For over a decade Victoria’s Secret has been one of the largest female lingerie suppliers, building an empire by showcasing “the world’s most beautiful women” in their catalogues. The brand has even extended their marketing reach to television, producing sultry commercials as well as their widely anticipated fashion show that’s broadcasted every year. With so much of their brand visible, Victoria’s Secret image is finding itself scrutinized as it hires younger and younger models over the years for its sexually implicit advertisements and runway shows. The company now faces allegations of sexual exploitation as social media perpetuates its usage of “tween” models for adult content.
As a means to bring the Victoria’s Secret sex appeal to younger women, the company launched a new line called PINK in late 2003, targeting the 18-22 female age bracket. The spirit of the line was geared towards a “fresh, fun, and free” slogan that still offers collections of lingerie, loungewear, and sleepwear, much like the original Victoria’s Secret women’s line.
That being said, that marketing tactic was a good idea in the early 2000s when young women were introduced to this type of clothing at a specific age rather than having grown up with it like most teenage girls are today. Over a decade as the PINK line gained popularity, it also attracted a younger female audience causing the company to hirer even younger models to fit the growing, younger image. As a result, when the 2012 Victoria’s Secret fashion show made its yearly debut on television, social media blew up with forums, twitter blasts, Facebook posts, etc… about everybody watching and noticing how young the models that appeared in the PINK segment of the show looked and why they would be chosen to model for a company that has an image like Victoria’s Secret does. This influx of younger models for an older aged brand therefore causes them to mature out of the PINK line and into the Victoria’s Secret line at a younger age than previously before, and slowly but surely boxing the brand into a corner that boarders on the sexual exploitation of young women.
In the link posted above is the 2012 PINK segment of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Purposely trying to grab the attention of a much younger audience, it showed Justin Bieber performing alongside models in toy themed lingerie outfits that easily look like they could be the age of most of his fans, which is scary considering that’s preteen and teenage girls.