Tell Victoria’s Secret to Stop Sexualizing Teens

Target: Lori Greeley, CEO of Victoria’s Secret

Goal: Stop the production of the Pink Spring Break line, which is targeted towards teens.

While all teenage girls purchase items like bras, underwear, and swimsuits, most retailers target this demographic by advertising wholesome looking teens focused on fun and comfort. However, Victoria’s Secret recently launched a new line of products targeting teen girls which relies on sex appeal. Their spring break line features the slogan, ‘Bright Young Things,’ and is aimed at 15- to 22-year-olds, according to the Victoria’s Secret website. This slogan is not only inappropriate because it refers to young women and teens as ‘things,’ but advertisements for these new products feature younger looking models who are scantily clad in provocative poses.

This new line of clothing and advertising is sending the wrong message to American youth. Teenage girls are already bombarded by hyper-sexualized images of women on the media, which suggest that the most important attribute of women are their beauty and sexuality, rather than their intelligence, personalities, or ideas. Now, Victoria’s Secret’s new line of swimsuits and lingerie is sending the message that young teens are sexual objects. Their slogan reinforces this notion by referring to the teens as ‘things,’ rather than girls or women.

By showing teens in provocative poses in sexy undergarments, Victoria’s Secret is condoning teen sexuality, which many parents argue is inappropriate. Please ask Victoria’s Secret to stop targeting teens in its new product line.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Lori Greeley, CEO of Victoria’s Secret,

You recently launched your new line of swimsuits and lingerie for Spring Break. This line is part of your Pink collection and is geared towards a younger teen audience. The advertisements on your website feature younger looking teen models who are scantily clad and provocatively posed and the slogan, ‘Bright Young Things.’ By choosing to target teenagers with your new line, you are condoning teen sexuality and portraying teens as sexual objects.

Your slogan refers to young women as ‘things,’ rather than many more appropriate alternatives. This slogan coupled with the provocative ads used to launch your new line indicates that you are using the sexual appeal and objectification of teens in order to sell products. Teen girls are already bombarded by images in the media, which focus on the importance of beauty and sexuality for women. Your recent advertisements reinforce the idea that young women are only valued for their beauty and bodies, rather than for their intelligence, creativity, or ideas. Further, by targeting such a young demographic, your company is sending the message that it is acceptable for teens to become sexual at an earlier age.

Please reconsider your ad campaign for your new Spring Break line and stop targeting teen girls for lingerie.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: women-self-esteem via angelonthewagon.com

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16 Comments

  1. Kate Smith says:

    Interesting that VS has received numerous complaints on their Facebook page but have yet to address any of them. If you post on their page your comments are immediately placed off to the side in the “recent posts by others” section. Apparently, they are hoping this all blows away. I’m really hoping this goes viral as I think the whole thing is disgusting and inappropriate on so many levels.

    • Kate,

      That’s actually a default Facebook setting. They may be hoping it all blows away, but they aren’t maliciously changing their Facebook page filter.

  2. Pretty sleazy, but I would not worry about what happens on their Facebook page because people can spread the word through all of their contacts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, and word of mouth.

    If spread well enough, VS will be nothing but a shop for streetwalkers.

  3. Jordy Lauren Krohn · Executive Assistant at Mission Hills Mortgage

    This petition is ridiculous. No one is saying you have to buy your daughter any of their products…in fact BE A PARENT. Try monitoring your children’s choices instead of censoring the world for the rest of us. They don’t adverstise PINK on television only in catalouge (which if you have such a problem with your daughter seeing, you shouldn’t have sent your house) and ONCE A YEAR at the VS fashion show (which airs after 9pm) The PINK line is aimed at COLLEGE aged women, and in some cases, the sizes run smaller so even a petite woman like myself (27 years old, 5’3, 100 lbs, 32A) can where something special! I love the PINK line and will continue to purchase!

    • I think you position would be completely different if you had daughters that an organization was referring to as “things”. Not to mention the totally inappropriate writing that will be on their panties such as “feeling lucky?” How in the world would one think this is appropriate? Yes parents should be responsible, however a company should not market such filth to children. Victoria Secret has gotten the last dollar they will ever get from me.

    • Elaine steeves says:

      Are you kidding me?? Do you not think that young girls have other friends who may have access to the VS magazine? Young girls are very vulnerable and want to fit in. If their friends are checking out the VS catalogue. they will also want to check it out. You obviously don’t have a teenaged daughter.

    • Jordan, I completely agree with you. It is marketed towards college students not high school girls. But its a line that fits petite women in some cases better than their regular bras, etc. If a parent really has a problem with it then they shouldn’t let their daughters go online, to the store, or even the mall because you can always find “worse” or more revealing products elsewhere too

    • Sarah Wilhoit says:

      I thought it was inappropriate that Victoria’s Secret admitted that their new line was targeted towards young women from age 15-22. They are intentionally targeting a younger audience… that is the issue.

