Listen, I love a good pop culture moment okay? I LIVE for events like the Super Bowl half-time show, the met gala, the Oscars, the Victoria Secret fashion show, the Olympics, you name it. However, there has been some controversy around the recent VS Fashion Show regarding inclusivity.
The company was called out for not including transgender models. It's 2018 and a lot of brands are starting to open their minds and welcome all different kinds of models. Ashley Graham has basically built a plus size model empire-god bless her, yet the fashion industry is still behind where other industries are thriving.
The chief marketing officer Ed Razek claimed in a Vogue article, that transgenders should not be included in the show because the fashion show is a "fantasy". Whatever that means. He went on to say that the company has considered including transgender and plus size models in the past, and that the brand even wanted to create a television special for plus size models, but that "No one had any interest in it, still don't".
Some of the models have come to the brand's defense, such as Behati Prinsloo, who has walked the VS runway for 10 years now.
However, Halsey, a performer at the most recent show criticized the company following her performance on Sunday.
I have a little bit of a problem with this. If she actually cared about representation, wouldn't she have refused to perform or turned down the offer? She waited until afterward to say something and attack the company after she was already paid and had a boatload of publicity from the performance. I don't know... fishy. It seemed to me that she was just trying to cover herself in case people went after her for being a member of the queer community and not speaking out when really she should've done or said something beforehand.
As I said, I love Victoria's Secret. I normally can't afford their bras and underwear unless there's some sort of sale, but I remember walking into their stores in the mall as a pre-teen being in awe of all the pretty bras I was too small to fit into and looked at the models as these superheroes who stood for female empowerment. I remember loving the overwhelming smell of candy and cookies (perfume) in there, and giggling with my friends while we looked at lingerie and wished one day we would be beautiful enough to wear it.
But as I've grown, I've come to realize that most women I know do not look like the models on their posters, in their ads, and in their runway shows.
I do think that watching all the tall, skinny women strut their stuff to pop anthems is empowering. Seeing women have control over their bodies and sexualities is a great message for young girls. No woman should be afraid to love their body or express themselves sexually.
However, I think it's hard for them to spread this message fully without including a more diverse group of models including transgender and plus size models. They have done a great job with representation across races when it comes to the show. At least, in the most recent show. I saw more black and Asian models than I have in previous years and it was wonderful to see. But there is still a small group of women that watch these shows or look at the VS ads and can't identify.
You can't preach female empowerment if you are only representing one type of female.
I think that if VS started to include "thick" girls in their shows and ads they would see a crazy increase in sales. People want to see people who look like them achieving their dreams and demanding the same respect skinny models do.
The same goes for transgender models. Imagine the positive impact the brand could create by including transgender models. Little kids who are bigger, or are transgender would finally have role models in an industry that normally is not welcoming to them. It would change the game of fashion completely.
I think it's hard to feel sexy in a Victoria's Secret bra if every single picture of that bra is being worn by a 6"2', 125 pound, blonde hair, blue-eyed supermodel. I want to see someone with curves open a show. I want to see a transgender model on the front of an underwear ad. The world we live in isn't full of Adriana Limas and Bella Hadid's. They are full of Ashley Grahams and Gigi Gorgeous'!
If the message is that you should want to feel sexy for yourself, that you should love the skin you're in, and be able to express yourself sexually, why should that be limited to one type of woman?