Is this a post about Jesus? Not so much. I somehow couldn’t manage to fit ‘Jesus’ and ‘pre-teen lingerie’ into the same sentence…Let’s just call it a ‘sacred embodiment’ piece.
I have sad news today for men who are married to/partnered with strong, confident alpha-girls: your wives and girlfriends are not shopping at Victoria’s Secret anymore.
No, it is not something you said. You are not in the dog house, you are not being ‘cut off,’ and you are not being punished for that thing you said last Tuesday. It’s not you–it’s them.
You see, the VS CFO and marketing team realized that middle school girls are spending all their allowance at Target and Jamba juice, when in fact they SHOULD be buying suggestive undergarments. You know–the kind that you like for your strong, progressive, alpha-wives to buy and keep in a special drawer… Anyway, it is no longer enough for the pre-teen set to see these delicates on manequins in the mall, or on super-skinny tv models, or on every other page of those teeny-bopper magazines they read. You know, the ones that rip their fragile, developing sense of self worth to shreds…
No, such subleties are no longer enough to make our young daughters think that they must starve themselves, put out, and pretend to be stupid in order to catch a man–and by so doing, be of value in the world. The game has changed. Now, those fancy, specialty bras are going to be tailor-made for little girls who don’t even have breasts to put in them.
This new line will be called “Bright Young Things.” The panties say things like “call me,” and “Feeling lucky?” If you are not properly horrified yet, you should know that, when NBC shared this news on the Today Show, the reporter said that the ad campaign was ‘too racy’ to air on television.
What’s too racy for television, you might ask? Lately–not much. So we might guess that these ‘bright young things’ are not being modelled by our beloved Heidi Klum…or anyone else in an appropriate age category. No, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a catalog containing 12-year-old lingerie models is coming soon to a mailbox near you.
Did I mention that Justin Beiber performed at the VS fashion show this year? And no, he was not wearing panties with a message on them. Cause he’s a boy. That would be silly.
Thing is, his underwear didn’t have to bear an invitation. He, himself, was the invitation–an all-call to the coming-of-age girls who listen to his (not very good) music, as they wonder what it is like… to be an adult woman with a boyfriend, a grown-up body, a sense of self and purpose and being. In this vulnerable, evolving state, Beiber–himself a minor, under the influence of all sorts of fame and big money–swoops in with a pink striped bag and says, “here, girl… you wear this, and it will be all good.”
Thing is, there is nothing wrong with brightly colored underwear. And putting it in front of a young girl will not ‘make her think about boys’ any more than providing condoms will ‘make teenage boys want to have sex.’ It is out there. It is on their minds. But there is something sinister and disturbing about exploiting the vulnerability of youth in such literal and physical ways. There is something appalling about underage girls wearing an invitation on their rear ends.
I guess what I’m saying is–until a girl has 1)the anatomy to rock that cute bra and 2) a healthy, grown-up relationship–a face and a name to put with that whole ‘making a man want me’ thing–then Victoria’s Secret does not need her business. (Pun intended) And as long as they want hers, they are sure not going to get ours.
So, perhaps it’s not fair to you, guys, that the woman in your life won’t be bringing home those little pink bags anymore, and the promise of all they imply. But think of it this way…you get us. We, who somehow made it through the jungle of youth, media, marketing and boy bands; we, who know who we are. Against all odds, we are strong, smart, powerful, comfortable-in-our-bodies, healthy and whole women. And not only do you have us–but we have you. You, grown-up, loving, respectful, strong men, who know that the value of a woman lies beyond her bra size, her waist size, or whatever invitation her body implies. We have you, and we have our lovely, embodied selves. Until the folks who make our undies want the same for our daughters, we will be shopping elsewhere. Blame Beiber, if you must…