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March 7, 2005

Victoria’s Secret for the Pre-School Set

Much has been written about the millions of dollars spent each year on advertising campaigns aimed towards very young children. If they are typical kids who watch a couple hours of TV a day, by the end of the week they may see hundreds of images whose seductive pitches attempt to woo them to their products.

We take an active role in monitoring the programs that Graham watches, the violence of classic Tom and Jerry cartoons notwithstanding, so we hear very few pleas for this certain sugary breakfast cereal or that spectacular new toy.

I can explain to Graham why eating SuperSugarChocoPops is not good for his body, but how I am supposed to react when he responds to an advertising campaign aimed at a more adult audience?

Here’s what happened: one night last week when Brian was working, I was washing dishes while watching Monty Python on the BBC America television station, trying to get my weekly hit of dry British humor.

Graham was racing round and round the house with Pont, the new puppy, when suddenly both of us stopped what we were doing, mesmerized by a whirling vision on the screen.

A beautiful young woman was posing her voluptuous body on a fashion runway. As she arched her back and spread her long, lean legs, the camera zoomed in and around her black bra and panties, highlighting Victoria Secret’s latest technological marvel in the science of breasticular engineering.

While she contorted this way and that, I was doing a mental inventory of the model’s assets. “Let’s see, about 23 years old. Hmm, that taut tummy has never carried a baby. And those have definitely never been working breasts,” comparing them to my own kangaroo pouch of a tummy stretched by the 50 pounds I gained with Graham and my sagging, post-nursing mommy glands.

When the commercial was finished, Graham turned to me and said, “Wow, Mommy! We should get one of those for you!”

In between snorts of laughter, I was able to choke out, “Gee, what a great idea, Graham.”

The feminist in me should probably have had a long, serious talk about the objectification of women in the media (in terms that a four year old could understand, of course) and how we need to respect women for all their skills and contributions, not just their ability to defy gravity north of the equator.

But my vain, inner girly-girl was popping with pride, basking in the knowledge that her son thought she was pretty, too.

Either that or he’s already been brainwashed by the media.

I prefer the former.

Note: Graham did recently perform at his first Irish Dance recital. You can see a few pictures at my husbands blog....but realize you are also going to a sports blog. You've had fair warning.

Posted by maasx003 at March 7, 2005 7:58 PM | Family


I laughed out loud about Graham's reaction. If only we could go back to some of those innocent days when life was simplier. Have a good one!


Posted by: kathy at March 8, 2005 8:39 AM

That's my boy!

Posted by: Brian Maas at August 12, 2005 6:42 AM