Marsha West
Retailers and entertainment industry aspire to hyper-sexualize girls
By Marsha West
March 20, 2013

Victoria's Secret (VS) has sunk to a new low – and I didn't think that was possible. Recently the retailer introduced a line of intimate apparel that they're calling "Bright, Young Things." The new line is designed to appeal to teen and tween girls. Get a load of this:

In the spring line, you'll find an array of panties, from lace back cheeksters with the word "Wild" on the back, to a lace trim thong with "Call Me" on the front, to green-and-white polka-dot hipsters reading "Feeling Lucky? (Source)

So – the decision makers at VS see nothing wrong with targeting middle and high school girls for the purpose of purchasing lace trimmed thongs with "Call me" emblazoned on the front? Do these people not comprehend that this new line exploits girls? Have they no sense of decency?

Apparently not.

Because the company is in business to make money it appears every decision is strictly about the bottom (pardon the pun) line: "Sales of lingerie for younger women are a $1.5 billion-a-year business for Victoria's Secret's Pink line, which also woos girls." If making a profit means the company has to hyper-sexualize girls – because that's what they're doing – so be it. Dads, how do you feel about your 12-year-old wearing hipster panties that ask the question: "Feeling lucky?" Would you think it cute? This is what I was referring to when I said that Victoria's Secret has sunk to a new low. One can only hope that parents will have the good sense to shop elsewhere for their precious daughter's undergarments.

But VS is not the only organization pushing sleazy undergarments to young girls. According to Bloomberg Business Week, retailers of top name brands such as Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters present their garments as cute vs. sexy. Marcie Merriman, founder of consulting firm PrimalGrowth, candidly reveals that retailers are "all going to say they're targeting 18- to 22-year-olds, but the reality is you're going to get the younger customer."

The Bloomberg article maintains that intimate apparel for girls generates big bucks for retailers – more than $11.1 billion in annual sales! Limited Brands has done even better – its VS Pink brand has done $1.5 billion and expects to do even better in the coming years.

Bloomberg also reports this sad fact:

A decade ago girls had little choice in underwear; a training bra was often a plain garment bought at Target (TGT). No longer. "Sensuality and body image continues to be a message that young girls are seeing and are being exposed to in a much less controlled fashion perhaps than even 10, 12 years ago," says Dan Stanek, executive vice president at consultancy Big Red Rooster. They're aiming to imitate the lingerie styles worn by celebrities seen on the Web, he says.

Even worse:

Lingerie makers have to be careful adjusting their messaging for a younger audience so it's more about the girl and less about dressing in a way that's appealing for men..." Moreover, "Merchandisers must "use the word 'pretty' more than 'sexy'.... (Source)

Sly devils, aren't they?

Teen Girl Magazine "Seventeen"

While I'm on the subject of hyper-sexualizing teens and tweens, according to a March 11 Fox News report:

Ashley Benson, 23, knows what sells to America's 12-year-old girls: sex, including threesomes. Together with Seventeen magazine, the actress is promoting her new movie "Spring Breakers" on the magazine's cover, despite the fact that the movie is being hyped elsewhere for its steamy sex scene between Benson, actress Vanessa Hudgens, 24, and actor James Franco. The movie is rated R for strong sexual content, language, nudity, drug use and violence. Seventeen targets an audience of females, aged 12 to 19.

What, no cannibalism?

From the Media Research Center:

"Seventeen" Entertainment Director, Carissa Rosenberg Tozzi, introduced the interview with Benson by asking girls, "Ever feel like you want to try something different, but everyone else wants you to stay exactly the same?" The article sought empathy, relating how "It's super-frustrating to be pigeon-holed like that – and Ashley Benson knows exactly how it feels."

According to Tozzi, Benson desired to "branch out and try something edgier" in her new "Spring Breakers" role. She wanted to be "bold" because, in Benson's words, "as long as you're happy, that's what's important."

In an effort to be viewd as bold and edgy, the Disney star happily cast off her wholesome image, much the same as teen idol Miley Cyrus did a few years ago when she decided to change her wholesome image to sultry seductress. In a column I wrote entitled America's Moral Implosion I disclosed what young Miley was up to:

In her raunchy new music video single "Who Owns My Heart" fans won't recognize the cute teenage girl who plays the title role of Hanna Montana on the Disney channel. Miley is17-years-old and apparently thinks she's all grown up. If appearances are any indication, she seems quite comfortable in her new role. Watching the video makes one think that writhing on a bed wearing only underwear and grinding with males and females on the dance floor wearing short shorts and a reveling top is old hat for Lady Miley. One thing's for sure: Miley Cyrus is no longer the Disney darling she once was. Watch her video. See the new Barbarella do her thing.

