Has advertisers' preoccupation with half-naked women shifted to half-naked men? Unclear. I think that bikini-clad girls will be used to sell products until probably the end of time, but it's interesting to see more chest-bearing men being thrown into the mix.
Given the advocacy and activism we've seen since then, the host of books, documentaries, articles, and speeches designed to push girls and women forward, things should be getting better for females across the board. Right?
Surely logic would dictate that however misguided the President's comments about Kamala Harris, they are utterly insignificant compared to the ongoing campaign to make our girls into sexually active women well before it is healthy or appropriate for them to be so.
In an effort to explain why I'm so frustrated about this latest round Victoria's Secret gaffe, I made alternate versions of the "Bright Young Things" underwear, with messages that convey what goes on in a young girl's mind when she is made to feel like an object and not a person.
I have spent months trying to find Star Wars underpants featuring strong female characters for my tween. I'm still looking. If she were in the market for, oh, say, highly inappropriate sexy thongs, she would be awash in options, such as Victoria's Secret's "Bright Young Things."
It's wrong to trivialize women. It's wrong to trivialize a deadly disease. And I have to ask would this be acceptable if we were dealing with male body parts or a man's disease? Where is the feminism in breast cancer awareness?
Given the mind-spirit-body connection, how can women have a truly healthy spiritual life when our bodies are riddled with doubt, self-consciousness, fear, judgment, disappointment, and demoralizing references?
I've given lots of thought to why this image bothers me. Sure, I want to desexualize the breast (especially in the context of breastfeeding), but does TIME's representation of extended nursing help us get past the anxiety we feel about women's breasts or breastfeeding? I think not.
Cynopsis Kids, the childrens' media news site, notes that, for the week of August 8th, MTV's Jersey Shore was the #1 show for teens 12-17. To impressionable young minds, there's a message in all of that.
"Tramp" is a provocative 5 letter word. We must be careful how we use it. Whether in slander or owning it, the meaning is the same. A woman is either being devalued or is devaluing herself. And, that is a message that we don't want to give our daughters.
I worry about the slippery slope of social science research that too often treats gender and sexuality as static phenomenon, and young people as doomed to a fate only an adult can devise for them, or save them from.