Phew. We can collectively take a sigh of relief. The Victoria’s Secret show is returning to the catwalk. It was gone you say? Yes. It was scrapped in 2019 because it featured too many beautiful women with wings. At the time, the lingerie giant had to face the #metoo tsunami and ‘evolve’ its dated messaging. Just to recap, Victoria’s Secret lingerie and beauty retailer had its first catwalk show in 1995. Since then it’s annual televised extravaganza has featured impossibly good looking women like Gisele Buendchen, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Kendal Jenner in fabulous lingerie, making the rest of us feel physically unworthy. The beauty ideal was thin and tall and seeing these women strut their stuff was enough to send some mere mortals over the edge. Or so ratings would suggest. In its heyday, the show attracted hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide, dropping to measly three million in the US.
A dubious connection between Victoria’s Secret’s former parent company’s CEO and Jeffrey Epstein, who was jailed for sex trafficking didn’t help the brand. And why should it?
But the company is revamping its image to suit a changed world. US soccer ace Meghan Rapinoe has featured, despite stating that their message was ‘really harmful.’ I’ve seen silhouettes of larger women in promos. I predict diversity and inclusion to rival brands by Rhianna and Lizzo, who built underwear empires for ‘real women’.
Lizzo said: “This is a win for inclusivity for inclusivity’s sake. Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusivity? Or do they just value money?” Luckily her shapewear brand YITTY is a not-for-profit and all money goes to charity and women. Oh no wait. She’s targeting larger women to make themselves feel good about themselves and keeping her millions. Enough of the hypocrisy.Like all massive companies, Victoria’s Secret is in it ‘for profit.’ A revamped woke washed package is just capitalism in a pair of feathered undies. Now unless I’m mistaken, Rhianna is making a few quid with her Savage x Fenty range too. She was just ahead of the game and in touch with ‘real women’ before they were. Stating you’re righteous and inclusive, gives you a moral high ground when you’re trying to sell stuff. Famous people, not happy with just making money from entertainment, are flogging what they can, fuelling consumerism amongst their female minions, but doing so with ‘diversity and inclusion’ on the label.
Meanwhile poor old Victoria’s Secret marketeers might have a moral mountain to climb. As we can all attest, there is nothing worse than contrived woke washed brands, of which there are many. Remember Gillette ‘the best a man can get’ or no wait ‘the best a man can be’. It was a cringefest in tackling ‘toxic masculinity’. Gillette users refused to buy the product ever again, it destroyed its dominant market share, and it managed to annoy the people it was trying to impress. A giant fail.
I feel, the lingerie giant may forget it’s selling thongs, not running an empowerment charity or training guide dogs for the blind. So, in my humble opinion,I suggest they just interview their clients. I am one of these. Their stuff is great. It’s a little known secret amongst women that Victoria’s Secret has the best products across the board. Who knew? In the meantime, I ponder the fate of the Victoria’s Secret model, who would forgo food and even water, exercising for hours just to be an Angel on the runway. What will happen to her? I won’t lose sleep if one of them shows up on the catwalk whenever the show occurs. The current trend where a few control the environment to make it more palatable, is growing and supported by corporate and government structures. There’s a surge of pro woman sentiment that eludes all women feeling the same way about things. I think the beauty ideal they tried to sell can be dangerous, especially for young girls.
But rather than control everything, and censor physical perfection in case we get offended, why don’t we just accept there are Amazonians out there and we shall never be their equal? It makes life much easier.