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“Bright Young Things” campaign faces backlash

Parents object to products that sexualize young teens
Parents object to products that sexualize young teens

Victoria’s Secret’s new PINK spring campaign, a collection of underwear and beachwear intended to be fun and flirty, and featuring items such as skimpy bikini bottoms that say “call me” and “feeling lucky” is being promoted using young teen models in strikingly provocative poses. Parents are objecting to the campaign, objecting to both the title of the campaign and asking Victoria’s Secret to stop sexualizing teens. A Texas father wrote an open letter to the company that has gone viral. “I don’t want my daughter to ever think that her self-worth and acceptance by others is based on the choice of her undergarments,” Evan Dolive wrote. “I don’t want my daughter to ever think that to be popular or even attractive she has to have emblazon words on her bottom.” “I want my daughter (and every girl) to be faced with tough decisions in her formative years of adolescence,” he wrote. “Decisions like should I be a doctor or a lawyer? Should I take calculus as a junior or a senior?... Should I raise awareness for slave trafficking or lack of water in developing nations? There are many, many more questions that all young women should be asking themselves…not will a boy (or girl) like me if I wear a ‘call me’ thong?”

Parents have started petitions on and objecting to the sexualization of young teen girls. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, sexualization occurs when someone's sense of their own value is based solely on sex appeal or that individual is held to narrow standards of attractiveness. Sexualization, experts say, devalues accomplishment, intelligence and character and has been found to contribute to depression, eating disorders, and early sexual activity.

While parents believe the new Victoria’s Secret campaign is making teens grow up too quickly, Victoria’s Secret insists that the “Bright Young Things” was just a slogan used to coincide with spring break and not a new collection targeted at younger girls. What’s your take on this?