Sexy underwear might be on your 13-year-old daughter’s wish list this Spring. Popular lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret recently launched a spring line aimed for pre-teens and young teenagers. The risqué brand is no stranger to using sex to sell, but this new move is causing many parents to question whether this is appropriate for young girls.
The company currently has a line called “Pink” aimed for the college market, but this new campaign called “Bright, Young Things” would be aimed at a much younger crowd. SF Gate reports that the collection includes, “lace back cheeksters with the word “Wild” on the back, to a lace trim thong with “Call Me” on the front, to green-and-white polka-dot hipsters reading “Feeling Lucky?”
Not exactly age-appropriate messages.
Victoria’s Secret chief financial officer Stuart Burgdoerfer admitted in January that the line was aimed for teens saying, “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.”
Victoria’s Secret has given hints that it would be making products for young girls since its annual fashion show in November. At the broadcast event, teen idol Justin Bieber performed and one model wore a sexy candy striper outfit while twirling a pinwheel.
Victoria’s Secret is not the first brand to aim sexy underwear to 13 and 14-year-old girls. Teen chain store American Eagle began selling it’s own lingerie line called Aerie in 2006 and has been expanding this line in the past few years while selling less outter apparel. Last year, teen goth store Hot Topic launched it’s own racy lingerie line. Preppy teen store Abercrombie and Fitch has been selling sex for years in it’s near pornographic catalogues and in 2011 sold a padded push up bikini top for it’s “kids” line.
Since young teenagers are big spenders in the retail market, it’s easy to see why more retailers are targeting this group, but it’s concerning whether this idea is sending the right message to young, impressionable girls. Teenagers like to follow the leads of celebrities in what they wear and retailers follow suit. Former Disney teen star Miley Cyrus, who frequently wears bras as tops, has done everything in her power to revamp her image as “sexy” rather than “wholesome” and teens still awarded her “choice hottie” and “choice fashion icon” at MTV’s Teen Choice Awards last Summer.
The Today Show quoted family psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz on the story:
“I think we’re already facing how to keep younger and younger girls from getting involved in sexual activity that they’re not ready for, puts them at risk for all kinds of things, physically and emotionally.”
With the media already sexualizing young girls to an alarming extent, tween pop stars teaching kids to behave provocatively, and retailers now jumping on the bandwagon, it’s important that parents are aware of how the media and culture is aggressively trying to send negative influences to their teenage daughters.