Normally I'm a pretty laid back, tolerant, live-and-let-live type of girl. I don't feel it's my job to hoist my opinions and beliefs on other people (I can hear my husband laughing now;), especially as I realize in today's world not everyone believes as I do...but I really have to rant about something I find highly inappropriate.
I was wandering about the mall the other day when my attention was caught by these huge advertisements in a store's windows. The posters showed larger-than-life pictures of girls scantily dressed in lingerie-ish underclothing. I was a little surprised because I knew I wasn't near Victoria's Secret...and then I realized I was standing in front of aerie, American Eagle's under- lounge-, and exercise-wear branch. I was bothered by a few of different things while standing there slack-jawed in the middle of a crowded mall on a Saturday night.
1~The girls in the posters were obviously very young.
2~Said young girls were dressed in nearly nothing and what they were wearing could hardly be called age-appropriate.
3~Nearly naked, underage girls were posed very provocatively.
4~Provocative, semi-nude young girls had sexually-charged captions on their photos ("sexy," "flirty," etc.).
5~This was all on the outside windows of a store geared towards young, teenage girls.
Honestly, my first thought was, "that's darn near close to child pornography." While I realize the poster girls weren't actually fully nude or engaged in sexual acts, the photos were still of underage girls who were dressed and posed waaay too sexually for their ages.
Then my thoughts moved toward the fact that aerie is a store that is aimed at young, underage girls. I couldn't help but wonder what message the advertisers are trying to send: If you shop here you'll be fun and flirty? How about, boys will think you're sexy if you're wearing our underwear? Regardless of their intentions, the message they're selling is SEX. I mean, really, most aerie shoppers shouldn't even be showing any boys their underwear, let alone buying lingerie! Statistics show that "when compared to teens who are not sexually active, teenage boys and girls who are sexually active are significantly less likely to be happy and more likely to feel depressed...[and] are significantly more likely to attempt suicide." Everyday, 8,000 teenagers in the United States become infected by a sexually transmitted disease. Not to mention that teen pregnancy is rampant. If anything, we should be telling our girls (and our boys too, for that matter) to say No, NO, NO not Go, GO, GO!
Instead, what's aerie telling our girls? No need to wait until marriage, or heck, even until you're emotionally mature enough to handle sex. Unwanted pregnancy? STDs? forgetaboutit. It IS all about being sexy and titillating and catching those young boys by the balls...and have we got *the* cutest pair of garter panties and matching bustier to get you on your way.