Julies Jabbers: An Open Letter to Victoria’s Secret from My 9-Year-Old Daughter

I’ve walked by Victoria’s Secret at the mall so much that I don’t even NOTICE their displays anymore. That changed a few months ago when I was shopping with my 6-year-old. She noticed a poster they had up of a big, bare backside in nothing but a G-string and said under her breath, “GROSS.”

She was right. It was gross. We’ve come to expect that kind of thing from Victoria’s Secret but really, it was gross. Then, my 9-year-old daughter got upset when she saw the current display yesterday. It features a young woman wearing nothing but a bra and a massive cleavage. Again, it’s exactly what we’d expect from Victoria Secret, but it was more than my little girl could take. She was having a hard time putting her anger into words, so I suggested she put pen to paper. This is what she wrote:

“When I walk in the mall, I see many stores but I can’t stand Victoria’s Secret. The reason, you might ask, is because of the posters of women in nothing but bras and underwear. It makes women look like nothing more than pretty pretty fashion models. My parents always tell me that girls can do anything boys can do. That makes me feel like girls just sit around NUDE. But we are capable of so much more than those pictures say.”

I should start by saying that I’m a big fan of Victoria’s Secret. I love their bras & I have yet to turn down one of their free panty offers. That said, I think we have all become pretty numb to the highly sexualized images they put on display. It might not be a problem if the store was in a place where kids didn’t frequent, but this particular store is next to a Justice and right across from a Gap Kids. That means kids from toddler-age to preteens get an eyeful of boob and butt every time they visit one of those stores. Is that OK? Sadly, it was OK with me for years and had to be pointed out to me by my own children.

We’ve seen those pouting Angels for so long that we don’t fully connect their images with the messages they’re sending out, but our kids do. And as my daughters so clearly pointed out, they’re not happy about them.  Maybe we shouldn’t be either.


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