With the buzz surrounding the Victoria’s Secret Show this year, I can’t help but wonder why the brand is so behind the times? Browsing the website and looking at the images from the show I couldn’t help but feel like I was looking at a catalogue from the early 2000’s. While the models look healthy and fit, they hardly represent today’s diverse beauty standards.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show creates hype and gains viewership by featuring the world’s most popular super-models, the best of the best. Whilst the models walking in this year’s show were certainly the standard 10 or 20 years ago, a new group of models have emerged that are just as popular, and many argue that excluding them is discriminatory. In the past many argue that featuring a cast of Plus Size and Straight Size models would prove to look odd and distract from the garments, however the lines are far more blurred in 2017. There is a whole niche of mid-range models such as Myla Dalbesio, Robyn Lawely, Iskra Lawrence ect, who have featured in international commercial campaigns. Agencies are beginning to ease up on measurement requirements as the body-positive movement grows.
With competitors such as Aerie, who heavily promote ‘photoshop-free’ campaigns, and ‘real women’, and NYFW newbie Chromat screaming diversity and body-acceptance it’s hard to believe that Victoria’s Secret is sticking to their hard case of One Size Fits All Models this year. Victoria’s Secret is a commercial brand, they’ve marketed themselves as ‘for the every woman’ and they go up to a size 40DDD. The products are available and the customer base is there, so why haven’t they tapped into it?
The facts are there, most women don’t resonate with the VS Angels. We may admire them but they promote a kind of ideological image that most regular people can’t achieve. Plainly, most women are going to find it hard to picture themselves looking good in anything the Angels wear. But more importantly, women no longer aspire to look like one kind of beauty – thin. In 2017 we have a myriad of beautiful role models, who define ‘sexy’ in all shapes, sizes and forms. With rival companies supporting and advocating body love and acceptance, VS’s ideals of promoting a very specific and somewhat unattainable version of Beauty seems outdated.
In 2017 as consumers we are more critical of advertising and marketing material than we ever have been before. Women are finally discussing the after-effects mass media has had on body-image and the direct correlation to low-self esteem and eating disorders. If VS doesn’t want to be seen as irrelevant they not only need to change their model line up but their marketing strategy. As the rest of the world evolves to meet Women’s new standards, if Victoria’s Secret doesn’t adapt, it will be replaced by companies that will.