If I hadn’t been on carpool duty last week, I would have missed what was the “biggest night of the year for men,” according to a bunch of teen boys: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. On second thought, I missed it anyway.
What? You’re not going to watch?
Everyone looked at me like I’ve been living under a rock. An old rock. Fully clothed. Eating a very sloppy Big Mac. Clearly, I’ve been living where Victoria’s Secret models wouldn’t be caught dead.
I guess it’s par for the course, though, because I can’t think of anything I’d like to do less than hang out with them.
Hey, honey! Want to sit with me in my pjs and glasses and ponytail and watch a bunch of girl “Angels” (yeah, they’re Angels, sure) parade around in thongs on prime time TV? Hey, wait! Let’s make it Family Night and make popcorn for the kids!
As much as I’d rather spend my evening sticking needles in my eyeballs, my reaction was not about me. I’ve got nothing against soft core porn – after all, I’m a married woman. And I’m not threatened by lingerie models – at least not anymore. I got over that somewhere between having kids and raising them.
But this year, there was something new about the yearly show that has men panting like dogs and his name is Justin Bieber. Call me crazy but watching a teenage boy ogling half-naked women is creepy. Hey, wait a minute here. Is Victoria’s Secret now marketing to teens?
If I remember correctly, this show used to be for mature audiences only. I like lingerie as much as the next woman (and man) but I’m confused.
Last year, Katy Perry appeared on the Victoria’s Secret show singing Teenage Dream while models strutted down the runway in rainbow stockings and Kiss This! panties. Then last week, the tweenage heartthrob hung all over them, showing tween and teen girls everywhere what they’re missing.
Never mind what message this scene was sending to teenage boys, I can only hope that the girls who tuned in didn’t start thinking about what they’re missing. Like abs so toned they could be plastic, slim thighs that hate muscles, balloon boobs, and way too much skin being flashed in public.
There was something disturbing about the teen hoopla surrounding the event. If Victoria’s Secret is now marketing to young, impressionable kids whose own bodies are in flux, it might want to show them a little something about the true nature of beauty. The Dove Real Beauty campaign has done it well.
But last week, the brand missed its chance. Instead, it reinforced the same old unhealthy stereotypes:
1. Boys want you to look like a sexy Barbie Doll on a diet – an impossible ideal; and
2. You’ll never measure up unless you focus all your energy on what not to eat, how hard to work out and how little to wear – three teenage girl pitfalls that parents worry about enough already.
So thanks, guys and gals, but no thanks. Tuesday nights Parenthood is on, anyway.