Confessions of a RIFB Girl of 20-something {I shop at Victoria’s Secret.}

Were you ever denied permission to shop at certain stores when you were growing up? I was… when I was in college. However, the fact that I was forbidden to go, made me want to go all the more – and so I did.

…you’re probably still confused about how such an angelic girl almost got kicked out of Bible College, eh? heheh.

Hey listen, I did a lot of things growing up that I’m not proud of… but shopping at a womens health & beauty and clothing store is not on that list.

What stores (if any) were you not allowed to shop at when you were younger?
Do you still avoid those stores, or do you shop there quite often now?

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Posted on February 17, 2011, in Confessions of a Rebellious Independent Fundamental Baptist Girl of 20-something {Series}, Vlog and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. I live in Africa….shopping has only recntly become somewhat f a pasttime…shops that I was forbidden to go to? The bottle store or liqiour store( whatever you call it in the states.)
    You gotta know in africa the best shops are on the street corners…the street vendors can give you a really bargain and you can argue the price with them! You really got me wondering now, for the life of me I cant rememer which store I was forbidden to go to…today my fav has to be a bookstore and a luggage shop. Weird how one changes over time..

    • I don’t recall having any such restrictions. Of course, I lived miles and miles away from stores, living out in the middle of rural Iowa. When we went to the mall, it was a big deal — like an all-day outing.

      • I don’t really remember any store-restrictions set by my parents. Which made me all the more frustrated with the rule set my the college I attended.

        I’m an adult and should be allowed to use my own discretion – like what stores I shop at. Now, if it’s a porn store, then yes – I think it would be a rule (whether written or unspoken) that places like that are off-limits to Christian Bible-college students.

        Thanks for the comment, Jennifer!

      • The number “86” has an under lying meaning from the company that most worldly people have attributed to it ( according to my source’s ). 8 being the eighth letter of the alphabet ” H ” , standing for the word ” Hot “; and 6 being the letter ” F “, standing for the word…….. well you can see where this is going.
        I agree men should not be in these stores as they are intimate clothing for married couples, thus siongle ladies should also not be in them. I personally think single ladies have no reason to wear such clothing, ( including under clothing wear ). This is just my personal belief.
        I think if a lady wants lotions and stuff there are stores like ” Bath and Body Works ” that sell such items.
        I believe marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled and for this reason what married couples wear or do is their private business. unmarried people have no reason for any such items. possession of these items may lead to improper thoughts and feelings, thusly to immoral actions and or desires.
        This is the reason I would reccommend not being in these type of stores. I am not to sure that even married couples should be in this type and other “Adult Themed ” stores as it could lead to perversions that are not healthy for even married couples. All things maybe lawful to me but, not all things are edifying.
        Those are my thoughts on the subject. 😮 )

        • “I agree men should not be in these stores as they are intimate clothing for married couples, thus siongle ladies should also not be in them.”

          Lendell, I have to agree with you on this one. VS is not a store designed for just married couples. Yes, there is a small corner of the store that offers such “clothing” styles that would be for married couples; however, the majority of it is either normal pj’s, sweat suits, normal under-clothes, perfume, make-up, health and beauty products, sweatshirts, bags, t-shirts, and other such items.

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it!

    • Sometimes my co-workers go to S.Africa for work, and they’ll bring be back some trinkets or a purse or blanket or something! Everything is so unique there – handcrafted, carved, beadwork, glass, animal bone – that’s so cool!

      I do love a good bookstore… mainly amazon.com. hah. :]

  2. a) Thanks for the like!
    b) Go ahead and shop there! Like you said, you are a woman and it is a store for women. It is indeed not a place for men to be (though I have shopped for/with friends and family … yes, even my family … **mild shudder**) with all of the imagery they have. That actually brings me to the point of why some would boycott/ban others from shopping in that store. I have a few women friends/acquaintences who are anywhere from anti-pornography (and let’s face it, some of those images are considered pornographic in most places even outside of the Church) to militant feminists and everywhere in between who boycott the store for the overly-sexualized photos/videos that can be seen from the mall hallway/street.

