Another year, another show and still no change. Every year Victoria Secrets kicks off their holiday season with an extravagant angels fashion show and a flurry of holiday sales. The show features some of the most stunning women in the most gorgeous lingerie you have ever seen. Which ultimately leads you to the closest mall searching for your own sexy lacy bits.
However if you're like me you get pushed further and further away from them because nothing fits. Which sucks, and I feel like crap and I hold on to hope because I'm working on and Victoria Secrets is cheering me on. I see the motivation everywhere, the sexy angels on TV, on their website and the videos at the store. Reminding me what a true angel looks like, right.
Victoria Secrets View of Women
Wrong! Oh so wrong. For years Victoria Secrets has been criticized for featuring these Amazonian ladies in their shows and perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards. Which seems to be by design, Ed Razek, one of VS's executives stated plus-sized and trans women don't belong in his annual show.
Apparently the brand doesn't see the value in having their products represented by plus-sized and trans-women. After receiving some harsh criticism, Razek promptly apologized for what he said about trans-women. Plus-sized women on the other and… Crickets.
Fat Lives Don't Matter
For years I've been falling into that trap. Because honestly for years there's been a lack of options for people like me. Popular brands get away with punishing large people because it's the great big social faux pas. It feels like I need to crawl in a hole, have a big transformation and then I'll finally get be allowed to exist on the other side.
Then I realized, why am I buying into this image of sexy? Where I'm not behind represent when I'm spending my own plus-sized dollars. If a company is willingly putting it out there that they don't value me, why give them my money?
According to Ed the Runway show is a "fantasy" and fantasies don't include real women. Which is interesting because they're selling women's products. So if they're entire message is, yes it's for women, but only the ones we think are hot. Thanks! I hear you loud and clear and you know what so does the economy.
A Real Women Army
While Victoria Secrets has been sticking to their guns and effectively excluding a significant portion of their target demographic. A number of companies, (mainly run by women…) have been taking a different approach. Mainly stating they make products for all women. So far, it seems to have paid of. This is mainly due the the rise of social media and the fact that consumers now have more access to their brands.
From a business perspective Victoria Secrets, although they have mass appeal, chose to maintain their exclusivity and now competitors are capitalizing on it. Brands who believe that sexy's not just a fantasy. But something available for all women who want to partake, or those who just want to buy a bra. Here's a list of brands that offer inclusive sizing and happily serve the population VS willingly ignores.