If you have been active online in the past few days, you may have noticed the abundance of pink-related content popping in your social media feeds. Yes, I am talking about Victoria’s Secret, and I think that now, when the hype about their latest Shanghai show is still high, is the best time to start a discussion about some reasons why this brand is not going on a good path, at least, as far as I can tell.
1. It promotes unrealistic ideals
Percentually, the VS models represent a minority of the society. Yet they are advertised to the masses. So we are all made to think that this is how everybody looks and how everybody should look like, which is an issue for all, from young 8-year olds watching the show on TV to the women who just gave birth and feel insecure about their bodies, to the teenagers feeling extra-conscious during beach trips and to all women who throughout the years have put on a bit more weight. Also, those mental perceptions don’t affect just women; they affect men’s ideals about women too, which is also concerning.
2. The brand is not backed up by value, beliefs and inner inspiration
I am honestly fed up with things which don’t bring value into my life. So, how can a show displaying lingerie enrich my life? If I wanted inspiration, I would have just talked with my mom, thanks. Also, if I wanted fun and entertainment, I would have chosen a book. So I can rely more on my brain than on my exterior looks throughout my life. Watching a 10 minute show with models holding onto their toes in heels while they strut with heavy wings on is not bringing anything into my life, except maybe the thought I just wasted some minutes I will never get back.
3. The VS show is an unnecessary and expensive parade of unpractical costumes, some which also pose cultural appropriation issues
I mean, have you ever worn a bedazzled bra under a sweater? Yeah, not a good match. Or how often do you take your one million dollar bra for a spin? Never? Yeah, me neither.
Also, how many people wear Navajo-inspired headpieces alongside lingerie and 11 cm heels? No one? Oh, yeah, because it is completely unpractical and insulting to other cultures. Who knew?!
“Honey, does this make me look
sexyracist?” “You bet”.
4. It’s part of an old era when objectifying and misrepresenting women was not penalized.
Applauding women while they are almost naked on a runway and looking up only to skinny and (mostly) white women who are no older than 40 is in no way something still tolerated. Today, more than ever, we need to embrace the notions of diversity, representation and natural beauty. When Rihanna launched her Fenty Beauty cosmetic products, she included 40 skin tone shades in her foundation line. 40! The outpour of positive responses and encouragements is something which shows how much-needed this color range is and how much people desire to have access to the same type of products and to generalize, the same type of opportunities. Products need to be relatable in order to sell, and by representing as many categories as possible, brands are more likely to build a positive corporate image for themselves, while also improving sales.
5. Victoria’s Secret is the work of men. And this is easily noticeable.
VS was founded by a man, Roy Raymond, in 1977, and 5 years later it was sold to another man, Leslie Wexner, who still owns it. However, I am pretty sure things would have looked much differently if the management of the brand was mostly female. Because in no way could women think so narrowly of gender representation. I mean, look at Emily Weiss and the latest Glossier Body Hero campaign. Tastefully done, inclusive, body-positive and a perfect example of marketing done right. And their sales, customer satisfaction and word of mouth support this.
Overall, I think Victoria’s Secret concept will have to adjust soon in order to fit the more mindful and conscious customers and in order to strengthen their image throughout different racial, geographical and demographical markets.
What do you think? Are you a VS customer? In your own experience, what was their selling point?
Can’t wait to hear what you think,