When Angels Fall
Religion and Pop Culture
2

Response Post:
Get Your Wings Now

Victoria’s Secret’s Dream Angels Collection

In response to → https://medium.com/religion-and-popular-culture/when-angels-fall-7d3c6d478f64

I write this response post because it represents a topic in which I feel very strongly about. I definitely agree with Vanessa Liegghio as she states that “Victoria’s Secret has expertly transformed this spiritual-religious notion into a sexually exploited, physically perfected woman” (Liegghio, 2014).

Therefore, this post will be dedicated to addressing the ways in which Victoria’s Secret has transformed the theme of “Angels and Heaven” into a nature of sexuality. In addition, they have formed the idea that the only way in which a female can be viewed of as “angelic” is if she purchases Victoria’s Secret merchandise. Their idea of an “angelic female” is also one that portrays the ideal female body type. Therefore, their angelic VS Models are used in order to persuade women to purchase their merchandise because they know that these women hold hopes that they will look the same way that the models look after purchasing VS lingerie.

These pictures clearly make it evident that Victoria’s Secret sexualizes their theme of angels and heaven, since their angels are most of the time always half-naked and dressed in seductive lingerie. Most of the pictures on this post have been taken off of the official VS Instagram account. While looking at the pictures, please take a minute to acknowledge the captions that VS has posted under each picture. For instance, they have captioned “The girl with the golden wings: @angelcandices has landed!” Within this post, VS refers to their model Candice Swanepoel as an angel by simply acknowledging her as the girl with the golden wings. This proves just how hard VS uses their models to portray image of the ideal “angel”.

In addition, as Vanessa Liegghio argues, “the brand has created a hierarchy of models, with the Angels at the top. It is considered an honour and privilege to be selected as a VS Angel, since doing so admits one to an elite group of models that have been carefully selected based on their physique and social popularity” (Liegghio, 2014).

This relates to the fact that all of VS Angels have the “ideal female body type”, which is often perceived as being tall and skinny. Therefore, by advertising their products on these models, VS tries to present the idea that any woman, regardless of her body type, can still look as beautiful as the angels, simply by wearing VS merchandise.

VS correlates the idea of being an angel with simply wearing their lingerie. This is clear as one of their captions reads “all you need is love…and wings ;)”. Thus, they portray the idea that by simply purchasing their products, women will automatically grow these “wings” and become an angel.

I feel as if Victoria’s Secret also tries to convince female consumers that they can achieve “the ideal body type” by advertising their models’ training routines. Months before their annual fashion show every year, the VS models train incredibly hard to ensure that their body looks perfect while strutting the runway. VS advertises by creating the hash tag “TrainLikeAnAngel”, therefore convincing females that they too can become an angel by working out just like the models do.

I would argue that Victoria’s Secret uses the pornographic gaze technique of consumerizing. They do this by creating a correlating relationship between commercial and sexual desire. Victoria’s Secret ultimately places a sexual reference on their products, giving them the power to seduce buyers (Santana & Erikson).

Sources:

Santana, Richard W., and Gregory Erickson. “Consuming Faith: Advertising, the Pornographic Gaze and Religion Desire.” Religion and Popular Culture: Rescripting the Sacred. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008. 50–66. Print

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