In an analyst call reported on by the Wall Street Journal, Victoria's Secret CEO, Sharon Turney, announced that she felt the company had strayed too far from their original message of "ultra-feminine" by over-leveraging the success of their youth-oriented Pink brand to shift all their brands to appeal to a younger (and ever younger - my words, not hers) demographic of girls who aspire to be SEXY, SEXY, SEXY. Victoria's Secret, once a purveyor of elegance and sophistication, became what one friend coined Victoria's Shout Out, and the pulsating music combined with the clusters of fourteen year-olds rummaging through tables of brightly colored padded bras and glittery thongs drove most adult women to shop elsewhere. We've had a few years of this in-your-face sexuality, beginning with Britney's belly button and punctuated by her over-documented uncovered nether-regions. Add to that a series of scandals of young actresses whose nude photos meant for one or more crushes ended up on TMZ, risque Maxim photo spreads, Girls Gone Wild videos, and a push-up bra just doesn't seem all that over the top (bad pun intended) anymore. It's becoming ever more clear that no matter how SEXY a girl might look all dolled up in her skivvies on MySpace, there's another one, and another one and another one, who's body looks just as good and who's willing to display more of it. At a certain point, it actually becomes a little boring (which may be why Victoria's Secret's sales dropped 8% in Q4). Even Playboy is promoting a Miss Playboy Mobile contest where they are asking entrants to only post clothed photos.
This is all indicative of a larger trend that will continue to build as election time nears and likely long afterward - the idea of substance and nuance over proclamations and narcissism. Now that's sexy.