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Here's Why You Shouldn't Get Your Panties in a Bunch over Victoria's Secret Latest "Supposed" Lingerie
Recently, there were some people that interpreted a post on Victoria’s Secret’s Facebook page as an announcement that they were marketing a new line of bras and panties for young women called “Bright Young Things”. READ: The company was supposedly targeting this line of underwear for teens.
Here’s what really happened as per the company, published by MSN and confirmed by the Business Insider:
“Victoria's Secret is taking a lot of heat for three little words.
A new "Bright Young Things" spring break campaign for the company's popular PINK college lingerie line has some parents up in arms because they think the company is now targeting tweens.
Victoria Secret's Facebook page was slammed with comments over the last few days from people boycotting the brand, saying slogans such as "Feeling lucky" and "Call me" on the underwear have crossed the line.
The company explained through a statement Monday [3/25/13] on Facebook that despite recent rumors, Victoria's Secret had no plans to introduce a collection for pre-college women, but not before angry parents launched an online campaign and a Facebook page asking Victoria's Secret to pull the Bright Young Things line from the shelves.
"In response to questions we recently received, Victoria's Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women," Victoria's Secret said. '"Bright Young Things' was a slogan used in conjunction with the college spring break tradition." - MSN
While some parents are up in arms over this misinterpretation, I don’t think it would be a bad thing if such a clothing line came to fruition for a few reasons.
First – it’s a brilliant marketing move – and this is not the first company to target a pre-twenty-something audience. Kohls, Candies, and Justice have been designing colorful “fun”derwear options for a few years now for those who are post-pre-teen and want other options than the tightie whities of yesteryear. I think it’s odd that Victoria’s Secret is singled out to be bashed.
OMG – I remember being in seventh grade in the locker room back in the day – what an experience! It was hard enough to get used to changing clothes in front of your peers, but then you had to deal with the fact that some girls had the big boobs and the nicer bras. It was a total scene of self-consciousness! And there I was at the time, in my JCPenney white training bra feeling mortified that I didn’t have a prettier one with maybe a pink bow on it (as embellished as it got back then) like the girl across from me, or fill it out as nicely as the girl next door.
The ego of a teenage girl is very fragile. She’s very body and brand conscious. It is all about fitting in. You want to look nice and feel a little bit good about yourself as your body is growing and changing over time. Anything that retailers can do to boost your self-confidence is a plus in my book.
Ok, so Victoria’s Secret may not have chosen the best words like “Wild” as certain media outlets have proclaimed, to print on a few of the colorful boy shorts and pretty panties. I’ll give you that. But you have to give them credit. Here’s why:
I remember having to wear leotards while on the Pom-Pom squad in high school, and meticulously tucking my panties in so they didn’t show beyond the seams. There were no thong options back in the day for post-pubescent (now) young women. And boy, what I would have given for some color! White and beige were bland. I finally acquired one pair of black panties when I was about 15 and wore them only on special occasions because they were such a rare find. See, I couldn’t fit into the larger sizes that my mother or other women wore, but I wanted something that looked nice – that looked feminine – that made me feel like the woman I was becoming – not the little girl I used to be. The last pair of “fun”derwear I had before I was a Junior in high school was probably Underoos when I was five – and Wonder Woman is not a look you want to sport when you’re in the locker room!
There should be bras and panties that span the gap from Hello Kitty 3-packs to Frederick’s of Hollywood lacy lust, and who better to do it than brands that make quality clothing with a bit of style and a great fit.
If parents think that the words “Call me” on a thong is going to make their daughter go out and have a sex-a-thon or lose her innocence, I’ve got news for them – it’s not! The values we instill in our children don’t come in the form of a panties purchase or a push up bra. They are taught over time. All girls have underwear envy – of their mothers and models. They want to look sexy and pretty when they look in the mirror – just like every woman does.
If you think that for a minute teenage promiscuity is established by a pair of panties, just look into the past. Teenage pregnancies are not something new to this year, the twenty-first century, or even a hundred years past – and they didn’t have lacy lingerie back then! Comfort, style, and confidence are all positives, and it’s what you place between the ears, not on their rears, that matters most.
"If you judge a fish by its 'ability' to climb a tree, it will spend its entire life believing it's stupid." ~ Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a smart man –and his intelligence was not measured by a standardized test.
Just the other day I was telling my daughter that regardless of how she does on a standardized test or a placement test, it does not make her less smart, less talented, or mean that she won’t be successful in life if she doesn’t get a perfect score, or place in a top percentile, or qualify for a special program.
