Last year around this time I wrote “In Defense of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” defending my reasoning for watching the VS Fashion show every year in the face of wholly reasonable criticism. In this article, I aim to reverse my position on Victoria’s Secret as a brand and their yearly fashion show.
This year’s VS fashion show occurred on November 8th and will air December 2nd on ABC. This past week the company’s head of marketing made some unsurprisingly out of touch comments on transgender and plus size models.
Again and again I wonder, why does VS market itself towards adolescent boys? It’s selling women’s underwear, shouldn’t it make its product seem at least a little bit appealing to women? No woman looks at Giselle Bundchen and thinks she’s going to look like that if she buys the fantasy bra.
In my original defense, I posited that Victoria’s Secret models are supernaturally fit but they promote a healthy lifestyle through exercise and diet. They don’t promote unhealthy body types, because they eat clean and work out! What could be wrong with that!
How about that it’s their job to look like that? They get to dedicate 24 hours a day to being hot while regular women need to work jobs and/or go to school during that time but they’re still expected to be as hot as a Victoria’s Secret model. Being a woman is fun!
Ok, Just because society enforces unfair ideals on women, why is that Victoria’s Secret’s fault? Hotties with bodies are their brand! Why are all companies expected to promote ethical ideals nowadays?
Well, hypothetical reader, the reason society continues to squeeze women into unattainable body types is in a large part because of the media. Women are inundated with images of size 0000 women every day of our lives. And yes, representation has gotten exponentially better in the past few years, hell, even in the past ONE year with brands like Fenty bringing up the slack that archaic corporations like VS refuse to fill, but brands like Victoria’s Secret are still the norm.
I’m not saying that every corporation has to be moral, (most in fact, inherently cannot be!) but millennials increasingly look to buy from companies that align with their moral, ethical, and political views. VS doesn’t have to change but people also don’t have to buy from them.
I don’t really feel like supporting a brand that continues to reinforce thousand-year-old stereotypes of what women should look like. Thus, The Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is airing on Dec 2nd but I will not be watching.