Evan Dolive an ordained minister and father of a three year old girl wrote an open letter to Victoria’s Secret expressing concern about the company’s marketing to tweens.
“Dear Victoria’s Secret,
I am a father of a three year old girl. She loves princesses, Dora the Explorer, Doc McStuffins and drawing pictures for people. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, cheese and pistachios.
Even though she is only three, as a parent I have had those thoughts of my daughter growing up and not being the little girl she is now. It is true what they say about kids, they grow up fast. No matter how hard I try I know that she will not be the little ball of energy she is now; one day she will be a rebellious teenager that will more than likely think her dad is a total goof ball and would want to distance herself from my embarrassing presence.
I know that this is far down the line and I try to spend as much time as I can with her making memories of this special time.
But as I read an article today posted on The Black Sphere, it really got me thinking that maybe the culture that we currently find ourselves in is not helping the cause.
Recently I read an article that Victoria’s Secret is launching a line of underwear and bras aimed at middle school aged children. The line will be called “Bright Young Things” and will feature ” lace black cheeksters with the word “Wild” emblazoned on them, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with “Feeling Lucky?” and a lace trim thong with the words, “Call me” on the front.”
As a dad, this makes me sick. I believe that this sends the wrong message to not only my daughter but to all young girls.
I don’t want my daughter to ever think that her self-worth and acceptance by others is based on the choice of her undergarments. I don’t want my daughter to ever think that to be popular or even attractive she has to have emblazoned words on her bottom.
I want my daughter (and every girl) to be faced with tough decisions in her formative years of adolescence. Decisions like should I be a doctor or a lawyer? Should I take calculus as a junior or a senior? Do I want to go to Texas A&M or University of Texas or some Ivy League School? Should I raise awareness for slave trafficking or lack of water in developing nations? There are many, many more questions that all young women should be asking themselves… not will a boy (or girl) like me if I wear a “call me” thong?
I want my daughter to know that she is perfect the way she is; I want my daughter to know that no matter what underwear she is wearing it does not define her.
I believe that this new line “Bright Young Things” thwarts the efforts of empowering young women in this country. “Bright Young Things” gives off the message that women are sex objects. This new line promotes it at a dangerously young age.
I implore you to reconsider your decision to start this line. By doing so you will put young girl’s self-esteem, self-worth and pride above profits.
Rev. Evan Dolive
Girls feel pressure to be smart, thin, pretty, and involved in certain activities. Dads have the ability to combat these pressures and make their daughters feel beautiful, inside and out. This dad did a fantastic job with that responsibility, and that’s why we applaud him on this Father’s Day! Great job!
It’s time for some fun summer reading! Whether you have summer reading assignments to do for English class, or you’re just looking for a good book to read while you lay on the beach, here are some awesome heroines that live the BYOU message.
The Harry Potter series: Hermoine Granger
What would a strong female character list be without Hermoine herself? She has the magic to fly on a broomstick and use a wand to cast spells, but her best power is something all women have: the power of her brain. She’s smart, and proud of it—she doesn’t shy away from being seen as an intelligent woman. She embraces her smarts and uses them to help her friends and fight pure evil without so much as worrying about a cracked nail. Best of all, she shows that girls who read books rock!
Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet
Elizabeth Bennet is intelligent, outspoken, and independent, and she’s growing up in a time when women aren’t supposed to be any of the above. Yet Elizabeth manages to stay true to herself and stand up to the people who try to put her down for being different. And in the end, she finds happiness without ever changing herself.
Gone with the Wind: Scarlett O’Hara
Scarlett is one of the fiercest women yet. She’s a Southern belle, but doesn’t conform to her society’s idea of how a lady should live her life. Spunky, spontaneous, and downright determined, Scarlett will do anything to defend her family and home, and still manages to wear hoop skirts in the middle of it all. You go, girl!
The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen
She’s known as “the girl on fire.” What more could we ask for? For those of you who haven’t read the Hunger Games series yet or seen the movie, we won’t ruin anything, but we will say Katniss overcomes so many obstacles (like surviving a fight to the death in an arena, leading a rebellion, and choosing between two guys she loves, to name a few) that she’s one of most courageous female characters of all time.
Unfortunately, not every father is a good guy. Some can be mean, neglectful, or even abusive. If you’re not looking forward to the upcoming Father’s Day because your dad matches the above description, just take a deep breath and remember these things.
1) It’s not your fault. If he’s acting out – or not even there – it’s not because of you. He’s frustrated with life, and he’s taking it out on you. Don’t blame yourself! He shouldn’t be treating you this way to begin with; he’s in the wrong, not you.
2) Stay strong. Some of the things he says to you may hurt. Remember that you’re an amazing person, and brush his criticisms off of your shoulders. Don’t let your father bring you down; rise above the negativity and let your spirit shine!
