-new" line for tweens. "Bright Young Things" is just a spring break-themed offshoot of Victoria's Secret's already incredibly popular PINK division. The company explained as much in a statement, saying:
“Victoria’s Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women. We have no plans to introduce a collection for younger women.”
Conservatives are quick to haul out an earlier statement made by Victoria's Secret Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer as proof of their plan to sexualize young girls:
"When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be? 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," he said.
Okay, 15- or 16-year-old girls are NOT tweens. Realistically, they're probably already on birth control. OR they've never even kissed a boy and have no plans to anytime soon but like to wear cute underpants. My almost 12-year-old daughter and her friends love PINK -- but they don't even look at the underwear, they squeal about the sweatpants and t-shirts. I know more MOMS who own PINK panties than I do young girls.
To sum up, if your tween's top priority is shopping for panties with the intent to seduce, it seems to me that how Victoria's Secret is marketing their products would be the least of your concerns.
Do you think Victoria's Secret is trying to sexualize tweens?
Image via Victoria's Secret