British Parents Up in Arms Over Victoria's Secret Pink Corrupting Their Tweens


(Getty Images) Do these Victoria's Secret Pink models, Jessica Hart and Elsa Hosk, look like bad influences to you?

Victoria's Secret may have only just landed in the UK—the US lingerie brand opened its first London flagship last August—but parents of teens and tweens are already up in arms over the company's Pink line, which is geared towards a younger customer.

"In order to reach Pink, youngsters have to walk through the main store, which is kitted out like a bordello," writes Daily Mail columnist Annabel Cole, herself a mother of a 13-year-old. "The walls and floor are covered with gleaming black lacquer, mannequins display risqué underwear and numerous French mirrors reflect sheer lace babydoll nighties, corsets, thongs and suspenders. Once downstairs, many of the items in the Pink collection are far from suitable for girls of that age."

By and large, Cole seems to most object to Victoria's Secret naming strategy and marketing. She points out that underwear targeted at college-age girls bear names such as "the Pink flirt collection" and "date bras."

"Many of the knickers are blatantly provocative," she writes, "there are piles of lacy thongs and bright pink knickers which invite you to, 'enjoy the view.'"

But what's the problem, really? Are college-age teenagers not already exposed to dating and sexytime via our contemporary pop culture—after all, they've grown up with easy access to the internet, television, and movies. And, to be fair, in order to come in contact with the products Cole objects to, you actually need to go to the store, walk inside the store, and touch/try/buy the goods.

The issue, it seems, is that the brand's marketing and advertising is aspirational catnip for younger teens and tweens as well. Cole brings her 13-year-old on a shopping trip and runs into 14-year-olds and 11-year-olds.

What do you think about Cole's point—that Victoria's Secret Pink oversexualizes young girls? If a brand is targeting college-age girls and women, is it fair to blame it if younger customers also want a piece of pie?
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