I'm Standing With My Trans Sisters And Boycotting Victoria's Secret

I'm Standing With My Trans Sisters And Boycotting Victoria's Secret

Victoria's secret has been revealed, and it's just as discriminatory as we all suspected.

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In a recent interview with Vogue, Victoria Secret's CMO Ed Razek was asked about why the company's infamous fashion show does not include plus-size and transgender models. To this, he replied that the show was meant to be a fantasy, and that they include models that appeal to the markets they sell to, not the whole world.

Reading between the lines with barely a smidgen of effort, Razek meant that their goal is appealing to their cis-female, 14- to 18-year-old demographic so that those customers can better appeal to the white, cis men—the show targets, which explains all the meatless, opinion-less models.

Who cares if they promote unrealistic standards for girls with real-life bodies who aren't #TrainedLikeAnAngel?

In an effort to create that fantasy, they certainly can't be bothered to worry about the fatsos and trannies, too.

Anyone could've told Razek that secret should've stayed in the closet, but it is not altogether surprising coming from a company who only reluctantly started celebrating their top models' racial diversity and national backgrounds.

Unbeknownst to Victoria, representation for the trans community has exploded in recent years with the fashion industry leading the way. Under the influence of supermodels and activists like Arisce Wanzer, Carmen Carrera, Isis King and MiMi Tao, these women and their equals have gone from being token "trans models" to simply owning the supermodel title they so rightly deserve.

Even despite the Trump administration's most recent attack on trans rights, campaigns like Laverne Cox's #TransIsBeautiful have emboldened more trans and gender nonconforming people than ever before to be themselves in everyday society.

Victoria's Secret apparently didn't get that memo.

From a marketing standpoint, the company's stubborn refusal to change with the times is absolutely moronic. Every day, commercial brands like Arie, Gap, and H&M; come out with new lines and campaigns that cater to a variety of people of all colors, creeds, shapes and sizes.

Yet, Victoria's Secret Pink line still doesn't even provide sizes past XL.

It's this obvious exclusion that has made the popularity of their fashion show decline in recent years, for young girls and femmes can no longer relate to the content.

While the size discrimination may be attributed to the availability of the cheap, uncomfortable materials the company refuses to branch out from, Razek's comments brought their discriminatory practices into stark relief.

The CMO's opinions set off a firestorm for the company, taking heat from plus-sized and trans models alike, but many of the outraged voices from trans activists were of a similar tune.

Trans women live their dream fantasy every day by simply being themselves, whether or not that fits Victoria's Secret's cookie-cutter vision for what that should be.

By refusing to include the queer community in their beauty standards, they are ignoring what the company symbolizes to many trans women who are brave enough to be themselves.

As Victoria's Secret is one of the most accessible lingerie brands on the market, I can only imagine how young trans ladies must feel when they purchase their very first piece of lady's underwear from the retailer. For a company that represents the pinnacle of womanhood and sexuality to so many developing girls, this could be a pivotal moment in many trans women's lives.

Razek's comments confirmed that the company couldn't give less of a damn about this portion of their clientele or what their brand might have represented.

With that in mind, it's no wonder this statement is quickly becoming the tipping point in the company's relationship with young people who are only going to keep getting more progressive.

Indeed, I and many other young millennials have already started to grow tired of the brand's repetitive patterns, unrealistic fit and vanilla beauty standards for some time now. It's foreseen that the company will lose more than just their queer customer base after this blunder.

It's a shame this company is so resolutely stuck in their outdated ways, refusing to embrace the inspiration that people like Christian Siriano and Ashley Grahm inspire, when they started off as a trailblazer in celebrating women's sexuality. But it's sheer, delicious luck that this happened the same year Rihanna graced us with her presence in the commercial fashion industry.

So, in the words of the infamous Trace Lysette, I'm marching over to Savage Fenty with my dollars.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Eating Disorders Are Not Exclusive To One Body Type

Body image and eating disorders can affect people that are skinny.

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With the start of summer vacation, the issue of eating disorders often flares up. Because more people begin worrying about their size due to fitting into bathing suits or going to public pools during the summer, there is an overall increase in eating disorders. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, there are at least 30 million people in the U.S. of all genders and ages that suffer from an eating disorder, and every 62 minutes, someone dies from the direct result of an eating disorder.

In addition, body image has been known to have a connection with eating disorders. According to Eating Disorder Hope, body image has been shown to be a protective factor, and having a good body image can reduce the vulnerability for someone to develop an eating disorder. There are some people who think that the only people who worry about their body image or who develop eating disorders tend to be people who are overweight. But as they've forgotten, cases with anorexia and other eating disorders are often focused on people who are skinny.

You're probably thinking, how does someone who is skinny have issues with their body image? Especially since the overall media portrayal of the perfect body size is someone who is skinny? However, what most people don't realize is that people who are skinny are constantly worrying about gaining weight or not being fit. Being skinny is often associated with someone who is fit and healthy. Therefore, you constantly have to worry about maintaining these traits.

In addition, just because you may be skinny does not mean that you are fit or healthy. People who have a fast metabolism, like me, for example, are not always fit. With my fast metabolism, I'm always around the same size no matter what I eat. However, when you have a fast metabolism, it doesn't mean you'll have abs or have toned muscles. And when you have a fast metabolism, it's harder to build up muscle since your body metabolizes quickly.

You also find yourself comparing how fit you are with other women who are skinny, such as models and judging how you look based on others. For example, if you go to the beach wearing a bikini that you felt confident about and then you see someone else who is wearing the same one but appears to have a flatter stomach or more toned muscles then you, you suddenly lose whatever confidence you had built about your body image. Because of this, there are many women who are skinny and can develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

On top of that, in society, there's an overall fear of being overweight. Even when you're already skinny, this fear can still affect you by making you worry about one day losing the status of being skinny. And if you are thin because you lost weight, the fear of gaining the weight back isn't simply going to go away.

And believe it or not, society's perception of the perfect body image is changing. According to The Self Improvement Blog, in recent years curvy hourglass figures are becoming a more popular body image to have rather than being slender. So instead women who are slender will likely encounter issues with their body image due to trying to match the body image that the media portrays as perfect.

The worst part is that there are a lot of people who believe that problems with body image only center around people who are overweight. Some people tell skinny women to "get over it." This, in turn, causes women to feel that they have no one to confide to about their problems with their body image because the media tells them that they don't have a problem. The women may decide to ignore their problem instead of seeking help, which then causes it to worsen and may go from a lack of confidence in their self-image to an eating disorder.

Most people who are dieting to become skinny think that once they reach a certain size, they no longer will worry about their body image. But as discussed earlier, every woman, regardless of what size they are, faces issues with feeling confident about their body image. And the sooner we come to terms with this as a society, the better we will be able to understand the issues with body image and eating disorders.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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