By Daphne DuMaurier
Victoria’s Secret has long been coveted as the “it” brand for affordable and attractive lingerie. A highlight for the brand is its annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show; every year top models anticipate a spot in the show, watched by millions across the nation.
Its most recent show, taped on November 8th, has caused controversy due to its chief marketing officer’s remarks regarding the lack of plus-sized and transgender models featured on the runway. In his comments, he suggested that “the show is a fantasy” and because of that, the inclusion of, specifically, transgender models was not part of that fantasy.
Whether intended or not, these comments, from such a highly regarded company intended to empower women, set back the movements in society that have pushed to create equality among LGBTQ+ and traditional cis-gendered communities.
These comments also highlight that Victoria’s Secret truly doesn’t understand the power it holds in how women around the world see themselves and others.
If VS were to work towards a more inclusive brand representation, from its advertisements to runway shows, it would be empowering its consumers to look beyond the classic modelesque figure. A change of that magnitude would generate a shift in perspective among both its customers and society as it would recognize all body shapes and styles as the norm for every fantasy.
With the backlash so heavy, we may see a push towards a wider selection of models in next year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.