    I do not go as far as some in saying “You cannot go there because of A, B, and C reasons”, but I also do not like walking along and suddenly having half-naked women thrust in my face. I am also not going to say people cannot shop there, because I am adament about not eating fast food but still occasionally eat a hamburger from [one of the slightly healthier fast food places] (i.e. Not McD’s, BK, DQ, etcetera). I also will not jump all over anyone’s case for grabbing a quick bite at one of those places or for shopping at one of those stores. For crying out loud, people, GROW UP! If we always avoided the places that make us uncomfortable or go against our beliefs, I can promise you that there would be a lot fewer people in the Church than there already are and many others would leave more regularly than they already do.

    Sorry for going on a bit of a long rant! I think you can see I agree with you.

    • Yes, I will definitely agree that the pictures (a good 99% of them) could very easily be considered border-line (if not completely) pornographic. And men *should* avert their eyes when passing said store (or anothing that has similiar images such as magazine racks, DVD’s, books, etc).

      Thank you for the “Grow Up!” shout out in your comment! ;]
      And thank you for the thoughtful comment – I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.
      Blessings!

  3. Unlike Simon, I’ve never been in Africa, but the part of Upper Michigan where I grew up probably wasn’t much better as far as stores went. The only places there I might have been forbidden to patronize were the bars – which were about every third business on the main street. But my grandparents, who raised me, never forbade me any of our limited choice of businesses, and by the time I was old enough to think about bars I’d become a Christian and was no longer interested.

    There certainly weren’t any Victoria’s Secrets up there in Iron River, and even where we live now – in southwest Wyoming – the nearest one is almost 200 miles away (there are a good number up and down the Salt Lake Valley, a 3 1/2-hour freeway drive west of us). In any other direction, it’s even farther. What do we all miss the most here? Not Victoria’s secret, but the Olive Garden (again, nearly 200 miles west).

    My wife and daughter both love the VS hand cream, and stock up every time we go over (several years now). But even they’ve never bought any clothing there – they say the styles just aren’t what they like. As to why not – I don’t know. Yes, once in a while I’ve been in the store with them, but most often my son and I just leave them there, head down the mall to Radio Shack, and meet again later. So, sorry, but I can’t give you a single juicy tidbit. (But I’ll encourage you that if a trip there will cheer you up or boost your morale a bit, especially before your surgery, go for it! We’ll be glad, not critical!)

    Best wishes, and prayers.

    • Pete, thank you for the comment. Olive Garden is an amazing restaurant! (Although, there was a period of time where that was the ONLY restaurant my friends wanted to go to for dinner dates, so I ate there ALL the time… and now try to avoid it whenever I can. Perhaps that will where off soon, I hope.)

      VS does have good hand cream, but my favorite is their perfumes and body sprays (especially the Dream Angel Wish and Amber Romance – those are like my “signature scents,” if you will).

      I don’t see myself taking a trip there before my surgery – just don’t think I’ll have the time! Thank you for your kind words though!
      Blessings to you and your family!

  4. Heather, I LOVE Victoria’s Secret, too. Don’t really have the budget for it, but I’m always happy when I can splurge there from time to time. Their perfume is the BEEEEST!
    However, the thing that does bother me is that I receive brochures and coupons in the mail, and I feel like I need to HIDE them from my husband … because … well, they’re usually plastered with pictures of very attractive, almost naked women in seductive poses. He would never try to look at them, but they’re there. Kind of like the GIGANTIC pictures they usually post in the VS store front. He purposely looks the other direction when we’re walking through the mall. Although it is a store for girls, VS does a good job of drawing male attention… which is annoying for Christian men and their wives. 🙂

    • Mindy, if you can find an outlet VS, they usually have sale/clearance prices on their stuff ALL. YEAR. ROUND. It’s liek Christmas at VS constantly. ;]

      I do hate the pictures they use… especially since they get sent to my house. So as soon as I grab the mail and see that something from VS came in the mail for me, I take it straight to my room and place it out of eye-sight so my dad or brother won’t have to look at it.

