VS is coming for your middle schooler.

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Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780
VS is coming for your middle schooler.

Victoria?s Secret is coming for your Middle Schooler


I should have seen this one coming. My first red flag went up last November when Justin Beiber, the teen icon that?s worshiped by nearly every American girl under the age of 14, tweeted that he was getting ready to sing at the highly provocative Victoria?s Secret Fashion Show.

Within minutes, Beiber was on stage performing alongside scantily-dressed Victoria Secret Angels, while millions of young girls ? 80 % of whom struggle with body image ? eagerly watched at home. The not-so-subliminal marketing message was sent: I like Justin Beiber, Justin Beiber likes Victoria?s Secret, and therefore I should buy Victoria?s Secret.
However it would be years before these young Beiber fanatics, with their tiny pre-puberty frames, could indulge in Victoria?s Secret sexy lingerie?at least that?s what America believed?until now. As of this spring, the risqu? brand will launch an undergarment line aimed specifically at pre-teens and young teen age girls. And lest you think that Victoria?s Secret has toned down their recognizably racy style to appeal to this younger demographic, think again.
The new brand called, ?Bright Young Things,? includes lace black cheeksters with the word ?Wild? emblazoned on it, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with ?Feeling Lucky?? and a lace trim thong with the words, ?Call me? on the front.
Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer of Limited Brands, of which Victoria?s Secret is a subsidiary, announced the companys new marketing demographic at a recent conference, claiming about younger girls:They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that?s part of the magic.
So based on Burgdoerfers logic, would it also be "magical" to make alcohol available to our preteens so that they can be ?cool like the girl in college?? What about condoms, co-ed showers, and marijuana? While it?s true our young girls do observe older teens for social cues and trends, does that obligate us to gratify their curiosity with content that?s mature beyond their years?
While Burgdoerfer may try to sell the notion that Victoria?s Secret is only responding to market demands for middle school lingerie, it was just a few years ago, that Victoria?s Secret claimed they would never try to appeal to a pre-adolescent market. ?We don?t market to that age group,? said Anthony Hebron, a Victoria?s Secret spokesman. David A Morrision, who at the time was President of Twentysomething, a company focused on marketing to young people, and had studied the Victoria?s Secret product line reassured concerned parents, ?If Victoria?s Secret is blatantly catering to 7th and 8th graders, that might be considered exploitative.?
But that was then and this is now. With young teens representing about $335 billion worth of spending power, according to Retail Analyst Hitha Prabhakar, there is money to be made, loyalty to be won, and an entire consumer group to milk and manipulate. Apparently, exploiting young girls with beginner-level lingerie in hopes that they will deliver a lifetime of loyalty to Victoria?s Secret was too big a temptation for Burdfoerfer to refuse ? dollar signs overrode decency.
While Victoria?s Secret isn?t the first retailer to peddle sexy undergarments to young girls, their line is perhaps the most sophisticated, resembling more closely the lingerie that these girls might see in their moms? closets. In fact, when NBC?s TODAY show reported on the ?Bright Young Things? product launch, the reporter admitted, ?The latest campaign features underwear too racy to show here.?
If it?s too inappropriate for NBC to show on their morning program, that?s probably a good indication that our young girls shouldn?t be wearing it?and moreover, Victoria?s Secret shouldn?t be selling it. As a mom of a 14 year old, I?m wondering where are the cries of moral responsibility and societal ethics. We certainly hear our fair share about corporate responsibility when it comes to the food and drinks marketed to our children, why does that same principle not apply to what apparel we peddle to our tweens?
Our country is replete with an unprecedented number of young girls suffering from eating disorders and body mutilation, while pushing the limits of sexual promiscuity. Is this racy underwear modeled by unrealistically thin girls really the best that we have to offer our girls? In this age when female sex trafficking is becoming a wide-spread crisis, reaching into the depths of our inner cities, is it really responsible for Victoria?s Secret to entice our impressionable young girls with this ?come hither? message?
Underwear that reads, ?Call me? does nothing but cheapen a girl?s self-esteem while exacerbating the objectification of her God-given femininity. Our children are being objectified by retailers who see them as nothing more than a path to increased profits.
Victoria?s Secret is ready to sacrifice our daughters? innocence, compress their childhood, and devalue their self-worth all for the purpose of bolstering their bottom line.
Our daughters are precious, intrinsically valuable and deserve better ? they deserve to be cherished and protected.

