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Tweens: New demographic for Victoria's Secret?

NEED TO KNOW
  • Parents believe racy new ad campaign is targeting tween market.
  • New line includes thongs with slogans such as 'call me' and 'I dare you'
Tweens: New demographic for Victoria's Secret?

A new Victoria's Secret campaign for its PINK line has some parents outraged.  The "Bright Young Things" collection was launched to tie in with college-aged students and the Spring Break crowd. However, many parents believe the new collection is aimed at teenagers and pre-teens instead. They have accused the company of sexualizing young girls and portraying them as sex objects.

Some of the products in Victoria's Secret's new line include underwear with slogans such as "I Dare You" and "Call Me" written on them. These, and a pair of panties with the word "Wild" written across the back, are just a few examples of why some parents feel that the company has crossed the line.

Amy Graff is a blogger for "The Mommy Files", a parental blog on sfgate.com. She worries that today's lingerie lines are sexualizing teens. "Girls these days are growing up way too fast and they're missing out on those wonderful carefree years when they can look at themselves in the mirror and laugh, giggle and make funny faces and see a beautiful young girl-rather than look in the mirror and worry about their hair, their weight, their clothes, and how their boobs look in a push-up bra and a pair of hipster panties," she wrote.

Victoria Secret's Facebook page was slammed with comments like these over the last few days from people boycotting the brand. A group of angry parents launched an online campaign and a Facebook page of their own, requesting that the company pull the "Bright Young Things" line from the store shelves.

Some parents feel that the "Bright Young Things" line sends a wrong message to young girls. Evan Dolive, a Houston father of a 3-year-old girl, wrote an open letter to Victoria's Secret on his blog, evandolive.com, which is spreading like wildfire on Facebook. In the letter, Dolive wrote, "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." "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."

However, not all parents are bothered by the idea of Victoria's Secret targeting a younger demographic.  Jenny Erikson, a mother and blogger for thestir.cafemom.com, said she would be okay with her 9-year-old daughter shopping at Victoria's Secret when she entered her tween years. "As the mom of a girl that is soon going to decide she doesn't want cartoon characters on her underwear, and will be wearing a bra sooner rather than later, I'm going to have to figure out where we're going to purchase them." "It'll probably be Victoria's Secret - and I have no problem with that. I even like that fact that they are marketing toward a younger audience. What's wrong with having fun, bright-colored underwear?" 

Victoria's Secret has responded to the complaints with the following statement on its Facebook page, "In response to questions we recently received, Victoria's Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women,' it read. '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, concerned parents point to a comment made by Stuart Burgdoerfer, the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Victoria's Secret parent company Limited Brands back in January at a conference. They believe he insinuated that the line had in fact been created for younger consumers. "When somebody's 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that's part of the magic of what we do at PINK," Burgdoerfer was quoted as saying.

Lisa Cash Hanson of mompreneurmogul.com, responded to Burgdoerfer's comments in her blog, saying, "[Our kids] don't need to be OLDER. When can our daughters just act the age they actually are? They will grow up soon enough we don't need you pushing your sexual products on our babies."

Would you purchase underwear for your pre-teen or teen-aged daughter from this particular line of the Victoria's Secret collection? Tweet @KyraHLN with the #RaisingAmericahashtag or leave your thoughts on Facebook.com.

And for more conversations like this, watch Raising America every week day at 12 p.m. ET on HLN

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