      The giant poster-sized pictures hanging on the store walls drive me crazy too. Especially when they place them in the store-front windows. I feel like they’re shoving it down everyone’s throats at that point.

  5. I think I can understand why they didn’t want to patronize that particular store. Because their advertising and television productions are not marketed only to women, but very obviously to men, encouraging adultery of the heart and mind, etc.

    Nothing wrong with a woman shopping there, unless you’re looking at the aspect of someone patronizing a store that encourages inappropriate advertising and basically pornography in advertising. But as most people would be very eager to point out, almost any place you shop at these days supports something bad…

    I’m just saying I understand why that might be a rule at a conservative Christian College. And if one is going there, and knows of the rules, it would be best to follow them while you are there. (I went to PCC, believe me, I know how hard that is.)
    =-]

    • Yes, as with any worldly things, they make sin (or that which is affiliated with it) look fun, flirty, and appealing.

      If you’re going to use the “supporting the cause by shopping there” argument, you’d have to treat stores and alcohol, movie rental stores and X-rated (or worse) videos, or beaches with that argument too. You might as well pack it up and live as a hermit the rest of your life.
      We’re IN the world, but not OF it.

      Thanks for the comment, Tim. :]

  6. I shopped more at VS during my time at college then I ever had before! It is all about legalism and that is what is holding alot of these IFB churches back from truly reaching people for Christ!!

  7. I hate when people use the word “legalism” when they’re talking about the convictions and standards of other Christians. To be legalistic is to require a certain action or service in order to achieve salvation. Independent, Fundamental Baptist Churches (at least mine) are not teaching legalism, but separation and holiness! To be separate from the world… pure and holy in every aspect of life. I never want to belittle or degrade someone who has higher standards than I do! The world will not be reached for Christ by a christianity that is just like it. We are called to be a peculiar people – different! And now I shall step down from my soapbox ~ for now!

    I, for one, am not opposed to shopping at VS! I do hate that they have seductive women, wearing nearly nothing, thrown in the face of my hubby. We were only discouraged from going there when we were teenagers on a youth group outting – which is completely understandable!

    • Amen, Marlie.
      Thank you for the comment!

    • I must admit that I shopped there one time for a gift for my at the time “to be wife in 24 hours” who is now my wife for life. =)
      But as for the legalism comment. I would like to put in my 1/2 cent.
      If we look at the Pharisees of Jesus’ day (which is what most people mean by legalism in the church today) they didn’t all believe in works salvation either. If legalism was simply adding works as a prerequisite for being saved then there would be no problem of legalism in the church. But there is. The idea behind “Christian legalism” is the making of a personal standard a rule that all Christians must follow if they are to be truly godly Christians. If the rule is not given in Scripture then it should not be mandated for others.
      I think this is what Amanda Bristol was referencing.
      Marlie, I agree that the term “legalism” get’s thrown around too much by people who don’t hold the same stance as those who have set the bar high so to speak. But we cannot rule it out just because one who has what some would consider “lower” stance on something than we do is saying we are legalistic. We may very well be.
      Do you think to yourself as you see people who aren’t as separated as you, “Compromiser” or “they need to just love Jesus more”. Do you think them just not quite as holy as you are? If so, you may very well be legalistic.

