FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Victoria’s Secret has become a household name by making ‘sexy’ mainstream. But as the lingerie retail giant competes for new customers, some parents say they’ve gone too far – and too young – by marketing to teens and tweens.
“I think it’s terrible,” says Stephanie Jobe, a mother of four.
A recent marketing campaign dubbed ‘Bright Young Things’, included a line of thongs bearing slogans like ‘I dare you’, ‘wild’, and ‘feeling lucky’.
“I was alarmed,” says Jobe. “I’m like no way! No!” Her husband Dean agrees, adding “it just sends the message that beauty is what’s on the outside and not what’s on the inside, and unfortunately a lot of young ladies fall into that.”
Parents of four, the Jobes say they are Victoria’s Secret customers but say the retailers lingerie is a purchase that’s made for Mom, not their 14-year-old daughter.
“I understand they’re trying to make a dollar, but at the same time you’ve got to understand what is the message that we’re sending,’ says Dean. “I don’t like my daughters having the message that that’s what makes them beautiful, that’s what makes them attractive.”
Angry parents have taken to Facebook to blast the retailer over the campaign that critics have called too suggestive. But, there are supporters showing up on the online discussion as well – who point out that 12 and 13 year old’s can’t wear, what their parents don’t buy.
Victoria’s Secret has since posted this response on the company’s Facebook page. “In response to questions we recently received, Victoria’s Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women. Despite recent rumors, we have no plans to introduce a collection for younger women. “Bright Young Things” was a slogan used in conjunction with the college spring break tradition.”
Still, some parents aren’t buying it – and say they won’t be buying any suggestive thongs for their teens and tweens.
“Victoria’s is doing what sells,” says Cindy Jaynes, mother of a 13-year-old daughter. “Sex sells. It’s disappointing; but, it’s the age we’re in.”
Jaynes says as a parent she works to convey her family’s values to her daughter, but worries that the teen is still exposed to so many competing and often harmful messages.
“They just want to be accepted. And they think if they’re doing this, this makes them seem older, more mature… It’s really sad.”
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