I recently heard on the news that a large amount of mothers, and probably some fathers, are planning on protesting Victoria Secret PINK’s new “Bright Young Things” collection. They feel that it is geared toward young girls, and sending the wrong message. Although there could be a conversation about opinions on whether or not that should be acceptable for days, I do not think that sayings on undies are the problem here.
The act of mother’s coming together against something reminded me of an Oprah episode that I saw a year or two ago about the HPV vaccine. Oprah had an audience of mothers that were against giving their daughters the shot. They weren’t against it because they were afraid of medical risks, but because they didn’t want their daughters (in some cases said to be seventeen to eighteen years old) to have to find out what sex is (as if it was “it that shall not be named”) in order to understand why they were getting these shots. This was completely outrageous to me. The fact that anyone would risk not letting their daughter get the HPV vaccine, or not give their daughter the choice to get the HPV vaccine in order to avoid an awkward conversation is awful to me. Those mothers were just trying to protect themselves more than their daughters. While it may be hard for parents to accept that their kids may need to know about sex and may even potentially have sex, keeping in the dark cannot be the answer.
I am sure that there are a few eighteen-year-olds in the world that do not know what sex is. However while they may know about sex, a lot of them are not even having sex, which is perfectly normal. My problem is with the taboo that parents have formed around sex, particularly when it comes to their daughters. I would argue that most of the moms on Oprah are living in a dream world if they think their daughters do not know what sex is, and/or they are not having any sort of it. If parents have more open discussions about sex with their daughters (and/or sons), a lot of the sex-related problems going on in our society today would disappear or decrease.
Personally, I do not think it is appropriate for a fourteen year old girl (and I am only eighteen) to be wearing undies that say “call me” on the crotch. However I also think that girls would be less inclined to purchase underwear with sayings like that, and would better understand what it potentially is saying to have that on your underwear if there were more open conversations about sex. Boys and girls are going to have sex, regardless of their parents’ opinion on it. However, if there were open communication about sex, and all the different aspects of it, and the taboo of sex as being “dirty” or “wrong” and needing to be hidden from adults were taken away, people could potentially be more responsible about their sex related choices. If more young girls understood why this collection is so controversial the inappropriateness of the underwear being sold at PINK would be an obsolete concern. They could exist without the fear of youth corruption, because it would not be introducing anything new. Girls purchasing them would be making an informed decision (and right on to them!) to buy these items.
Long story short, sex is a thing. So let’s quit pretending it doesn’t exist.
Author: Alix Schillaci