What do you think? There is a petition out there to have this line banned. Would you support such a ban? Would you actively boycott them? Do you believe that such marketing is socially irresponsibly and/or harmful to society? Discuss.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

Hate the line, hate the way it is being marketed (but I do think VS is wicked smart for it) and I hate that there are parents that would buy this for their kids. I would not however, sign a petition or boycott them (dont shop there anyways, but not because of a boycott)
I have a middle schooler, she thinks "pretty underwear are pretty pointless" and I am okay with her thinking that at this time.

Bottom line, dont buy it for your kid if you dont like it. I just dont think I can see what the hype is all about

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3305

I don't need to boycott them as I don't shop there much anyway, but if they sell this line then I won't give them my money. That's the only language I can speak to companies like that. I do find it socially irresponsible. And creepy.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2242

Totally creepy. I have stopped shopping there because I hated their styles and how they were marketing to young girls. I used to love their underwear. I don't know how I feel about shopping there. It is not their complete business practice so I wouldn't say boycott completely but I would hesitate about a purchase there. I would also not allow my child to buy anything like they are describing.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

I have always hated the store. I was kicked out once with my sister bcs 'they don't cater to women of our size'. (now, if I had the backbone I do know, back then, someone would have been in pain...)
I'm not surprised they would be marketing younger. I wish they would go away!

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6768

"smsturner" wrote:

I have always hated the store. I was kicked out once with my sister bcs 'they don't cater to women of our size'. (now, if I had the backbone I do know, back then, someone would have been in pain...)
I'm not surprised they would be marketing younger. I wish they would go away!

Oh my, I would have been LIVID. I can not believe someone would do such a thing.

I do not shop at Victoria Secret.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"smsturner" wrote:

I have always hated the store. I was kicked out once with my sister bcs 'they don't cater to women of our size'. (now, if I had the backbone I do know, back then, someone would have been in pain...)
I'm not surprised they would be marketing younger. I wish they would go away!

This would make an interesting debate spin off.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4193

Ya not a VS fan, so for me just pretty much more of the same. A boycott wouldn't help much from me since I already don't shop there. They are way overpriced anyway.

But a ban? No. Let the market decide.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

Hmmm.....I really like VS. Their bras fit me nicely and are of good quality and I like their underwear too. Always have. Doesn't mean I have to like every single product in their store in order to shop there. Also doesn't mean I have to buy things for my daughter there. I just don't have the energy to be all mighty and moral and boycott a store because I don't agree with their marketing schemes.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

Off topic... But I have bought a few bras from them and each of them has fallen apart within 6 months or so Sad

I don't buy their bras anymore!

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I'm not a VS fan either, I don't care for the quality of their bras and their sales people can't fit bras to save their life. Getting the right fit is so important. I also find the whole Pink line really tacky, especially the terry cloth stuff and the things with writing across the bottom. Ugh. Anyway. To be honest this all just doesn't bother me at all. Like anything, if people don't want this product for themselves, their child, or their pet, don't buy it. Easy. All of the outrage and posturing and whatnot just seems so silly, to me.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

I only wear strapless bras and VS ones hold up very well for me. I only wash them on gentle cycle and air dry. Never had an issue. And Melissa, I don't have much to "fit" so I don't need much help there, lol.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I wouldn't boycott, even though I don't agree with their marketing strategies. I would never let my daughter buy any panites that I thought were innapropriate, so it all comes down to the personal choices you make for your children.