Heidi Zak, CEO Of ThirdLove Lingerie, Spoke Out Against The Victoria's Secret 'Fantasy' & I'm Living For It

Heidi Zak, CEO Of ThirdLove Lingerie, Spoke Out Against The Victoria's Secret 'Fantasy' & I'm Living For It

The Victoria's Secret fashion show may be a "fantasy," but we're living in reality.

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For years, people have found faults with Victoria's Secret and their annual fashion show as it continuously objectifies women; not to mention that they only hire thinner models, only representing a small spectrum of all women (Disclaimer: Thin women are still women. This is in no way a means of body shaming anyone).

While the television airing of the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show is approaching, the household lingerie company has been criticized for its portrayal of women — recently more than ever.

In an interview with Vogue to promote the annual fashion show, Victoria's Secret CMO Ed Razek stated that "[the company] attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don't." Not only did he dig at the 68% of plus-sized women in America, but he also decided to dismiss transgender women as well. "It's like, why doesn't your show do this? Shouldn't you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don't think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy."

Razek really isn't helping the case of the company, whose sales rapidly declined in the past year. The only thing the company still has going is this fashion show, and if there's no change in branding soon, Victoria's Secret could ultimately suffer.

Victoria's Secret "angels" at the 2016 Victoria's Secret fashion show in Paris, France.

Among the many critics against the once iconic lingerie brand, which was founded in 1977, is ThirdLove CEO Heidi Zak. Zak not only penned an incredibly honest open letter to Victoria's Secret. She also decided to purchase a one-page ad in the New York Times to print that very letter. In the letter, Zak goes on to explain why Victoria's Secret's "male-fantasy marketing tactics, un-inclusive sizing and discriminatory culture" is outdated and why it has inspired antithesis brands like her own to grow in the market.

"Your show may be a "fantasy" but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country," penned Zak.

Heidi Zak's open letter to Victoria's Secret in The New York Times.ThirdLove / Instagram

ThirdLove, founded in 2013, is an all-inclusive lingerie brand that caters to all women regardless of their shape, size, age, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

ThirdLove plus size campaign.

"This shouldn't be seen as groundbreaking, it should be the norm," Zak says of her brand. All women are women. Inclusivity is not a trend, but the standard.

"Your show may be a "fantasy" but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country."

Amid the viral New York Times ad, Victoria's Secret has already replaced their CEO. The ThirdLove letter is not the sole reason for the change; however, it did shed a light on the changes in company culture that to be made to communicate better to the modern consumer. Jan Singer, the current CEO of Victoria's Secret, is being replaced by John Mehas, current President of Tory Burch.

Maybe it's time to let the old ways of exclusivity and the "male-fantasy" die.

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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My Roommate Dressed Me For A Week, And I Have Thoughts

Find you a roomie that will go through your closet to pick out your clothes for five days in a row.

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Since I'm a college student, I don't see a point in putting effort into choosing my outfit each day. My go-to outfit is a sweatshirt with ripped jeans and converse. Sometimes I'll wear a nice shirt with a cardigan, but that is rare.

So, when I was going through what I wanted to take back home (since I didn't wear them), I asked for my roommate's approval and she selected a handful of shirts to keep. Since I had gotten rid of half of my clothes, she thought it was a good idea for her to decide what I should wear since I wouldn't do it on my own. Not only was she right, but she actually did it.

For this challenge, I was able to pick out my undergarments, socks, and shoes. My roommate chose my shirt, pants, and accessories.

Monday

Christina Stover

Starting the week off, my roommate went with a nice sweater and jeans. I really like the sweater, I just haven't worn it since winter break. Within the first five minutes at my 8 a.m. class, I received a compliment. I thanked them and told her all about how she was picking out my clothes for the week. She laughed and thought that was funny. The sweater was a bit warm, but it was still nice to wear something that I usually wouldn't and get noticed for wearing something different.

Tuesday

Christina Stover

Tuesday was similar to Monday in the sense of a sweater and jeans. I got the sweater for Christmas a few years ago, and it really seems like the kind of thing to wear to church instead of a casual weekday outfit. I really love floral patterns, so I was instantly drawn to this sweater. It makes me feel like a confident adult and that is definitely appreciated. She also picked out the baby blue raindrop necklace in the picture, and it really complimented the darker colors in the sweater. And I wore a pair of jeans that didn't have rips in them for the first time in months.

Wednesday

Christina Stover

A little fancier on this hump day. Wearing a cute dark green shirt with a little knot at the bottom, a cardigan because it's short sleeves and casual leggings. The necklace is an outline of the world's continents. I definitely felt a lot dressier in this outfit as opposed to jeans and sweatshirts. My signature half-up-half-down hairdo pulled the whole outfit together. Again, this is something I would wear to church and not to class. But I think this also helped my confidence and allowed me to come out of my shell a little, which is always a good thing.

Thursday

Christina Stover

Wearing a crop top in winter is always a power move. I really loved this outfit because not only did it color coordinate, but it was super cute. I had an interview earlier this morning, so I had mascara on, and it made my eyes pop, which was great. And the Army-green button-up shirt really brought the whole outfit together. The shirt says, "Crazy plant lady." Which is exhibited by the pictures of plants on the shirt and the cactus and succulent tapestry in the background. I thought this was one of my favorite outfits, plus I always love an excuse to wear leggings.

Friday

Christina Stover

Today, she gave me a little break. I spent the weekend at home, and she gave me a simple long-sleeve that says "Bowling Green" on the back with a huge mandala design, and the iconic ripped jeans. I had an interview this day as well, so my makeup is done again, and I wore a translucent teardrop necklace. The outfit was comfortable and practical for a day of running errands and spending time with family. It has been a while since I've worn this shirt, as well, so I enjoyed spicing things up with such a bright shirt.

Overall, I think this was a fun and exciting little experiment. What started as an assumed joke, turned into a learning experience about myself and my clothing options. I'm not saying that I won't be wearing sweatshirts frequently, but I am saying that it's nice to have options for fancier outfits. Each day we would have a little photo shoot that was funny and extra, but another fun perk of doing this experiment.

Now, in order for this to come full circle, I need to go through her closet and pick out her clothes for a week. That's definitely something for me to look forward to.

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