      We can set as many fences around the law for ourselves as we want. But we are not to make those fences equal to the law of God (that which is really required of a believer). Romans 14 is a good passage that addresses this. There are areas that Scripture leaves gray. To try to make something black or white where Scripture doesn’t is to add to God’s law. To do this is legalistic ( I prefer the term “Pharisee-ism” as it is more accurate and avoids the whole “that’s works salvation” bit.)
      I’m not sure if I’m breaking some sort of blog etiquette, but I would like to just give a link to some things I’ve written in trying to clarify the topic. Not that I am the final word by any means, but just to make available enough info to clarify my position.
      I was raised in a legalistic style of Christianity, so this topic hits close to home for me. I have friends who we raised the same and they have gone too far in reaction to the Independent movement. That is WRONG! they are in sin.
      May God help us to follow Him with our whole heart.
      http://reflectionsandmeditations.com/category/legalism-2/
      God bless you Marlie! Continue to live for Jesus.

  8. Hey Heather,

    Here’s my thoughts on this as a rebelious indepependent baptist guy of 20-something.

    Ok, so my first impression was to completely agree with you, girls shop there all you want, guys stay away. Then I got to thinking about it.

    What would be thought if I, a guy, shopped at a store that was a male equivalent to Victoria’s Secret? For sake of illustration let’s call this hypethetical store “Victor’s Secret”. (Yes I am having a hard time not laughing while writing this, but there is a point to this so just bear through the satire) I go strolling in to Victor’s Secret where prominently displayed are half naked – if not completely naked – men. All around are primarily products that are intended to arrouse and attract members of the opposite gender sexualy. Being that I’m not married, “spicing up my sex life” really shouldn’t be relevent at this stage of my life. Sure, they sell a few products that are completly ordinary. I can grab me some of “Victor’s Finest” cologne, or grab me a hoodie that has Victor’s signature on it, but I can get similar, if not the same, product at a million other stores.

    Even if i were married I certainly would not want my wife going into such a store, nor would that be something I’d want to be put before me. I understand being that we live in the world we are always going to have inapropriate images shoved in our face. I don’t however think it would me appropriate for me to put myself in a position where I am constantly having to avert my eyes to keep from seeing another man provocatively displaying his butt check, aside from having to do all to keep from gagging.

    So am I way off? or is it just “different” for girls? I’m not trying to be judgemental or anything, I’m sure you know me well enough to know that. Just sharing my thoughts.

    • Apaparently I stustuder when i type independent. lol

    • I see your point…ish.

      but can you really buy “similair, if not the same, product(s) at a million other stores”…? I mean, VS perfume/cologne scents are exclusive to VS. Meijers, CVS, Bath and Body Works, and your local WalMart aren’t going to carry them. Maybe I’ll get lucky at the corner garage sale this summer… or perhaps even someone gift that particular item to me for my birthday! But chances are, no. and garage sales give me the creeps. lol

      I suppose though that I could do my VS shopping online… hey, now there’s a though! :] I’m a genius… I’m sure of it. hah. ;P

  9. On the perfume/cologne thing, they all smell the same. Kidding, just wanted to make a typical obnoixious “guy” statement. In all honesty, I really can’t tell the difference between most perfumes or colognes, which is why I usually take a scent savy chick along if/when i purchase any 🙂 I’m sure that there must be some simiar scents to the VS line that you could alternatively use?

    I remember back when I was big into the whole Holister, Abercrombie, and such, I had bought this cologne from Holister and thought it was awsome, simply because it said Holister on it. A few months ago when I was packing up stuff to move into my appartment I stumbled upon the bottle, I took a whiff and thought it was horrible. I couldn’t believe I actually wore the stuff and liked it. I was more enamored by the name “Holister” than the scent, and because it sayed “Holister” it was the best stuff in the world.

    Now I’m not girl, so I know that when it comes to these things I am 90%, correction, 99.999% ignorant. So perhaps this is just pure male ingnorance when ask, Is it possible there’s a similar situation with the VS perfume, lip balm, etc. as was mine with Holister cologne?

    As far as the VS website goes. At the particular Bible college we attended, it was common practice for my friends in the dorm to steal my, then, brand new the market iPhone off the dresser, go to the VS homepage (highly inaprorate for men), then put the phone back on my dresser, so when I turned on my phone, there it was. Oh the things that go down in Bible college, lol. Just a humorous story I thought I’d share!

