For a young Christian woman who is engaged to be married, it can be exciting to think that building a collection of cute lingerie is something that needs to be done before the wedding. In fact, in my own experience this is the norm for many Christian women. The whole point of hosting a bride a ‘personal shower’ is to bestow the bride with pretty negliges she will get to enjoy with her new husband.
I remember during my own engagement thinking ‘finally! I get to partake in this industry’ while shopping in sections of stores and lingerie specialty stores for more than just your necessary plain bra and underwear. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a married woman utilizing her wardrobe choice in the bedroom for the purpose of celebrating her union with her husband. Buying lingerie is simply a means of doing that.
Sadly, though, it is becoming more difficult for Christian women to enjoy this benefit without reaping the consequences.
I own merchandise from Victoria’s Secret. Whether it was because of a coupon for a free panty, a gift from a bridal shower, or my own decision to be correctly sized for a good fitting bra after going through strange bodily changes from pregnancy, yes I own some of their products. I’ve intentionally gone into the store to buy gifts for friends even.
Having been a customer then, for the past 2-3 years (buying something once or twice a year?), I have learned quite a few things. Now, with their recent release of new product in their PINK line with the slogan “Bright Young Things” I’ve come to the conclusion I can no longer shop there.
Here are 3 reasons why:
- Advertising and Marketing Methods.
Their advertising and marketing schemes are simply not appropriate, godly, or beneficial for myself or anyone in my family to be exposed to. It’s borderline pornographic.
When checking out, the associate will ask for a phone number and email address. I used to give this out without thought. I actually liked being on their email list because I’d receive coupons and information about different sales (because I mean, really, who can afford to pay full-price at this place anyway?). This was all fine to me, until I realized that giving this information meant I would start receiving ads, coupons, and magazines of their products to my house! But, wait… how did they get my address if all I gave them was a phone number and email? That’s all they need friends, that is all they need.
- Ruthless Persistence.
After I learned this, I simply stopped giving them that information when checking out. I thought I had the problem solved. They ask for it, I say no, I still get to walk out the door with whatever I came in to buy. But strangely, one day, I found an ad in my mail…again. I am not sure exactly how this happened, since I called customer service and had them remove me from their list. Even though months had passed since I last purchased something (and did not give out my phone number or email) I still received advertisements in the mail. Now, I do not know for sure if it’s because they had my information on record (though my address had changed several times), I am suspicious that they can gather my information simply from the swipe of my credit or debit card. So, I guess the lesson is…if you still want to shop there after reading this post, pay cash only.
- The Controversy.
If the previous 2 creepy reasons don’t convince you, then their new line of “Bright Young Things” probably will. There’s a lot of controversy over all of this right now. Many say the line is targeted towards young teens and the product is over sexualized for the target consumer. However, the Victoria’s Secret facebook page posted a statement Monday, March 25th at 3:55pm which read, “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.” But really, even if the target market is technically adult women, is it really appropriate for anyone to wear a sheer white t-shirt that says ‘enjoy the view’? No. Really, I think even Stacy and Clinton from TLC’s What Not Wear would protest wearing that at ANY age.
Even though the company has ‘covered their behinds’ there’s still reason to believe they do, indeed, wish to target a younger audience. This article here provides a fair assessment of the facts and links to the resources. The author shares a quote from one of VS’s executives, “When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be?” Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said at a conference in January. “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.”
I am not saying it’s wrong to buy from Victoria’s Secret if you choose appropriate product for the right reasons, but I think there is good reason to strongly consider making the decision to steer clear of the drama of unwanted ads being mailed to your home and the awkwardness of their products being targeted towards the young.
I am sad to say I won’t be shopping there anymore because their stuff is well made. The most comfortable bra I’ve ever owned is from there. But, it’s not worth it. I will be on the quest to find a new, much safer place, to purchase my undergarments (if one even exists).
A closing thought from a facebook commenter:
“‘Whether or not Victoria Secret is advertising to tweens and teens is irrelevant,” wrote Ethan Jordan in response to critics on Victoria’s Secret’s Facebook page. “You have a problem with the line? Don’t buy from it. VS is just (potentially) capitalizing on a market that society has created. Younger girls want to feel sexy. That’s not VS’s fault, but they’d be stupid business people if they didn’t take the opportunity. Just be good role models and parents and do the best you can for your own girls. It’s really that simple.'” (http://shine.yahoo.com/fashion/is-victoria-s-secret-marketing-to-teens-with-their-new-bright-young-things-line–214708989.html)
So, what are you going to do?