April 15, 2013 at 3:26 PM ET
Victoria's Secret is in big trouble again for—get this—selling racy underpants. (I know!) The particular unmentionables in question are some thong panties from the Bright Young Things collection decorated with words like "now or never" and "wild" across the front. BYT is part of the Pink line, which is designed for college students. The problem, say the eleventy thousand parents who are completely freaking out right now (according to Business Insider) is that these provocative panties are being marketed an ever-younger customer.
"Shame on you," Business Insider quoted one mom as saying about BYT. "This is blatant objectification of women, and sadly, younger girls will want to have these items, because they think VS stuff is cool."
It turns out, she's exactly right. In a heated AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, a Victoria's Secret store manager insisted that their customers are getting younger and younger. "We get complaints ALL the time that our merchandise isn't sized small enough to fit younger girls," she wrote. "We have middle schoolers and high schoolers who come in and can't find Pink yoga pants or clothing small enough."
While detractors accuse VS of malicious marketing and blame these small scraps of Lycra and lace for preying on young girls' insecurities, I'm just over here scratching my head. I'm not saying that I want my daughters wearing this stuff, but Victoria's Secret is selling underwear. Blaming VS for making our daughters dress like hussies is like accusing McDonald's of making them fat.
The way I see it, it's not like my otherwise sensible daughter is going to get drunk at a party and strip down to her skivvies just because they're printed with the words "feeling lucky" or "wild." I'd like to think that the fifteen or sixteen years of parenting I engaged in up until that point might trump what's underneath her skirt. At least, I sure hope so.
Jenna McCarthy is an internationally published writer, TED speaker and the author of five books including If It Was Easy They'd Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-so-handy Man You Married (Berkley Books, 2011). Find her at JennaMcCarthy.com.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.