In a recent interview with Vogue, Victoria's Secret executives began explaining why plus-size and transgender people are not with their brand and will not be walking in their show. As many are disgusted by this appeal including me, changes are still not being made to further us in the right direction in the modeling industry with this brand in diversifying and strengthening these issues. Ed Razek, an executive at Victoria's Secret had a lot to say about these manners which stirred up major controversy on social media as well as many communities within the world which take pride in the way they look and act, as they should. Razek stated "You probably remember that.
At the time the conversation was "they're too big for us, we can't possibly put them in our show." Progress gets made, and part of what's happened in our show is that the girls have just continued to get more physically fit." This "progress" doesn't make any sense as he's just touching upon how these girls are catering towards the societal aspects of what they need to look like for the fashion show, not what they want to look like. It's disgusting how the depiction of females in this world has changed in so many fantastic ways, yet there are still these existential barriers created by these types of people which makes it even more difficult to take a stand.
As the interview progresses, Razek continues to speak about the decline in business when bringing plus-size women to the brand. "We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still, don't. Our show is the only branded special in the world, seen in 190 countries, by 1 billion 6 million people; 45 percent more people saw it last year than the year before." This statement truly irritated me on so many levels at 2000, was 18 years ago and there were so many changes still occurring within the world and these models should have been implemented in the show because every type of brand and industry is moving towards an inclusive society. If there are brands similar to Victoria's Secret who are not progressing in this way and aren't allowing people to be present in their shows due to weight, sexuality or being trans-gender, how are we progressing as a society?
Bringing LGBTQ and Trans matters into the picture, Razek was asked if trans people would be taken into account for the shows and his response was, No. No, I don't think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy, It's a 42-minute entertainment special. That's what it is." This reply was absolutely horrifying as we all look to Victoria's Secret for fashion inspiration and beauty icons who are living the same lives as we are, and this just isn't something anyone cares for. This is a discrimination against a certain type of person due to the differences they have and the "visual fantasy" that Victoria's Secret wants to create. As you could only imagine, this created a major uproar for many figures within the world as well as the trans and LGBTQ communities.
Gigi Gorgeous took to Youtube and made a video explaining every aspect of this situation as well as touching upon her own frustrations and disgust with the brand on Twitter.
On November 9th, this statement from Victoria's Secret was sent out on behalf of Ed Razek, The Chief Marketing Officer for L Brand which is the parent company of VS. His statement went completely against everything he had said previously in his interview with Vogue which was extremely confusing to understand. He spoke about how they "absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show." I struggle to believe this due to his previous interview completely shutting down the idea or concept of having a trans model walk the show.
Although we are majorly taking huge steps and leaps in society towards creating a more inclusive world, there are still bumps created like these which are making it difficult to do so. If we catch these things quick enough and strive to dissolve these types of situations from happening, then we could ensure that all types of people are represented in society accurately and respectfully. Yes, this won't be the last time something along these lines occurs but we can look at these mistakes and do our best to make sure they won't happen again.