Victoria’s Secrets is a brand that has long-since been identified with sexy, sultry supermodels who provide us with an annual catalogue of gorgeous lacy things designed to boost self-confidence and makes things far more interesting in the bedroom. Women love the way they make them feel, and men love the way their women look when dolled up to the nines.
But that only works when your consumer are consenting adult purchasers. This week, mums across America and Britain are reacting to the latest range launched by the mega brand which appears to be targeting tween young girls: Pink.
Expecting to find sensible pants, vests and summer wear for her 13-year old daughter, journalist Annabel Cole was surprised to find that she was greeted by collections of lacy thongs, sheer nightdresses and slogans like “Enjoy the View”. She described the idea of the brand as an introduction to the world of Victoria’s Secret, like “a McDonald’s Happy Meal, but for lingerie.”
In the US, parents are boycotting the brand’s new slogan Bright Young Things, which has been claimed to be launched in conjunction with college break and the theme of spring college casual wear but seems to have a far more sinister reach. “I don’t want my daughter to ever think that her self-worth and acceptance by others is based on the choice of her undergarments,” complained Evan Dolive, a Texas father to a three-year old girl.
“I want my daughter (and every girl) to be faced with tough decisions in her formative years of adolescence,” he added. “Decisions like should I be a doctor or a lawyer? Should I take calculus as a junior or a senior? Do I want to go to Texas A&M or University of Texas or some Ivy League school? Should I raise awareness for slave trafficking or lack of water in developing nations? There are many, many more questions that all young women should be asking themselves…not will a boy (or girl) like me if I wear a ‘call me’ thong?”
The marketing team in the States has argued that this slogan and their Pink garments are aimed at college-aid girls, and that it was never intended to reach a younger generation. However, the new range in Britain is aimed at 15 year olds. That that hasn’t stopped the mass panic of girls as young as 11 trying to get their Pink garments so that they’re not the ones with the boring pants.
Stuart Burgdoerfer, the company’s chief financial officer, reportedly said: “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.”
The same can be said for 11 year olds, Stuart.
Has Victoria’s Secret crossed a line? Should they stick to producing sexy lingerie for over 18s? Many mums say no, but some say “yes”.
“Nobody wants to be the girl with the boring pants,” ventured one journalist mum.
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