Once upon a time, girls maturing into adolescence wore so-called "training bras." These days, they're more likely to look for lingerie at Victoria's Secret and similar stores that are increasingly targeting ever-younger consumers. "Sensuality and body image continues to be a message that young girls are seeing and are being exposed to in a much less controlled fashion perhaps than even 10, 12 years ago," says Dan Stanek of the consulting firm Big Red Rooster. Stanek says that younger girls are seeking to imitate celebrities they've seen on the Internet. Stuart Burgdoerfer, CFO for Limited Brands (which owns Victoria's Secret) adds that today's teens aspire toward the kinds of lingerie they perceive older women wear. "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 [Victoria's Secret collegiate-aimed brand] Pink." [businessweek.com, 2/28/13]
I still remember walking briskly through the mall and catching sight of what I thought was a new store. I knew the pepto- bismol color was meant to attract a certain clientele - young girls! And upon further investigation, this was not a new store but a new department in the established storefront of ... Victoria's Secret.
This was a couple of years ago, but now it seems this retail experiment is all the rage! PINK is everywhere - from junior high school soccer fields to play practice to dance recitals, preteen and teen girls are wearing sweat pants with PINK emblazoned across their derrieres. What are parents thinking? In many instances these girls are too young to drive themselves to the mall and secretly purchase this stuff. Parents must be part of this perplexing equation. But why?
Why would parents purposefully want to potray their sweet daughter as a soon to be Victoria -Secret- purchasing- adult at the sweet age of 13? Why would parents buy high heels for their six year olds and mini push up bras in an adult lingerie store? What is going on here?
Sure we can blame society and the lax mores of a culture gone bad but so often these parents are people with backgrounds just like us, they live in homes just like ours and even go to church, just like us. Sexualizing kids seems to be the standard these days.
I am not saying that in most cases this is a concerted effort on the part of the parent, rather it is a spur of the moment buying decision or an exhausted mom's surrender. "Ashley has these, I just love them!" exclaims your daughter...."It's only sweatpants, nothing suggestive, " you rationalize. The next thing you know the soccer fields are littered with PINK emblazoned derrieres and we wonder why the store and the stock is growing quickly than dandelions in spring.
Raising girls is far from easy - I would never say it is. A discerning parent is a parent who lovingly disciplines and keeps her and her daughter's standards high. A discerning parent brings her values into the mall, into the store and even into the dressing room. Remember your daughter is watching every move and decision you make.
And really, is PINK really that great of a color anyways?
Until Next Time,