Psychologists blame societal pressures for the troubling rise of sexualized girls’ clothing – racy thongs and push-up bras for young teenagers. Easy access to pornography online has seeped into styles and popular culture, they assert. And parents aren’t to blame: “It’s a struggle for parents not to be meanies and come across as antisexuality,” says one psychoanalyst. So who do parents blame? The usual suspect (particularly recently) is Victoria’s Secret and its $1.5 billion-a-year PINK brand, with its youthful target demographic. PINK’s audience is 15-22 years old, and management concedes that “every 16-year-old wants to be a 19-year-old.” The company doesn’t mind. The current PINK spokesmodels are Sara Sampaio (22), Elsa Hosk (24), and Jessica Hart (27). Each of whom has wanted to be her current self since at least the age of 13.
Seeing bodacious models in flirtatious, suggestive underwear, it’s easy to assume PINK is run by an all-male staff–like all the lad magazines with similar photography. But PINK’s top management is no boy’s club. Among its female executives are Ms. Denise Landman (CEO), Ms. Sara Tervo (SVP of marketing and creative services), and Ms. Kim Schraub (SVP of Design), who is responsible for “the overall aesthetic of the Pink brand with a focus on optimism and fun, young, and sexy.” So maybe it’s not online porn like the shrinks think, maybe it’s fear of shrinking sales.