    • I understand your point and agree with the statement that parents must be parents.

      Messaging at sexualizing young girls REINFORCES the excitement and allure of sex with young girls. Human Trafficking is a battle we are fighting against on the home front. You posted your company and I was able to find a relative article nearby your metro.

      http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_22463330

      “Those fighting in the war to end human sex trafficking say gangs are getting involved in the activity because women and girls are seen as a renewable commodity.”

      “Zapata said the average age of girls forced into human trafficking is 13.”

      “The younger they are the more expensive they are,” Zapata said.

      http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/11/16/human-trafficking-spreading-in-calif/

      To add some context to another angle of the resistance to this campaign is that the campaign objectifies girls as things. You may be aware that VS is a global company. Around the world women who are not as lucky as you and I, who do not have the rights to work or “wear something special” are dying as they fight for equality.

      I respect your opinion and love my own sexuality. As a grown woman I am proud to be able to have the right to express myself as I wish and enjoy the discretion of choosing my partner. Loving those rights I am unable to support a company who is undermining me as a woman and as a consumer. Outside of our own personal experience lies an idea that women do not receive the same rights as men because they are things.

      Best wishes.

  4. To the decision makers of Victoria’s Secret’s marketing and executive team:

    The recent preteen marketing campaign shows very little awareness of the issues facing women of the world today. As a global brand this campaign undermines the efforts of delegates and women on the ground in India as they fight for basic human rights against sexual assault, rape and child marriage. Dare I mention that the number age of girls kidnapped and forced into Human Sex Trafficking within the United States of America is 12-14. Human trafficking is a large problem in the United States as well as abroad.

    Please take responsibility for this negative campaign for the sake of women all over the globe. It would be greatly appreciated if this campaign was eliminated, as I would hope that this was an oversight which will be corrected. Realizing the profound cost that accompanies advertising and launching promotions of new products, consider the cost of the inhumanity of sexualizing a teen. Your brand is powerful and with that power comes a responsibility to take care with the message you send.

    Sincerely,

    Crystal Morgan

  5. Lydia Abraham says:

    Everyone is beautiful. One day I hope everyone will realize that. Beauty can be in words too. Victoria’s Secret can be respectable. If they own up to their section of their store the created and try and promote healthy teens, well that’s all I can ask.

  6. You guys should really do some research (beyond google) before you create things like this. You should know that Lori Greeley is the CEO of Victoria’s Secret… NOT PINK. The President of PINK is Denise Landman. Lori has no say over the PINK assortment, or their ad campaigns. The only people who have the power to change/veto/affect the PINK assortment in any way are Denise and Sharen Turney, the CEO and President of the VS Megabrand. You have the wrong target… even if Lori hates the PINK product, she cannot do anything about it. Do your research. I’d love to hear from you.

  7. I’m a parent of ac15 yr old daughter, All me and my Daughter wear is Victoria Secret, and Pink, as a parent you can say okay lets look at a different pair, with a different design. I used to be one of those women that when my husband would say ooh theVS fashion show is coming on, I would be like yeah okay, whatever, then I started wearing VS, people miss the whole point of VS, its about making a girl, young lady, woman, or older woman feel good, nobody knows what you have on under your clothes but you, I’m not skinny by ant means, I wear the cotton mayfair jammys, pink boyfriend pants, I wear everything VS, and so does my daughter, we use the fragrances, the makeup, the laundry det. We love VS and it makes us feel good. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, that’s the great thing about the united states, you have choices. I think this attack on VS is awful, again if you don’t like it don’t buy it, there are tons of other places you can buy from. I’m so sick of this new age raising of kids, be the parent if you don’t like somthing say NOOOOO!! Don’t try to put restrictions on other people, we enjoy VS. Get over it and move on, nobody is making you buy VS, IT IS YOUR JOB TO RAISE YOUR TEENAGER NOT VICTORIA SECRETS.

    • I would have no problem with Victoria’s Secret if they would stop sleazy advertising! I am sick of not being able to go to the mall because I don’t want nearly naked women shoved in my kids, my husband and my face! I like alot of the product but feel a person should have a choice in what they choose to view & VS takes that choice & right away how they advertise there product! I also feel husbands should appreciate seeing there own wives in pantie’s but how can they do that when they can just as easy see all these other women like that whom are are brushed and sergicaly inhanced non the less!

  8. I dont have a problem with the agencies that are genuinly modelling childs clothing. But 90% of these sites are sexualising children by making them where bikini’s and other revealing garments. It is a sick market aimed at making money from paedophiles and its astounding how many of these sites there actually are. There needs to be action taken from governments to stop this as soon as possible yet there is no sign of any such reprieve. Its a sick world and the fact that this is allowed to go on under the radar with out being stopped is testament to that!!!!

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