This week, Victoria's Secret is under the gun for marketing a line of underwear to young women. The company says that it is not a new line, but an existent one, and the advertising is intended for college kids, not little girls, but parents aren't buying it. As for me, I think it is ridiculous that we are still having this conversation.
Why do we continue to have prominent brands preying on our children's deepest insecurities? Our girls must be protected as they are learning to be comfortable in their own skin -- protected by their parents, brands, idols and media.
It's difficult enough for an adult woman to value herself -- a woman who has seen enough marketing trickery to know the obvious and subtle ways that companies use insecurities to sell us stuff.
Marketers know how this works. Convince a woman she's fat, and undesirable, and irrelevant. But, with this bra or makeup or pair of shoes or fake tan she will realize her power (sexual power, that is), and everyone will love her (and want to sleep with her to boot).
Enough already. My most significant responsibilities as a mom are to keep my son and daughter safe, and help them learn to respect and love themselves and others. My efforts are completely undermined by Victoria's Secret. Treating young girls' bodies as a commodity hurts everyone, not just young girls and not just the young girls who buy or covet these clothes. The messages are the poison.
Victoria's Secret clearly needs help delivering a meaningful marketing strategy that treats human beings as the beautiful individual personalities that they are, rather than just a piece of tail. It is not only possible for Victoria's Secret to sell lingerie and also present their brand in a respectable manner, but it would be good business.
In an effort to explain why I'm so frustrated about this -- the latest in a long line of Victoria's Secret gaffes -- I made alternate versions of the "Bright Young Things" underwear, with messages that convey what goes on in a young girl's mind when she is made to feel like an object and not a person.