It was all a misunderstanding, an overreaction, a tempest in a teapot.
That's the official word over the recent furor surrounding the Victoria's Secret "Bright Young Things" campaign for its PINK line. Enraged parents got their panties in a wad over, well, panties. Petitions and boycotts were organized to chastise the company for allegedly targeting teenage and pre-teen girls with attire that included panties sporting racy messages such as "Call Me," "I Dare You" and "It's Now Or Never."
The company quickly responded that it was aiming the ads at the college-age and spring break crowd and that any youngsters allured by the message were merely collateral damage. It's more than a little disheartening that society has become so blase and coarsened that we accept this postponement of invitations to fornication with a sigh of relief. ("Whew! Glad to know those tuition checks are going so my daughter can put a 4.0 in Appreciation of Brand-Name Lingerie on her resume someday!")
Goodness no, Victoria's Secret would never have the audacity to sell such suggestive items to your innocent fifteen-year-old daughter right there under your own roof. No, they would kindly wait until she's out from under your supervision. ("Your baby girl: now a whopping 20 percent older and more mature.")
I know my reticence about the matter of sexual liberation brands me as prudish, old-fashioned and out-of-touch in the eyes of inhibition-challenged young ladies, since everyone knows that our Founding Fathers fought for the inalienable right to feel sexy. Why, the concept goes all the way back to the Old Testament. Surely you remember the prophet Daniel being asked to interpret The Handwriting On The Crotch.
I'm sure the flirtatious panties are just a harmless fantasy for some women, but regressing to the carefree days of fantasizing with a cardboard box and mom's high heels would be even cheaper. And less likely to lead to VD and unplanned pregnancy.
No, we're not living in an "Ozzie And Harriet" world anymore (if we ever were). Fewer and fewer girls are going to borrow a line from the "Grease" song "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee" and challenge "Keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers."
But some capitulations to reality are more easily rationalized than others. At least with free birth control, proponents can say, "You're going to be doing it anyway, so at least use protection." That has a much more convincing ring than, "You're going to be doing it anyway, so at least use mass-produced catch phrases used by a million
I know "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," but sometimes you just have to look at the Big Picture. Two tombstone inscriptions you don't see very often: "I Wish I Had Spent More Time At The Office" and "I Wish I Had Teased More Potential Date Rapists."
One of my most trusted advisers opined that in a perfect world the sexy slogans would be reserved for older, married women. That makes sense, but I wonder if we couldn't place even stricter age restrictions on the clothing line.
"It's Now Or Never: The Early Bird Special Ends At 4:30."
"I Dare You To Buy The Economy Size Metamucil."
"Call Me An Ambulance. I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up."
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