What’s the Secret?
On Tuesday of this week, November 10th, the much anticipated 20th annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was recorded. There was much to say about this year’s runway. I want to preface this with I love lingerie and I love when people feel beautiful in their bodies and wear things that help their confidence, but I don’t like when companies like Victoria’s Secret use their platform to objectify an “impossible beauty standard”. Obviously, “the look” that the VS (Victoria’s Secret) modeling agency looks for isn’t impossible because they have models who fit what they want, but how easy is that body to obtain? Can an “average women” be VS Angels? What is the definition of the average women? Are the models on the runway supposed to be representative of the average women? The entire fashion show raised so many questions for me, and not all necessarily had to do with just the runway.
My biggest problem with the fashion show is how seeing these women affect the masses. Some people took to twitter to make a joke out of it, while others tried to figure out how to get a “perfect body” like those of the models.
Then there were others who took the opportunity to say just how attracted they were to these models.
With all of this, there is just an inherent sense of body shaming and an unnecessary sexualization of the female body.
Our friend Harrison’s tweet raises another issue for me. Who is the target audience? Is it supposed to be the people who shop at VS or is it all done with the intention of pleasing the “male gaze”? Do the models have any say on what they want to wear? Are they told who they’re trying to sell to? This all reminds me of when Bell Hooks called Beyonce a terrorist. Would she call these models terrorists as well? Because from the looks of it, it seems that the models have no agency over their bodies.
Those who model for VS look nothing like the majority of those who shop at VS. But the body shaming doesn’t stop at the runway. Taking one look at the Victoria’s Secret website and its obvious who they are selling to. Even though they sell large bra sizes and extra large panties, they do not have any models who represent those sizes.
This screen cap was taken after I limited the size category to “extra large”. Those models do not look like they are wearing extra large clothing…unless VS sizes run small. Its all very frustrating when you’re shopping for yourself and have no clue as to how clothing could possibly look on a body type similar to your own.
Let me reiterate, I love lingerie and I love when people feel beautiful in their bodies and wear things that help their confidence, but I hate when companies like Victoria’s Secret use their platform to objectify an “impossible beauty standard”.