Victoria’s Secret Never Empowered Women And Their Latest Marketing Ploy Won’t Change That

Victoria’s Secret Never Empowered Women And Their Latest Marketing Ploy Won’t Change That

From promoting a body mass index so low that all 12 ribs are showing to advancing a plus-size campaign that teaches women it’s ok to be unhealthy, Victoria’s Secret has culturally defined what it means to look like a woman. Although VS has re-defined that image countless times, the company couldn’t have gotten it more wrong than their most recent campaign. 

The lingerie brand just announced its “more inclusive” rebrand campaign that hopes to “positively impact the lives of women” through new products. Heading the initiative are “changemakers” who make up the VS Collective, including U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe, actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, model Adut Akech, and plus-sized model Paloma Elsesser. VS’ first openly transgender model, Valentina Sampaio — who respected the female body so much that he morphed his own to look like one — will also represent the brand. 

The VS Collective will aim to empower women through “a series of collaborations, business partnerships and cause-related initiatives.” Many of the new VS representatives have echoed similar sentiments: Rapinoe is “thrilled to be creating a space that sees the true spectrum of ALL women,” and Chopra Jones said she’s excited to shape “the evolution and future success of a heritage brand like Victoria’s Secret.”

Victoria’s Secret has never supported ALL women — what makes the company think they’ll be able to start now?

The brand is best known for its annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, where 60 “Victoria’s Secret Angels” wear skimpy lingerie and large 30-pound Angel wings. VS built a brand from having the skinniest, most “fit” and “sexy” women walk down its runway, but the promoted body standard is unsustainable: models must be five foot nine, have a waist of 24 inches or less, and a body fat percentage lower than 18. The average adult woman has a waist size of 38.2 inches and a body fat percentage of 29.6. 

Even the Angels can’t sustain the harsh standards: Seasoned Angel Adriana Lima doesn’t eat solid food nine days before the show, many models abstain from drinking water, and starvation diets are expected and encouraged. How empowered can a woman feel when she’s starving herself?

VS has since canceled its live fashion show, but its brand still embodies the same message: To be a beautiful woman, you must accept our version of femininity. 

The VS Collective campaign hasn’t changed that message at all — it’s just warped what femininity looks like even further. Now, the message will just be promoted by woke, radical feminists who don’t even believe in real females at all.

In an op-ed, Rapinoe said lack of funding is a bigger threat to sports than allowing transgender children to compete with whatever gender they identify as. 

“When we tell transgender girls that they can’t play girls’ sports, they miss out on these important experiences and opportunities,” Rapinoe said, adding that adults who feel otherwise “lose the right to say we care about children.” 

Hear that, VS lovers? If you think girls should play with girls and boys should play with boys, the face of the VS brand doesn’t think you have a say. Nothing is more dangerous to femininity than denying biological differences between the two genders — except exploiting young children to do the same.

Despite her loud feminist cries for more women supporting women, Chopra Jonas publicly bullied social influencer Ayesha Malik. When Malik called United Nations Goodwill ambassador Chopra Jonas a hypocrite for congratulating the Indian Air Force after the Balakot strike in Pakistan, Chopra Jones patronizingly said: “Whenever you’re done venting. Got it? Done? Okay, cool… The way you came at me right now, girl, don’t yell. We’re all here for love. Don’t yell. Don’t embarrass yourself.”

Malik wasn’t trying to make an overly political statement — she was making the point that as an “advocate” for women, Chopra Jones has the responsibility to be “neighborly and loving… And instead she tweeted out in favour for nuclear war.” 

But the jewel on top of the Fantasy bra is Valentina Sampaio, who made headlines as Victoria’s Secret’s first transgender model. Rapinoe previously blasted VS for promoting a message that was “patriarchal, sexist, viewing not just what it meant to be sexy but what the clothes were trying to accomplish through a male lens and through what men desired” — yet biological male Sampaio will be heading an effort to reshape the brand. I prefer women representing my womanly interests. And I’m not alone.

VS’ new woke representatives have ostracized a large base who don’t agree with their re-definition of “womanly” standards. Women were made to be women — where are the feminists who praise our natural, inherent beauty as uniquely made females? 

Sexuality is beautiful and should be treasured. Women should be lauded for their sexuality in the right way, not by hyper-sexualizing their bodies or stripping femininity away completely, but by being honored. Women like conventional beauty, pretty clothes, and bras that fit, and yes, we even like being desirable.

Despite what woke corporations tell you, we don’t all want to reject what it means to be feminine — not in our clothes, or our brand representatives. The future of Victoria’s Secret won’t be skin-and-bone Angels, but it might be bedazzled jockstraps. I’m not ok with either. 

Haley Strack is an intern at The Federalist and a student at Hillsdale College studying politics and journalism. Follow her on Twitter @StrackHaley or reach her at [email protected]
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