Shine On

Should young girls be allowed to wear lingerie? One mommy blogger says yes

How young is too young for your daughter to start wearing lacy panties and brightly-coloured bralettes? For one San Diego mom, nine is the magic number.

Blogger Jenny Erikson has two daughters, ages 4 and 9, and earlier this month, she wrote a blog post entitled “Victoria’s Secret new teen line is something all moms should be happy about.”

In the blog, she wrote about her 9-year-old daughter being at the “in-between” age.

“As the mom of a girl that is soon going to decide she doesn’t want cartoon characters on her underwear, and will be wearing a bra sooner rather than later, I’m going to have to figure out where we’re going to purchase them,” she writes.

“All of a sudden, I understand who fits into those XS bikini briefs that taunt me from the table at Victoria’s Secret. I knew no one past puberty could fit into those.”

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The line she’s referencing is Victoria Secret’s PINK, which was originally geared towards a collegiate audience when it kicked off in 2002.

But now, the brand seems to have switched its focus to an even younger generation of teenagers and pre-teens.

This switch is targeting those pre-teens who would often be outfitted in panties that come in a three-pack from Walmart, maybe emblazoned with a bunny or some polka dots. But as Business Week reports, Victoria’s Secret is creating lingerie that’s more fashion-forward.

Erikson’s blog has sparked debate amongst moms who argue that girls shouldn’t be sexualized so early.

“I’m sorry, but teens and middle schoolers have no business shopping in a women’s lingerie store,” one commenter writes.

But Erikson disagreeWould you let your pre-teen wear these lacy items from Victoria's Secret PINK? (Facebook)Would you let your pre-teen wear these lacy items from Victoria's Secret PINK? (Facebook)s. “What’s wrong with having fun, bright-colored underwear? Girls change all the time in front of each other -- for sports or recreational activities that require it, at slumber parties or camp, for the school play … no one wants to be the girl with the ugly underwear,” she explains.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with having cute panties or bras from the big girl store," she tells Good Morning America, explaining that she's trying to find a happy medium. "You're trying to make them feel pretty, but you don't want them to feel bad about their emerging sexuality."

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Victoria’s Secret isn’t the only brand to shift part of their focus towards tweens. Hot Topic, an edgy teenage retailer which recently came to Canada recently started a lingerie line called "Blackheart.”

Even more surprising, Justice, a store that markets to 7- to 12-year-olds, cashed in on pre-teen lingerie craze by selling brightly-coloured bras and leopard-printed panties.

Female talk radio host Mel Robbins says that buying tweens lingerie is asking for trouble.   

"All you need to do is roll the clock forward four or five years,” she tells Good Morning America. “If you're buying a 9-year-old lingerie — they're going to be Snapchatting that lingerie in a matter of years to their friends."

But can a couple of pairs of underwear really be that bad? Erikson argues that it’s not about sexier cuts or styles, it’s about high-quality garments and making her daughter feel confident at a time when her body is changing.

“When I was 12-years-old…I invested in some VS bras,” writes Hilary Moss for New York Magazine. “My mother was fine with it because ‘the underwear was normal,’ she tells me now.”

“And look at me: I turned out arguably OK!”

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