My younger sister has watched the Victoria Secret Fashion show since she discovered what it was 10 years ago. Now 18-years old, she is still a dedicated groupie of the models and the brand. I received a facetime call from her yesterday morning, as she ecstatically gushed about the girls that would be on the runway Sunday at 10 p.m. My sister idolizes one model in particular, Candice Swanepoel, claiming she is the most beautiful woman to walk this earth, and honestly, I’m sure many would agree.
Victoria Secret remains the top lingerie company in the world, yet their show views have dropped, and this may be due to the producers view of beauty and their lack of inclusiveness in and out of the show. Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer for L Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company said in an last month while discussing transgender models that he didn’t think they should be included in the show. “No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”
This is not the first comment members of the Victoria Secret staff have made about body image and inclusiveness. While the company now has close to 50 percent African American models participating in the fashion show, we still only see one body type and maybe Razek is right, it’s because it’s a “fantasy.”
In today’s society, body image and mental health are increasingly sensitive topics due to how many people openly struggle with it.
, Fifty-six percent of women say they are dissatisfied with their overall appearance. Their self-disparagement is specifically directed toward their abdomens (71 percent), body weight (66 percent), hips (60 percent), and muscle tone (58 percent). While there are plenty of men also unhappy with their appearance, I don’t believe they’re feeling too insecure watching this fashion show.
I personally don’t watch the show, but I see clips on Instagram, Facebook, and photos in news stories. Personally, I think it’s an event that many people, especially celebrities, are excited for. There’s always guest performers and they brand displays articles of clothing worth millions of dollars.
, Halsey, the performer in the 2018 Victoria Secret Fashion Show Holiday Special, spoke out after the show due to comments made by Razek and others, saying, “As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity…if you are a trans person reading this, and these comments have made you feel alienated or invalidated please know that you have allies.” She made it clear that acceptance of all is the only ‘fantasy’ she supports.
From a feminist perspective, it is instinctual to correlate the drop-in ratings and the back lash with the lack of diversity in body image and the exclusiveness. With the movement of celebrating all body images and Aerie using a range of different size models, it is disappointing that Victoria continues to stick with thin, long legged models.
While the Victoria Secret Fashion show continues to be a worldwide event, it doesn’t portray reality. The majority of the world doesn’t look like that and that may be hard for girls of all ages to understand. The designers who created these outfits deserve to be recognized and appreciated, but I hope that the Victoria Secret brand will use their large fan base to spread body love. In the end, we all deserve to feel like we’re angels even if we’re not walking down the runway.