Remember them? By today’s standards, it was a sweet show, despite being the beginning of “Jiggle Power” on tv, also known as “Jiggle TV.” Funny, the themes and outfits would probably be rated G now, and yet with all the toning, tanning, muscles, and enhancements on the female tv stars you see now, there’s nothing natural enough to jiggle.
Now we have different angels.
Not my definition of angelic, but that’s okay. I don’t have to shop there, and don’t. We’re all grown up women, and can decide for ourselves what type of underwear we’d like to wear. I find dental floss up my ass to be uncomfortable, and don’t see a woman picking her butt as an enticement, but whatever floats your boat, or lifts your boobs, or frames your artfully sculpted hoo ha. God Bless.
But wait. Victoria’s Secret has realized there’s an untapped market waiting for them. That’s right, jail bait. Future pedophile victims. Have I gone too far? Maybe. But certainly victims of a society that doesn’t know how to allow children to be children. Make no mistake, at 10, 11, 12, 13 years old, they’re still children, regardless of when their bodies begin to change.
I would like to hear from the adolescent and child psychology experts who sat on the panel in the Victoria’s Secret meetings, and said this is a good idea. That there’s nothing wrong with teaching little girls to start objectifying themselves early by wearing padded push up bras, panties that say “Call Me” (WTF happened to the ones that said Monday?), and of course, lacy thongs.
What mother who gives a shit about her daughter’s sense of self is buying her this type of underwear? Am I being judgmental, perhaps alienating readers who might buy my books down the road? Yup, and that’s okay. There are some things I feel strongly enough to take a stand on, and this is one of them. Am I uptight when it comes to my children? You betcha. Childhood is short, life is long. But the lessons learned in childhood last a lifetime. I’d like them to gain the tools they need during childhood for long, productive, happy, and healthy adulthoods.
Middle schoolers, tweens, are a mass of hormones and changes. This is the very beginning of independence. By the time a child is 14, you can see the adult they will become–though they aren’t that adult yet. What are they prioritizing, what have we taught them to prioritize? This is the time for young people to develop a sense of self, a sense of conscience, an understanding of their place in the world, and what roles they might step into. This is a time of self doubts and insecurities. If we parents buy them these types of garments we are prioritizing sexuality, and dating (or hooking up), over social justice, respect, community, intelligence, productivity, healthy body images, and healthy relationships. Yanno, to “get” the cute boy, strip down to your skivvies so he can see the message stamped on your butt. Because that’s what he should be paying attention to, right? Of course, with all these messages, stripping, and hoo ha infections caused by these special undies, I understand, there was no need or time to study for your biology test. And now that he/she has broken your heart because he/she has no clue or emotional tools to have a healthy relationship because he/she is also a child, no one wrote that Language Arts paper, either. Because they’re crushed, the very fragile beginnings of self esteem have been stepped on because Mary is cuter, or John is a better dancer.
This isn’t new, really. OK, marketing thongs to 10 year olds is new, but does anyone else remember this?
Brooke Shields was fourteen years old when this ad campaign for Calvin Klein jeans came out, implying there was no underwear between her and her super tight, super sexy jeans. That was in 1980. We should have known better. But certainly, we should know better by now. And none of this even begins to touch on the damage done to adult women, who are looking at ads that show models they can’t possibly look like, yet are told they should.
Dating and early acting out of sexuality, by its very nature, is emphasizing exclusivity. How does this make sense for young people who are searching desperately to be included? It might seem like nothing, innocence, “puppy love.” But it isn’t nothing, it sends a message about what is most important. Kids of this age need to find safe ways and places to be included. How about respect? How does that fit into this equation? Certainly, we aren’t teaching respect of self or others when we place value on prepubescent sexuality. How about self esteem? Doesn’t this bring us right back to encourage girls “not to be too smart,” and boys to value their sexuality over other, tangible, long term and contributory accomplishments. How about caring about other human beings, not just cataloguing them? Yes, let’s all cry about America slipping further down in academic standing when compared to other countries. Bottom line, with this type of message, we’re teaching our kids that commitment to self and others doesn’t matter. Because 12 year olds can’t commit to a long term, healthy relationship. Why? Because they haven’t yet learned how to commit to themselves, their future. For the love of all that’s holy, their brains aren’t finished yet, even if their boobs/butts/dangly bits are almost there.
Will there be a separate fashion show for the prepubescent line? Will it be photographed, filmed, televised? What’s that? You think that might be icky, uncomfortably close to child pornography? You should be thinking that, because it is. These garments are designed to be looked at, encourage fantasies so they will be purchased. There is no reason for these sweet whispers of lace and cotton to exist outside of sexual ones. I’m saying no thanks, I’m saying fuck you Victoria’s Secret.
Hey, you, adult woman! You don’t get to complain about men objectifying you, not taking you seriously, not giving you equal pay for equal work, and not holding up their end of child rearing if you’re feeding into this crap, and teaching another generation that these priorities are okay.
Perhaps we should bring corsets back. You know, the ones that literally warped the rib cage and cut off oxygen. Obviously our girls don’t need those brain cells anyway, since we’re teaching them to put their sexuality above other aspects of their development, or sense of self.