Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The conflicting teen sex messages of Candie's

Creepy much? Via Hollywood Life

Teen fashion brand Candie's seems to want it both ways. On one hand, they sell the idea that teens can look sexy in their clothes, featuring provocative images using young spokespeople like 16-year-old Disney Channel actress Bella Thorne, above.

At the same time, their Corporate Social Responsibility arm, Candie's Foundation, is an organization that seeks to prevent teen pregnancy by preaching abstinence. They've also been heavily criticized for using celebrities to shame teen mothers.

In fact, their whole plan is to instil a fear of pregnancy in teens. From their web site:
Our campaigns are making a difference. Research has shown that teen girls who have been exposed to the foundation and its messages are more likely to view teen pregnancy and parenthood as stressful and negative, and they are more likely to be skeptical of the media's portrayal of teen pregnancy and parenting. They also think teens should wait longer to have sex than girls who are not aware of the foundation and its messages.
There's something quintessentially American about a brand that sexualizes young girls, then tells them to suppress their sexuality or risk ruining their lives.

Interestingly, even the right-wing blowhards at Fox News see an issue with this.

Fox 411 quotes Katie Yoder, of the socially conservative (read: Fundamentalist Christian and anti-choice) Culture and Media Institute:
Candie's isn't selling clothes, it's selling sex and teaching young girls to act seductively. Thorne sends the message that being feminine has nothing to do with being genuine and that confidence means popping your hips and shaking your butt.
When both bleeding hearts like me and the One Million Moms brigade actually agree, you know there's a problem. Although I doubt we see it the same way.

I have nothing against teens expressing their sexuality among their peers. I just think they need the right information and support to do it safely, to avoid exploitation, unplanned pregnancy, regret, and the threat of rape. Candies wants girls to feel like sexual objects by buying their clothes, but also wants to terrify them out of actually acting on that agency by threatening grave consequences.

This is no way to raise a generation of women.


  1. Replies
  2. I doubt you see it the same way, also.

  3. We've seen minor-aged actress nude in films like Olivia Hussey in "Romeo and Juliet" at the age of 15 and Keira Knightley was topless in one film at the age of 15. That and girls around her age wear that on the beach all the time. So I don't see it as a big deal.

    1. Zamiel, the picture I posted was actually the tamest of the set. There is another in which her mostly-exposed posterior is clearly presented in a sexualized way.

      There is a big difference between bikinis and toplessness at the beach, and artistic nudity in film, and a highly-sexualized commercial fashion spread. But my main point here is Candie's hypocrisy about teen sexuality.

    2. Btw, did you notice how this isn't getting nearly as much attention as Dakota Fanning's ad a few years back? As a matter of fact, only fox news is talking about it.

  4. Btw, she stopped working with Disney after Shake It Up ended months ago.

  5. Is not necessary and right for young girls to exhibit excessive.

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