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Racy underwear line aimed at young girls unsettling to parents; Teens unphased

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Racy underwear line aimed at young girls unsettling to parents; Teens unphased

CREATED Mar 26, 2013

Reporter: Maggie Vespa

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -They say sex sells, but at what cost, especially when the ones buying in aren't even old enough to drive?

Parents across the country are outraged at a major lingerie outlet for, they say, pushing its new, sexed up line of underwear on girls as young as 15.

It's a far cry from rhimestones and lace.
But with phrases like 'Now or never', 'Wild' and 'Call me', Victoria Secret's new line, dubbed 'Bright Young Things', has teen girls diving right in.
9OYS reporter Maggie Vespa asked a group of teens, "For instance, this one says "wild" on it.  What do you think of that?"
14 year-old Deidra Sherman answered, "I think it's cute!"
Vespa asked 15 year-old Deandrea Williams why he thinks girls his age would wear this underwear.
He answered, "I just don't think there are a lot of places to get underwear.   I mean it's kind of like a style thing."
Local moms it's part of a changing, troubling culture.
"I notice do notice that TV shows and commercials especially do have a different feel to them," said Trisha Gratrix.  "Growing up too fast?  That sort of thing?" asked Vespa.  
"Yeah, definitely," she responded.
It' a point echoed by one Texas dad, whose open letter to Victoria's Secret went viral this week.
He writes, "I don't want my daughter to ever think her self-worth and acceptance by others is based on the choice of her undergarments."
The debate intensified even more when a quote from the company's CFO surfaced on the blogosphere, reading,  "When somebody's 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be? They want to be older. They want to be cool like the girl in college."
Mary Atkinson works with young girls through the self esteem building group 'Girls on the Run.'
She says products like this help produce an all-too common teen trap.
"How do they wear their hair?  What kind of clothes do they wear?  How do they interact with others?  So they become part of this girl box, rather than being who they truly are," she said.
As to whether plastering these messages on panties will lead to risky behavior, teens say not quite.
"Can underwear do that?" Vespa asked.
"No, not really.  I think it's the kids' choice," said Sherman.
But it's safe to say when it comes to this marketing strategy, Victoria's Secret is out.
In response to all the controversy, Victoria's Secret released a statement, claiming the line was never meant for young teen girls.  It was meant for college age women.