Q: At your talk last week, you said you won’t shop at Victoria’s Secret. Why not? What’s the big deal?
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Victoria’s Secret for a long time now. On one hand, they make really great bras. Seriously now–the “Body by Victoria” happens to be my favorite bra ever. I have two of them that have been holding up my girls since before I started boycotting the store, which makes them… I can’t even admit to how long I’ve owned them! The only reason I’m sharing that embarrassing little tidbit is to underscore how serious is my reason for not shopping there. ‘Cause if there wasn’t a good reason, you better believe I’d have hit up their semi-annual clearance sale a few weeks back for some replacements!
Here’s the deal: Victoria’s Secret isn’t just selling bras and panties. They’re selling in-your-face, overt sexuality to every mall passerby. It would be one thing if they just sold their goods behind closed doors, keeping those secret places of a woman’s body secret (as they should be). But by plastering larger-than-life, next-to-naked bodies up and down their store windows, looking like they’re seducing every man walking by, they’re promoting a lifestyle of immodesty. They’re telling you and me and your high school crush that a woman’s body is for looking at, and a woman isn’t a woman if she isn’t flaunting all she’s got.
As for my boycott, the turning point came when I walked into a Victoria’s Secret shop for the first time with my oldest daughter. She wasn’t even one yet, but as I looked around the store I had this crazy, flash-forward moment to when she’d be 15. And I asked myself, Would I want my sweet, innocent daughter to shop here? Heck no! And I wouldn’t want you, my little sisters, shopping there either. Not because I’m a prude or because I’m embarrassed by the next-to-nothing lingerie. (I’m all for steamy attire… in the bedroom… with one’s husband.) But I don’t want my sisters, or my daughters, or myself to spend our money supporting a business that’s confusing our understanding of love, modesty and intimacy through its advertising.
I’m not judging any of you (or your moms) for shopping at VS. But since you asked, there it is. I do think it’s important for us to think through why we do what we do–and why we shop where we shop–in light of God’s calling on our lives. As the apostle Paul said, each one of us has to be convinced in our own minds whether what we’re doing is in line with God’s will (Romans 14:5). For me, even though I know it’s impossible to boycott every store that endorses anything ungodly, I also think there has to be a line somewhere. And in my opinion, Victoria’s Secret has jumped over that line with two feet.
In the meantime, I’m still looking for a “Body by Victoria” bra replacement (before mine completely disintegrates). If any of you have some suggestions for a killer brazier, I’m all ears!