Have you guys seen this Change.org petition asking Victoria’s Secret to Pull “Pretty Young Things” line from VS shelves? Its gotten a ton of recent media attention, and a friend of mine Diana is the mom of 4 who started it. She was even on CNN last week, which is amazing. The power of social media is incredible.
Here’s a quote from the petition Diana started. I encourage you to click over if you’re so inspired and sign it:
Bright Young Things, which is part of the Spring Break collection of Victoria’s Secret’s PINK line, features an array of panties, from a lace trim thong with “Call Me” on the front, to lace back underwear with the word “Wild” on the back to green-and-white polka-dot hipsters reading “Feeling Lucky?”…
I don’t want a brand like Victoria’s Secret telling my daughters what sexy should be and my son that girls have to look or dress a certain way. Sexualization of girls by marketers has been found to contribute to depression, eating disorders, and early sexual activity — and this new ad campaign is a glaring example of a culture forcing girls to grow up too fast.
Our children are not sex objects; not things.”
I personally agree with Diana and her views. Marketing to girls (and women) can significantly contribute to feelings of self loathing and depression. And even more than that, “rape culture” is alive and well in our society. We’ve seen that very recently with the Steubenville rape trial and so many other incidents where women and girls are taking the blame for rape because of sexual clothing and behavior that our society is teaching and selling.
I was raped in college. I know of what I speak. That incident changed me as a person and absolutely without a doubt initiated my long term mental health struggles.
I’m not saying that we need to be silent to our kids about sex. Actually I believe the opposite. Sex education is key for both girls and boys. We need to arm our children with accurate information and teach them it is NOT ok to devalue each other. But marketing “sexy” to tweens and teens is not in our best interest. I would NEVER agree with my daughter wearing underwear that says “Call me” on her private parts. Its disgusting actually.
Its wonderful to see so many moms like Diana standing up for our children. Another blogger I know Pauline runs a wonderful blog Girl Body Pride to tackle these very issues. They recently posted “Does the Media Take the Blame for Eating Disorders” which offers a really interesting perspective on the power of media and marketing and mental health. I encourage you to check it out, and also Diana’s blog The Front Yard Frontier.
By the way, I recently contributed to Girl Body Pride about suicide warning signs and what you can do to help others.
What do you think about marketing “sexy” to children? Is this an overreaction? Or right on target?