    • Yeah, some perfume/cologne scents are pretty similiar. But you know us girls – we can tell the difference from a mile away. ;]
      I LOVE perfume/body sprays, so I have a whole box full of different scents to pick and choose from depending on what I’m doing that day (sports, business, church, wedding, casual, etc). The brands range from Bath and Body Works, VS, Avon, Roxy, and some off-brand stuff.

      My favorite men’s cologne is made by Abercrombie – Fierce. *sigh* oh my soul, that stuff is heaven-on-earth in a bottle. :]

      I’m not picky with the scent’s brand… so long as I like the scent and it doesn’t smell like rose-smothered cardboard, I’ll use it. If I could find some of the VS scents I like at other stores, I’d buy them (especially if they were cheaper!)

      You college boys are so immature… ;P jk…ish.

  10. The only issue with shopping at VS when you’re single is ‘who’re you showing off to?” Granted, there are lots of PJs and regular underwear there, but VS is known for lingerie, which is meant to make what only should be done between a husband and wife more…special.

    • David, you asked, “who’re you showing off to?”

      Just because I shop there, doesn’t mean I’m “showing it off” to anyone. I like to look nice – on the outside, inside, and inbetween.

      While VS does have a lingerie section, that is not the primary items they sell. Most of their merchandise is just “normal” underclothing for women. Girls like a little “extra” than just the plain and simple – VS offers a nice line of this stuff. So do other stores (Kohls, Meijers, JCPenny, Sears, Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, etc). I shop at all those stores… including VS, because I like their line of merchandise (the styles, they way it fits, they way it lasts, etc).

      Thank you for the comment!

      • With as much propriety as I can I want to say that my wife and I were discussing this two days ago (because of your post, heather).
        Females seem to actually care about how they feel in all of their clothes. They like to feel pretty. Guys don’t really care that much. We like to look good in our shirt or jeans or whatever, but it’s more the thing we’re wearing as opposed to how we look in it. For example, a guy who likes plaid will wear it and like it regardless if it really looks good on him. But women are more complex than that.
        I don’t care if my under shirt has a cool design on it. It’s under my shirt and no one sees it and it’s irrelevant what it looks like. But females do care about these things. If they feel pretty in it, even though no one else sees it, it is important to them. That’s good enough for me. I’m glad I understand this aspect about my wife. Instead of complaining about it (an occasional joke may be in order though) men should take note. It’s one more way to cherish your wife. Don’t just tell her she’s beautiful, buy her things that actually help her feel as beautiful as she really is. Why? Because it’s important to her!
        Because of this, I believe it’s healthy for a married man to shop there periodically. And if you can’t control your eyes, then you shouldn’t be at the mall in the first place. But if that is the case then give your wife some money and tell her she has to go buy her something there.
        Okay, I’ve successfully turned this from a “I shop at VS” post to “Hubby’s love your wives!” post. Sorry, heather. Thanks for letting me use your blog as a soap box. =)

        PS. the whole “Victor’s Secret”… that’s just scary. Men shouldn’t care what their undergarments look like or how “pretty” it makes them feel. I could see a store like that cropping up in California. LOL!

  11. daniel…

    i have to say, i thought your “wife for life” comment was so sweet…
    & the fact that you referred to your comments as “1/2 cents” made me laugh. i guess i have an odd sense of humor.

    anyway…
    i think the reason i get SO bent out of shape about the throwing around of the term “legalism” is because i have family members/siblings who have ALWAYS described my parents and their beliefs and convictions that way. when, in reality, it MAY be to excuse their blatant rebellion in several areas.

    my dad is a pastor of an independent, fundamental baptist church and he & my mom both come from very rough backgrounds. when they accepted Christ as their Savior, their lives changed drastically. they began to question everything… the way they were dressing, their haircuts (or lack thereof in my dad’s case – ha!), the music they listened to, the words they used, where they shopped, what they consumed, who they had for friends and influences, etc. they found their answers through a pastor who counseled them using God’s word, and through searching the scripture on their own.

