Victorias Secret: Teaching girls and women to degrade themselves

By: American Decency Staff

Early in 2008 Victoria’s Secret CEO Sharen Turney promised a toning down of the eroticism of Victoria’s Secret – stating their image had become “too sexyâ€Â and the corporation would instead return to a portrayal of “ultra feminineâ€Â resulting, one would assume, in a turning away from the explicit pornographic advertising Victoria’s Secret had become known for.   At the time we were wary yet cautiously hopeful that maybe, just maybe the company was finally listening to the countless ones who had called, written, signed petitions, boycotted, picketed malls in protest of their unwelcome erotic displays and television commercials foisted upon shoppers and TV viewers. For years we have encouraged such communications to Victoria’s Secret. ADA has often been the one the media has turned to for comments on the over-the-top eroticism of Victoria’s Secret, leading to national television interviews such as on CNN in 2007. This CNN interviewer even took our point of view stating he didn’t want his children exposed to the pornographic window displays when taking his kids to see Santa in the mall.    Christmas shopping season 2007 saw a number of protests/pickets nationwide of area malls led by shoppers fed up with the mall displays of Victoria’s Secret. These protests, too, drew national media coverage. Soon after this flurry of negative publicity, and with reports of a significant drop in year-end sales, Victoria’s Secret made their big announcement of changing their image to one of being “ultra feminineâ€Â. As we thought at the time, the proof is in the pudding. Was this a true change in policy or just a desperate attempt to woo disgruntled shoppers disgusted with their eroticized displays? Based on last night’s so-called Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show televised on CBS, as well as recent mall displays and TV ads, the answer is resoundingly clear – Victoria’s Secret is as pornographic and erotic as ever. And this TV spectacle, the poorly named “Fashion Show,â€Â revealed mostly skin and barely any clothing. The show followed Victoria’s Secret’s yearly angel theme with backstage interviews referring to the models as “naughty angelsâ€Â and opened with lingerie-clad women dancing in a cage. As nearly nude women paraded down runways, cameras gave viewers close up shots of their body parts – focusing on crotches and cleavage – what we teach our children are “privateâ€Â areas. Amid these explicit displays, one of the most concerning aspects of the night was the promotion of the Victoria’s Secret “Pinkâ€Â line of lingerie. The “Pinkâ€Â brand is geared toward teenage girls – drawing them into Victoria’s Secret image, telling young girls that there worth is dependent upon being sexy and erotic. This was very evident as this lingerie for teens was modeled while singer Katy Perry, parading in lingerie as well, sang her song “Teenage Dreamâ€Â with the lyrics:    Let's go all the way tonight. No regrets … I might get your heart racing In my skin-tight jeans Be your teenage dream tonight Let you put your hands on me … As we stated, this was not a show about “fashionâ€Â. This was not even so much geared toward women. This was all about appealing to men –as was evident from the leering expressions of men in the audience. The camera angles, the erotic poses, all with the purpose of eliciting a sexual response – and a flood of Christmas sales of lingerie by men who want their wives to live up to the image on display by Victoria’s Secret. This was also blatantly obvious in the VS ads which ran during the commercial breaks – each ad in many ways even more pornographic than the show itself. One commercial entitled “One Gift – A Thousand Fantasiesâ€Â showed a montage of overt sexual displays of lingerie-clad women supposedly fulfilling the “thousand fantasiesâ€Â of men. Another, also intended for men, stated: “Give your angel a gift you’ll never forget.â€Â I said above that the Victoria’s Secret ‘Fashion’ Show wasn’t geared toward women, and yet it is. The underlying message of everything about Victoria’s Secret is teaching women and young girls to degrade themselves for the pleasure of men – that their value is equated to their body parts and sex appeal. The advertisers that supported this erotic display included KFC, Barnes & Noble, Sprint, AT&T. Click on the link below to contact the companies that empowered The Victoria’s Secret Show with their advertising dollars. Also, to contact Victoria’s Secret regarding their explicit advertising gimmicks, click the following link. =================================== Your support is important to our ability to make a difference. Donate online at: American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. American Decency Association Bill Johnson, President P.O. Box 202 Fremont, MI 49412 ph: 231-924-4050

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