This world is a strange place. While I was growing up, young and full of raging hormones, I was the king of the land. (figuratively, lol). The world and all its places were my dominion and I could not care less of any perils that our parents would warn us about. But something happens when you become a father, especially to that of a little girl. The world around you suddenly changes into a place where nothing is right.
As a would be father, you spend all your time and energy being self educated about how to be a good parent. This involves reading anything and everything on parenting and how not to screw it up. You will start talking to fathers who are a little ahead in their journey or are at same place and are also expecting the baby to arrive in few months. And once the baby arrives, you are always just one step short of hitting the panic button. The lovely garden and all its beautiful flowers and pots now gets transformed into a pit full of germs, viruses and shard objects. The baby becomes the center of your attention and even has your attention when you are at office or work place.
A significant amount of energy goes into baby proofing the house and the whole environmental so to say. No hard surfaces, no sharp corners, no exposed electricity points and noting that can catch fire. The list is exhaustive an can last for pages. But when the child arrives, you are suddenly compelled and duty-bound to protect the baby, and nothing you do seem to be enough.
I have a three year old daughter and there is nothing I would not do for her. As she is growing up so fast, as a father you start to plan about the coming years of kindergarten to high school and to college. And as the general protective gene in you is always scouting for whats happening in the parenting world one that effects you and your kids life, I came across a note by a fellow father who highlighted something serious.
He pointed out about a campaign to be done by Victoria Secret which will target the a younger demographic in pretty explicit ways. Victoria Secret, in an apparent attempt to expand upon the runaway success of its “collegiate” brand Pink, wants to tailor more of its marketing efforts to the middle-school-aged “tween” crowd. According to an exclusive done by Bloomberg, which ran the story under the provocative headline “Forget training bras. Girls are buying lingerie”, the demand for “intimate apparel” among young girls continues to grow because, in the words of Victoria’s parent brand Limited’s CFO, these tweens all “want to be older…they want to be cool like the girl in college”. Relevant retailers are scrambling to make the most of it: For example, a quick visit to tween retail giant Justice‘s website reveals collections of bras and panties by a brand that defines its own target audience as girls aged 7 to 12.
As disturbing as it was, i followed the article and cam across the open letter written by the father to Victoria Secret:
“Dear Victoria’s Secret,
I am a father of a three year old girl. She loves princesses, Dora the Explorer, Doc McStuffins and drawing pictures for people. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, cheese and pistachios.
Even though she is only three, as a parent I have had those thoughts of my daughter growing up and not being the little girl she is now. It is true what they say about kids, they grow up fast. No matter how hard I try I know that she will not be the little ball of energy she is now; one day she will be a rebellious teenager that will more than likely think her dad is a total goof ball and would want to distance herself from my embarrassing presence.
I know that this is far down the line and I try to spend as much time as I can with her making memories of this special time. But as I read an article today posted on The Black Sphere, it really got me thinking that maybe the culture that we currently find ourselves in is not helping the cause.
Recently I read an article that Victoria’s Secret is launching a line of underwear and bras aimed at middle school aged children. The line will be called “Bright Young Things” and will feature ” lace black cheeksters with the word “Wild” emblazoned on them, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with “Feeling Lucky?” and a lace trim thong with the words, “Call me” on the front.”
As a dad, this makes me sick.
I believe that this sends the wrong message to not only my daughter but to all young girls. I don’t want my daughter to ever think that her self-worth and acceptance by others is based on the choice of her undergarments. I don’t want my daughter to ever think that to be popular or even attractive she has to have emblazon words on her bottom.
I want my daughter (and every girl) to be faced with tough decisions in her formative years of adolescence. Decisions like should I be a doctor or a lawyer? Should I take calculus as a junior or a senior? Do I want to go to Texas A&M or University of Texas or some Ivy League School? Should I raise awareness for slave trafficking or lack of water in developing nations? There are many, many more questions that all young women should be asking themselves… not will a boy (or girl) like me if I wear a “call me” thong?
I want my daughter to know that she is perfect the way she is; I want my daughter to know that no matter what underwear she is wearing it does not define her. I believe that this new line “Bright Young Things” thwarts the efforts of empowering young women in this country. “Bright Young Things” gives off the message that women are sex objects. This new line promotes it at a dangerously young age.
I implore you to reconsider your decision to start this line.By doing so you will put young girl’s self-esteem, self-worth and pride above profits.
Well, this was sometime ago but it is so relevant to what we see nowadays. Do we not see several companies targeting younger and younger audience by pitching to them about aspects that confuse them. I mean they already grow up so fast and I am having a hard time making the first three years of my daughter special and now this is something additional that worries me more.
As fathers and parents don’t we know that these kids are at a point in their lives where they are making the very stressful transition to biological maturity. It’s no secret that during this time, many teens are compelled by the enormous concentrations of hormones flowing through their body to seek out the opposite sex’s attention. And at this juncture of life, tempting them with influences that make them believe will make or break them comes across to predatory. I mean they already grapple with identity, security, and trying to find a sense of belonging in the world. Over sexualizing children is not just by pushing lingerie. Many retailers do this around the world. In 2017 a fashion show put on in China made global headlines of outrage making it seem like something new.
Do we need to sexualise everything to make it sell? And this is a time when child pornography is rampant as one comes across some news or the other of children being misused online and offline by degenerates of the society. The corporates how ever would not worry about this. They see a market that is untapped and has a potential to sell and they will put all their money behind it. That is also the reason we see young 16 year olds becoming mothers and barely being able to come to terms with reality until its too late.
One is appalled by the display window of such stores. Every trick is used entice young minds to walk into the stores and then get lost into the bright playboyish colors that gives a false sense of empowerment. And I would not even start with the effects little or teenage boys have with this. That is a different can of worms. As parents we do instill the best morals in our daughters over the years and teach them what hold more value or that a certain type of garment does not determine the worth or the success of you in life.
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