Boston College Outraged Over Deal With Victoria's Secret
Looking for a lovely pair of underwear for showing off your Boston College spirit? No problem — just cover your behind with a pair of Boston College undies from Victoria’s Secret’s Collegiate Pink line.
However, you might want to keep your undies under wraps (which is usually a good idea anyways). According to the Boston Herald, not everyone at the Catholic college is thrilled that Victoria’s Secret has included Boston College in the list of schools for their new college-themed collection. These new products feature the names of schools emblazoned on sweatpants, T-shirts, shorts, and yes, underwear. Products with the names of about 30 schools — including Boston College — are available. In exchange for this partnership, the schools receive an undisclosed amount.
What’s the fuss? Well, since Boston College is a Catholic and fairly conservative school, some feel that it’s thoroughly inappropriate for the school to partner with Victoria’s Secret. Although the college products themselves are not racy, the company is well known for marketing racy lingerie and other sexy products. As critics have pointed out, the college products have been displayed in the store in full view of not-so-Catholic attire.
Other critics argue that Victoria’s Secret objectifies women through its advertising and marketing of products, and that because of this, it’s sexist for universities to partner with such an organization. For this reason, the University of Minnesota has backed out of their previous deal with Victoria’s Secret.
All of this makes perfect sense to me. Respecting a school’s religious values and denouncing the objectification of women — who can argue with that?
At the same time, though, there’s another side to this story, which is that the products in this Victoria’s Secret line are perfectly tame — as are many of the products this company sells. Check out their collection of college sweatpants and hoodies — and even their underwear (which, as far as I’m concerned, is only obscene because they want $24.50 for two pairs of cotton undies). This is the kind of comfortable stuff you can buy at any college bookstore in the country.
I mean, do these girls look objectified to you? They look like pretty ordinary girls heading off to class. They might even be Catholic.
I’m not sure what I think. How about you? Is this Victoria’s Secret line demeaning because much of their marketing objectifies women? Is it inappropriate to market Victoria’s Secret products on the campus of a Catholic college? Or is this no big deal, since the products themselves are not overly sexual?