3) Calm down. Don’t spend your entire life worrying about your father. Take a deep breath and focus on yourself. Your own personal growth matters more than his opinion. So relax and take take of yourself first.
4) You matter. Even if your dad isn’t in the picture, know how important you are. You are a beautiful person, inside and out. Always remember that even if your father doesn’t care someone in your life does. Never doubt that.
Ariel and Jasmine are the two classic Disney princesses who actually live the life of a princess. They dream of exploring beyond the palace grounds.
Jasmine’s main obstacle is the laws of her land. Her father, the sultan, pressures Jasmine to marry any potential suitor for the sake of her kingdom, but she cannot even catch a glimpse of it. Feeling trapped as a princess with obligations, but no say, Jasmine flees the palace. She finally sees the world of her subjects including Aladdin who possesses qualities better than her suitors.
The guards return her to the palace because like her father, they enforce the laws. However, her father’s adviser Jafar, actually rules the kingdom by manipulating the sultan. Under hypnosis, the sultan even agrees to the marriage of Jafar and Jasmine. She is saved by Aladdin’s disguise as a rich prince, giving the sultan a better option. The kingdom is saved from Jafar by Aladdin’s tricky heroism and help from friends including Jasmine. Evil is banished while the laws remain the same, but the sultan does not forbid Jasmine’s wish to explore now and later marry a subject.
Ariel feels just as trapped, but she explores well beyond safe grounds. Her father, King Triton, forbids her and destroys her treasured collection, but he does not enforce rules on her or confine her. When King Triton hears that Ariel is in love, he wonders with whom out of affectionate curiosity, not to give approval. Ariel is also luckier than other Disney princesses by having non-domestic lessons. Prince Eric admires her talented singing, but Ariel forgets her concert debut because she dreams of a different world.
Ariel is also luckier than other Disney princesses with an education outside of domestic roles. She has singing lessons. Her talented voice is one of the extraordinary aspects Prince Eric admires, but Ariel forgets her singing debut because she dreams of a different world.
Her main obstacles from the human world are her tail and her father’s fear and prejudice of humans. Ariel has learned of humans’ creative side, but she only assumes that females are freer above water. Ariel gives up everything for romantic love in a world she misunderstands. By doing so, the sea witch Ursula gains access to Ariel’s voice and her connection to the throne. Ariel did not foresee Ursula’s intentions, but everyone knows Ursula is trouble. It would be like Jasmine making a deal with Jafar, knowing what he is like.
Without a voice to prove she is the amazing girl Eric seeks, his first impression of Ariel is her new obstacle. She is very fortunate that Eric is more than charitable to an odd unknown girl in rags. She doesn’t even have to wash the rags or wear them again. Although Ariel misunderstands some of the human world, she doesn’t try to change herself to fit in their world. Eric falls for the impulsive Ariel in front of him.
Ariel and Jasmine show that a princess’s life can be unsatisfying too, but Ariel did as she pleased from the beginning. Because Jasmine is not as free as Ariel, she explores for only a moment. Ariel’s running away actually failed too. Thanks to her father, she keeps her human form. Once the fathers accept their daughter’s choices, the sultan didn’t seem powerless anymore to laws and King Triton used his power to support Ariel’s dream. Waiting for father to share the same view may not sound heroic, but running away with only little knowledge of the world isn’t enough against people like Jafar and Ursula.
Ariel is a better heroine as a human because she didn’t rely on looks as Ursula suggested. She didn’t even try to prove she was the brave beautiful girl who rescued Eric. She offered her true self without the princess title, extraordinary talent, and mythical mermaid tail. Jasmine only fled and assisted, but she is a unique Disney princess by wanting to fulfill more of her dream before marrying her new love.
Bethany Hamilton isn’t the only person who survived a shark attack. In honor of the Bethany Hamilton Signature Series, check out these amazing stories of other shark attack survivors!
Rodney Fox is considered to have miraculously survived one of the worst shark attacks in history. While fishing the shark attacked him three times before his friends pulled him to safety. Afterwards, Fox went on to research and become an expert on great white sharks. He frequently consults on films and other forms of media about sharks. Fox managed to make a career out of his attack.
Jonathan Kathrein was a teenager surfing in California when he was attack by a great white shark. After escaping and surviving the attack, Kathrein wrote a book about the experience. Currently, he is campaigning to save the great white shark from man-made destructions. Kathrein found his passion in life from undergoing this experience.
Nicole Moore was bitten by a shark while on vacation in 2011, resulting in the amputation of her left arm. Moore uses the attack, however, as an excuse to create new challenges for herself. She’s competing in the 5 km Warrior Dash, and she has recently received a book deal. Though still adapting to her new situation, Moore refuses to let it defeat her.
You can help inspire others the way that these survivors have by checking out the Signature Series designs at www.beyourownyou.org. $7.00 of EVERY sale is donated to Friends of Bethany!