It seems that many of her friends feel pressured to score practically perfectly on tests in school. While I agree that children should strive to do academically well, a perfect performance isn’t going to guarantee them a six figure salary upon graduation, nor a permanent position until retirement with a single firm. The stress that some of these children are feeling is placed in part on their shoulders by their parents, and in part by some teachers. I don’t blame them. I just don’t agree with them. Society has said that it’s important that children take these tests, and that you should want to be the best of the best and outperform all of the rest. But I stop and ask myself – why? Bragging rights?
Some of these parents even enroll their children in extra optional math and language classes on weekends in hopes that they will score off the charts. The poor kids don’t get a break to play Barbies or run around outside with their friends, it seems. To me, play time is a form of education, social adaptation, and imagination enrichment at a young age – which is just as important as doing well in school. And everyone needs to blow off some steam – even kids!
The local school district tests kids for a program they call "Reach", which allows selected students to do special projects and additional activities outside of the regular classroom. They can learn about artists and explore topics in science that wouldn’t be covered during a normal classroom stint. It is a great program. It actually adds back to the curriculum a lot of the things that have been taken out over the years because teachers are now more focused teaching towards having kids do well on state-wide standardized tests – so they “teach to the test” and leave out the “rest”. Well, I think the “rest” is just as important.
So now, with a “regular” curriculum, as a result of everything being geared towards “the tests”, there are less field trips, less detours from required reading, less artistic activities, and the kids learn exactly what they need to learn, so hopefully a majority of the students in a school district will do well and make the schools and faculty shine. They learn no more; they learn no less; and they are missing out on other types of learning that are equally essential. Some of my most memorable times in school were when the teacher deviated from a prescribed reading list, and I got to read books that other classes weren’t reading. Taking field trips to museums, radio stations, TV studios, and nature preserves was amazing, and I learned a lot that you couldn’t read from a book or calculate in a math problem.
Sure, people want to have some point of evaluation of how well their children are being educated, but a lot more goes into that than filling in dots on a piece of paper or writing an essay. There are hundreds of colleges that agree with me, actually. Many of them have stopped using standardized tests as admission criteria. Unfortunately, “ the same cannot be said for k-12, where scores on achievement tests are in part used for everything from admitting students to prestigious public schools to placing students in gifted or remedial programs, allocating federal funding, and even evaluating teachers.” (Time Magazine, October 2012) If you need more reasons why standardized tests as a measurement of skill and intelligence is not all that it’s cracked up to be, here you go. Add in, that for some children, English is their second language, and they may be a genius in their native tongue, but due to their inability to translate the test questions perfectly, they just got dinged for being unequally bilingual.
Here’s some irony for you – I’m a writer and I love to read. I don’t have astigmatism, and I have 20/20 vision (thankfully!) but I can never truly grasp the meaning of what I read the first time around. I always have to read something 2 – 3 times before my comprehension is the same as others who “get it” the first time they read a paragraph, chapter, or book. It takes me twice as long to read a letter, email, book, or contract as your average person. It’s been this way for me since I was five and first learned how to read. Teachers thought my comprehension skills would improve over the years. It never measurably did. And I never let it ruin my love of literature. Does that make me any less knowledgeable? No. Because something takes me a little more time to accomplish, does that make me less “smart”? No. But on a standardized test if I didn’t finish a reading comprehension section in the time allotted, the score sure would make me look stupid!
Tests, do not measure the achievements or the potential of students. Some of our greatest minds in society didn’t have the greatest test scores.
So, my daughter just took a Reach placement test for students in second grade. Not everyone qualifies for the special program. We don't know how she did yet. If she gets in, we’ll be happy; and if she doesn’t, we’ll be ok with that, too. I told her that the end result really doesn't matter because so many people possess talents that they don't even test for! What if you're an excellent horseback rider? They certainly don't test for that in school! You can juggle? Well that's not evaluated. She told me most of the test was centered around logic problems. I thought to myself right away, well, that's not exactly broad. What if you are a creative writer but just stink at math? What if your strengths are in other areas? Are you any less deserving of learning outside of the (test) box?
I told my daughter that no matter what the results are, she should not feel like she doesn't have talent, and she's definitely still special. Some of the most brilliant minds and the most talented people possess skills that can't be measured on standardized tests.
What I want to say to all of the kids out there is – when you don’t get a high score on a test to place into a certain program, or to get into a certain college, or are not in the top percentile on a standardized test – realize that you are off the charts – their charts. It does not make you any less smart than anyone else. It does not mean you are not talented. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do great things with your life! Because you can! <-- THAT, is what should be taught in schools!
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