    just because they had scripture to back them up doesn’t mean that i (or my other siblings) didn’t hate their “ridiculous rules” that made us “stand out and be different from everyone else”! you can be a christian and reach people for Christ and still wear “this”, or listen to “this”, or go “here”, or say “this”, blah, blah, blah…

    now, i’m older and married and thinking about a future with a family. it’s funny how things come into perspective as life gets filled with more responsibility. dress standards, convictions about language, television, music, etc. are so important!! i’ve realized that the only thing that keeps me from holiness is my own pride ~ fear of what others will think about me. i’ve also come to realize that if i focus on MYSELF and pleasing God in MY life, i have less time to focus on the imperfections of others. another thing i’ve learned is that if i make excuses for myself in certain areas, i can drag other christians down with me. the Holy Spirit may be convicting them about a certain area of their life, and i could be the one to give them their excuse or reason not to change what they’re doing. [ Romans 14:13-23; 1 Corinthians 10:23; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:22 ]

    i think it comes down to believing that it isn’t what other people think that matters (however, that DOES matter! what people think of us is what they think of our God), but what God thinks… and He clearly addresses certain issues in His word… you either accept those and pray that He will help you follow His pattern for your life in even the smallest details, or make excuse.

    i don’t want a wordly philosophy, or silly prideful love to keep me from reaching my full potential for Christ.

    i don’t really know if i got my point across, because i’m not really good at trying to convert my thoughts into words…& i added to, and wrote on this 3 separate times. LOL… but, hey, i did my best.

    • I admire your desire to please the LORD and represent Him as best as possible.
      While there are things that Scripture does address, there are others that it is not clear on and the matter is left up to the conscience of the believer.
      “i think the reason i get SO bent out of shape about the throwing around of the term “legalism” is because i have family members/siblings who have ALWAYS described my parents and their beliefs and convictions that way. when, in reality, it MAY be to excuse their blatant rebellion in several areas. ” I couldn’t agree more! I hate antinomianism clothed as Christian freedom just as much as I hate legalism clothed as Christianity.
      God bless!

  12. I greatly appreciate your willingness to boldly go where few have gone (or care to go). I really appreciate the thoughtful pauses this has hopefully caused us, as readers, as to what “convictions” we hold dear that are not exactly convictions based on God’s Word. I hold some convictions, but many many more preferences. There is a great difference between the two, and this needs to be discerned by prayer.

    Again, thank you for provoking thought in all that read this blog.

  13. I was brought up with very few restrictions in my life. Almost everything was OK. My parents were not Christians.
    I would be the parent that *restricted* her children in the places they could shop. V.S. may have nice warm ups, perfect fitting underthings and lovely perfume…..but I think I can find any of those things elsewhere. As in……….a store that does not have near naked women in their windows and advertisements. Most of them being bigger than life!
    There is a big conflict in my mind when it comes to shopping in stores like that. I guess, in my mind, there are only a few reasons for the kinds of things they sell. I guess you could call me conservative clear to my underthings! I don’t believe there is anything wrong with buying pretty things if you’re married, but those pretty things can be found other places very easily. Actually, thousands of places.
    V.S. does not make me think of being shame-faced.
    So yes, our kids were restricted and told to shop elsewhere.
    Wish I could say that they obeyed!

  14. I know this is late, and I have to admit that I didn’t watch all of your video, but I thought I might add a couple of things.

    1. VS stuff is (as far as I’ve seen) made better than what other stores offer.
    2. The customer service there is VERY good.
    3. They stand by their product.

    I do, however, think their advertising methods are inappropriate.

    All in all, I do really like the store and most of the stuff they sell. My only beef is with their advertising. Thanks for bringing this topic up!

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Eden. I agree with you 100%.
      Their advertising is pretty inappropriate – but that is just how the “world” operates these days.
      Anything that will “catch attention” (regardless of who it is) sells more.

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