If there is one set of clothing that the word “sexy” does not normally describe, it’s probably sweatpants and sweatshirts. Usually unflattering in shape and fit, lackluster in color, and cheap in quality, loungewear has traditionally been saved for a “girl’s night in.” Victoria’s Secret has turned all that around, making lounge wear both comfortable and sexy with its PINK collection.
The collection began in 2004, with the intention of targeting females in college and seeking to be fun and playful in look and feel. It has grown in popularity, and its purchasing audience now includes those younger than college age. This prompted the move of the Pink line into an entirely separate store in order to funnel the young and giggly crowd away from the more mature shoppers who frequent the Victoria’s Secret parent store. However, Pink’s marketing as a more youthful, innocent way to be sexy means its popularity signals a problematic trend.
Living in a culture that treats women as sexualized objects is damaging to women with far-reaching effects. A woman might not see herself as a sexualized object when she’s wearing casual clothing, but Pink offers sexy as a first option for their items. It’s certainly not as sexy as the premiere Victoria’s Secret line, but the more casual Pink items still showcase an overly sexualized image. It’s almost impossible to avoid being seen as a sexual object while wearing certain Pink items because the brand’s aim is to be just that: sexy. Why is it the company’s goal to showcase a woman as sexy in any and every situation?
Whether or not your aim in wearing these clothes is to gain attention from men, the visible branding does garner it. And that’s a key element that women face: being noticed by others, specifically men, who are not part of our intimate daily lives. It’s true that all clothing defines, and it’s important that women think carefully about how they’re letting a brand define them. If a woman doesn’t want to be seen as a sexual object in everyday life, then special care should be taken in selecting the brands worn.
How, then, should a Christian woman approach wearing articles of clothing from Pink? As Christian women, we are called to live and act differently than the norm of our sexually driven culture. It starts with a conscious effort to ask ourselves hard questions about why we are wearing what we are wearing and what kind of attention we are hoping such choices will bring. As a 25-year-old, married Christian woman, I have to choose every day to honor the Lord and my husband with how I dress and conduct myself, both privately and publicly. Part of that is making choices that show I am more than a object. For all women, whether or not we want to be objectified is not the issue; if we choose to align ourselves with a brand that’s seen as sexy first and foremost, that’s how others will see us.