It’s that time of year again! While most people and families are celebrating all the gifts that we are fortunate to have in our life, gathering around beautifully garnished tables or decorating Christmas trees, much of our nation will be tuning in to watch scantily clad woman on the catwalk. Yep, that’s right! It’s almost time for Victoria’s Secret Annual Fashion Show.
This annual televised fashion show highlights the latest fashion in lingerie and undergarments targeting young women worldwide. The primary goal of the show is to draw interest to the brand and create hype around the flashy bras and elegant corsets. The women wearing the garments are not typical stick thin models, and have curves that create an overtly sexual appearance in the garments. They are referred to as “Angels” and are what the media things all women should aspire to look like. Each year this fashion show does so much more than act as a great form of advertisement for Victoria’s Secret- it also provokes debate about unhealthy body images and the objectification of women.
The models themselves are used as an archetype of physical perfection and sexuality, sparking conversation from feminist viewers. Many argue that the fashion show places unrealistic standards for beauty on women and that the standard is set with the goal of pleases men. The show, which aims to sell a product to women, has millions of male viewers, suggesting that it is in fact something to be admired and enjoyed by men. These arguments in turn result in body shaming for slimmer women or those with naturally pleasant curves. As we’ve seen in other forms of pop-culture the concept of “fuck skinny bitches” has spread and is often directed at models such as the ones on the runway.
I am definitely guilty of tuning in to watch this spectacle and even find myself wishing to more closely resemble a Victoria’s Secret Angel, however, I do find that the feminist argument against the fashion show has several valid points. It calls into question the motives behind being a lingerie model for Victoria’s Secret and the negative effects the media has as a result of the show. Do you think that this fashion show, while modeling women’s products, is tailored to show sex appeal to men who also watch? Is there anything that can suggest that Victoria’s Secret actually empowers ordinary women?