The father of a three-year-old girl has written to underwear company Victoria's Secret and asked them to re-think plans to launch a range of lace-trimmed, slogan-emblazoned underwear for teenage girls.
In an open letter on his blog, Evan Dolive said the retailer's proposals made him 'sick' as a father. The reverend - who is an ordained minister in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Houston, Texas - said that young girls should not be rating their self-worth in terms of their underwear. He called for the company to put girls' self-esteem, self-worth and pride above their profits.
Rev Dolive wrote his letter after reading a report on another blog which said the brand would be rolling out the new range this spring. The blacksphere.net post claimed the 'Bright Young Things' collection would include lace black 'cheeksters' with the word 'wild' emblazoned on them, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with a 'feeling lucky?' slogan, and a lace trim thong with the words 'call me' on the front.
The same blog quoted Stuart Burgdoerfer of Limited Brands, of which Victoria's Secret is a subsidiary, speaking at a recent conference where he claimed young girls 'want to be older' and 'cool like the girl in college'. He added that was 'part of the magic'.
Rverand Dolive's full letter is below – do you think he is right?
Dear Victoria's Secret,
I am a father of a three year old girl. She loves princesses, Dora the Explorer, Doc McStuffins and drawing pictures for people. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, cheese and pistachios.
Even though she is only three, as a parent I have had those thoughts of my daughter growing up and not being the little girl she is now. It is true what they say about kids, they grow up fast. No matter how hard I try I know that she will not be the little ball of energy she is now; one day she will be a rebellious teenager that will more than likely think her dad is a total goof ball and would want to distance herself from my embarrassing presence.
I know that this is far down the line and I try to spend as much time as I can with her making memories of this special time.
But as I read an article today posted on The Black Sphere, it really got me thinking that maybe the culture that we currently find ourselves in is not helping the cause.
Recently I read an article that Victoria's Secret is launching a line of underwear and bras aimed at middle school aged children. The line will be called "Bright Young Things" and will feature " lace black cheeksters with the word "Wild" emblazoned on them, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with "Feeling Lucky?" and a lace trim thong with the words, "Call me" on the front."
As a dad, this makes me sick.
I believe that this sends the wrong message to not only my daughter but to all young girls.
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. 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.
I want my daughter (and every girl) to be faced with tough decisions in her formative years of adolescence. Decisions like should I be a doctor or a lawyer? Should I take calculus as a junior or a senior? Do I want to go to Texas A&M or University of Texas or some Ivy League School? Should I raise awareness for slave trafficking or lack of water in developing nations? 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?
I want my daughter to know that she is perfect the way she is; I want my daughter to know that no matter what underwear she is wearing it does not define her.
I believe that this new line "Bright Young Things" thwarts the efforts of empowering young women in this country. "Bright Young Things" gives off the message that women are sex objects. This new line promotes it at a dangerously young age.
I implore you to reconsider your decision to start this line.
By doing so you will put young girl's self-esteem, self-worth and pride above profits.
Rev. Evan Dolive