Dear Man Over the Age of 21,
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is not for you.
You might have thought it was.
Generally, 20-something women dancing in bras made of Swarovski crystals and feathers are for you. Ditto women staging "pillow fights." Ditto heterosexual women regarding each other lasciviously, whether in bars, on awards shows or on fashion show catwalks. Ditto every woman wearing a tutu who is not a professional ballerina on a day other than Halloween.
All these things are usually for you.
I can see why you would be confused.
Not this time, though.
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is not using women's sexuality to sell you something.
Tonight — if you tune in to CBS, 9 PM ET — you're collateral. The real audience? Your daughter. Your niece. The 15-year-old handing out the putters at mini-golf.
It's not just that you don't (for the most part), buy women's underwear.
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is made for middle schoolers (hear us out). The ones who are still figuring out who they're going to be — and to which companies they will hitch the wagon that is their brand allegiance. Maybe they're buying bras already. Maybe not. They probably will be now.
And Victoria's Secret is using their own, still-developing sense of sexual power against them. It's a syndicate, really. First you have the corporation, putting on a show in the grandest-of-grand "Let's put on a goddamn show!" American tradition. And then they have the models, whose castings, pre-show appearances and special duties are studied by preadolescent girls with the same intensity as you and your friends do a fantasy football league.
Who will wear the special $3 million bra this year? Your daughter knows.
Check out any of the "Angels'" Instagram feeds. Yeah, you've got your slimy-dude comments. But the huge majority are from teenage girls, tagging their friends, and typing out U LOOK JUST LIKE HER I WANT TO BE HER.
Victoria's Secret isn't selling sex to you. It's selling your daughter her future sexual agency. Buy our bras, and someday you, too, can have 8.2 million Instagram followers and date — at least for a while — The Weeknd.
If anyone's benefiting from this, it's the 17-year-old boys your kid's going to buy that bra for.
Do yourself, and your kid, a favor. Take her to the library tonight. And then for ice cream. And while you're at it, obliterate the Internet, because otherwise those pictures are going to be around until the end of time.
Images via MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images