I also pointed out that ever since the early sixties secularists have done their best to denigrate and coarsen the culture. Five decades later most adults don't bat an eye when they see "teenage girls parade around in public, scantily dressed, wearing getups that 20 years ago only prostitutes turning tricks on street corners would dare dress in." And I warned that, "unbridled immorality is part and parcel of the secular worldview." Moreover:

Young people abuse drugs and alcohol. They lie, cheat and steal without remorse. They do not flinch at brutality. Instead of portraying vampires and witches as villains, they are the new heroes and heroines. Coarse language spews forth from the mouths of preteens...there is little or no respect for authority or for adults...selfishness and narcissism has become the rule, not the exception. What more proof do we need that liberalism brings destruction to a nation?

Dysfunctional Hollywood Liberals

To a great extent, the entertainment industry (EI) is to blame for sexualizing girls. It's a well known fact that liberals are the movers and shakers in the EI. And those who work in entertainment, especially celebrities, are largely to blame for corrupting society.

Pro-family and religious conservatives are not the ones that have brought us the culture of death and destruction – liberals have. Liberals, aka progressives, insist that all mention of God and the scriptures be removed from the public square through their misinterpretation of the First Amendment. Was the First Amendment really intended to rid public education of prayer and the Bible, while at the same time giving license to pornography that has introduced society to every sort of evil imaginable?

Track the increase of gruesome crimes against children such as rape, sodomy and abductions since 1947 and you'll find a huge spike. No one can blame Bible reading and prayer for the upswing in crime against children. No. The blame must be laid squarely upon the shoulders of hedonist "progressives" for the simple reason that they are the ones to blame for our nation's descent onto moral relativism – the belief that there is no right or wrong and that morality does not exist – and if everyone's doing it then it must be okay.

A large number of Americans worry that society is experiencing a moral meltdown. They point to Hollywood as the main culprit for this. Yet Hollywood's elites choose to ignore the obvious. Instead of producing wholesome entertainment, which many people seem to want, the EI continually turns out filth – and the more twisted the better. Sex, violence and occult themes have increased in movies, on TV programs, video games, board games, and so on. Sex sells in magazines. Clothing manufactures sell sex. Even so-called Christian retailers are selling sex! (I reported on this in depth in my column The "New Breed" of Christian Fashion.)

A July 2012 study suggests that children who watch sex on TV programs and movies will be more promiscuous and sexually active from a younger age. "Psychologists concluded that teenagers exposed to more sex on screen in popular films are likely to have sexual relations with more people and without using condoms."

Dr. Ross O'Hara, who led the study, cautioned:

This study, and its confluence with other work, strongly suggests that parents need to restrict their children from seeing sexual content in movies at young ages. (Source)

What To Do?

I'll close with an excerpt from a column I wrote entitled Liberals Created the Culture of Evil and Death, Part 1 where I offered the following advice on ways to turn the clock back to a time when children were allowed to be children, before America took a very dark turn:

First, Bible believing Christians must share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith" (Rom 1:15-7).

We must make disciples of all nations. (Mat. 28:19) This is a command not a suggestion. People will not change unless hearts and minds are changed. It is men and women who need changing, not just the system (but the system needs changing too). There's a Holy Spirit filled power in the gospel that can change the most hardened criminal into a saint.

Second, Christian parents must instill in their children a Christian worldview on a variety of moral issues such as premarital sex, bearing babies out of wedlock, abortion, homosexuality, biblical marriage, gambling and drug use.

Third, parents must address what's going on in the government-run-schools they send their children to, where individual thinking is discouraged and group-think is rewarded. What kids are being exposed to is humanistic education. A large number of our public school teachers and counselors are radical liberals. Their aim is to persuade students to reject their parent's values and instill their own leftist ideology. In her book "Total Truth," Nancy Pearcey warns parents that they're youngsters "must be equipped to analyze and critique the competing worldviews they will encounter when they leave home" and she explains how to equip them. In short, young people must have the confidence to stand up for what they believe, both in college and the workplace. Turning the other cheek has never deterred a liberal.

Fourth, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." Why is this important? "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry" (2 Tim 4:2-5).

Fifth, pray! "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit" (James 5:17, 18). When you pray you must pray to the only true God.

© Marsha West


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Marsha West

Marsha West is the owner and managing editor of Christian Research Network (CRN), On Solid Rock Resources, and Apprising Ministries. She is also co-founder of Berean Research.

For many years Marsha was a regular contributor to several popular blogs but now writes exclusively for CRN and Renew America. Her articles have been translated into many languages and distributed worldwide.

Check out Marsha’s Research Papers on CRN.

Connect with Marsha on Facebook and MeWe.


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