I trudged through the snow in the mall parking lot, clutching the pink box and steeling myself against the inevitable embarrassment I was about to experience. “Where is Theresa when I need her?” I thought. This was an errand I probably shouldn’t have tackled on my own.
There are three things you notice when you step inside a Victoria's Secret store: First, the apparel is not intended for adult women. It’s meant for girls who still love the color of cotton candy. Second, other than the billboard-sized posters of voluptuous models, there are no women in the store older than 20; and third, no one shops alone. They shop with their boyfriends.
I wandered around display tables, absorbing the techno beat of the music while avoiding eye contact with the dozens of teen boys holding purses and shopping bags and offering advice and opinions to their partners. How did all these teenagers get so comfortable buying bras and nighties?
Call me conservative — heck, call me repressed — but the atmosphere in Victoria's Secret was surreal.
It’s one thing to read news stories about the hypersexualization of today’s young people. It’s another thing to watch a generation of tweens and teens stand in long lines to buy flimsy leopard-print fabrics emblazoned with the word “Pink.”
Then again, there are no secrets for Victoria and her customers. Just the message — loud and clear — that being “hot, young and sexy” is all that really matters.
Columnist Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She is the author of “The Perfect World Inside My Minivan — One Mom’s Journey Through the Streets of Suburbia,” a compilation of her columns. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. Visit her Web site (www. marybethhicks.com) or send e-mail to marybeth. email@example.com.
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