Is The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Damaging To An Impressionable Society?

Every year the angels reign down in their lingerie and they strut down the runway to the total awe of the audience, and frankly everyone with social media. But is the VS runway sending an outdated message of beauty standards?

When your whole squad is on point. #VSFashionShow

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These models are indisputably gorgeous and seeing them walking with their massive wings is a marvel to all. But beyond the wings and the bejewelled bras, what else does the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show show us?

Victoria’s Secret is a huge global brand and its models that represent the brand are equally well known in our culture of celebrity obsession. These angels are regarded as symbols of American perfection, and it’s true that most women would give anything to look like these women. And there you have it: once again the fashion industry is demoralising society by parading only tall and thin women with abs of steel. When the brand is celebrating turning 20, shouldn’t it be about time the brand matured and realised model diversity doesn’t mean having women whose waists range from 23 inches to 25 inches.

last night ❀️ @victoriassecret

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Unfortunately for us, we are so controlled by appearance and our constant desire for perfection, which means we can’t help but spiral down the route of self-loathing after seeing catwalks like that of Victoria’s Secret. As much as we know that these models train incredibly hard to have the bodies they do (combined with incredible genes), and they have strict diets to avoid bloating or gaining weight, we still feel terrible about ourselves after seeing them. The honest truth is that when we’re feeling down on ourselves it is hard to think rationally. We don’t do the daily gym workout these models do, and we certainly allow ourselves more sweets than they do, yet we still criticise ourselves for not looking like the beautiful models.

While so many other catwalks have opened their eyes to include models of all sizes and builds, why is VS so afraid of diversity? In the Victoria’s Secret shops, they have bras going up to a size 40DDD – now call me bold but I’m willing to say that none of those models wear a 40DDD.

Most women would feel slightly (if not more) vulnerable in their underwear as it is, but after seeing the VS Fashion Show that will be tenfold. In fact, following the televised program of the VS Fashion Show, more people sign up to gyms or actually make use of their gym membership. While going to the gym is a healthy action, the reason behind it is not. People shouldn’t be needing to workout because they feel inadequate after comparing themselves to others. Victoria’s Secret pushes the concept of empowerment so frequently, often by telling its customers that they’re feel fabulous in the underwear (true), but then when it comes down to actually demonstrating empowerment they revert back to the same build of slender models.

There are hundreds of catwalks in a model’s calendar, but few are televised to a large audience. Where so many runway models will have most women in awe of their petite frame, VS is different as people can go into the actual shop and purchase what they saw glamorised on the model. Unlike watching a fashion designer’s show and thinking the model looks incredibly skinny but the resonance of the comparison is limited because not many of us would go and buy a Gucci dress or a Chanel skirt. Whereas VS is within the achievable boundary so customers have the direct comparison between themselves and the model they saw wearing it initially.