Evan Dolive wrote an angry letter to Victoria’s Secret with his 3-year-old daughter in mind.
In an open letter to Victoria’s Secret, the Houston reverend called out the women’s underwear company for its new PINK ad campaign called “Bright Young Things” that reportedly had underwear with words like “dare you,” “feeling lucky” and “call me” printed on the front or back.
“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,” Dolive writes. “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.”
Dolive’s letter has gone viral with more than 10,000 Facebook shares and 2,800 comments.
“It didn’t sit right with me,” Dolive told IBTimes of his reaction to learning about the PINK product line and how Justin Bieber starred at the company’s 2012 fashion show last December.
Thinking 10 years into the future when his daughter would be starting her teenage years, Dolive says he doesn’t want his little girl “sucked into the hypersexualization of women” taking place across the United States. He points to how Victoria’s Secret and companies like it spread an unattainable image of beauty that’s “setting up girls to fail.”
In his letter Dolive describes how he wants his future teenage daughter to dwell on important decisions like which college to go to, career choices to make or charities to support.
“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?” Dolive writes.
The Texas father’s feelings were shared by many parents. A Facebook page was started that demanded Victoria’s Secret pull the products and an online petition on change.org has more than 3,500 supporters.
Victoria’s Secret responded to the angry comments on its Facebook page:
“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.”
Victoria’s Secret is not alone in marketing lingerie to a younger crowd. Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters and the tween brand Justice all have intimate lines for young girls, Bloomberg reports.
Retailers make sure to brand their items as “cute” instead of “sexy,” Marcie Merriman, founder of a retail and brand strategy consultancy in Columbus, Ohio, told the news outlet. Stores also say they are targeting an older demographic like 18-to-22-year-olds but in reality they get younger customers, she added.
And panties pay off.
Women’s lingerie now accounts for $11.1 billion in annual sales, according to NDP Group, a New York-based market research firm.
The “cool” factor plays a part in the rising sales of intimates for girls.
“When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be?” Stuart Burgdoerfer, chief financial officer of Limited Brands Inc., said at a recent conference. “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.”
“If that’s not targeting a younger demographic, I don’t know what is,” Dolive said reacting to the CFO's comments. “Big companies want girls to grow up too fast.”
A commerical for the "Bright Young Things" ad campaign can be seen here: