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Discussion in 'Fashion... In Depth' started by Benn98, Nov 10, 2018.
I've been laughing so hard at the whole drama surrounding this mess of a brand lately. I just love how they keep trying to justify their trashiness and just end up digging an even bigger hole. They can always try to give Hedi a call ("hey Hedi, look, underwear parisienne, total creative control, Hedi's Secret").
I read the linked article a few days ago too, and I think Vanessa Friedman made some really valid points in her piece.
I don't think VS really wants to change, and I think part of the reason is because VS has operated for so long on the basis of exclusivity (is this why the girls with VS contracts are called ‘angels’?) in building the brand. They don’t want to be all inclusive on their runway; they want their brand to be what us 'normal' people aspire to attain; and so the only girls that go down their runway fit a very certain aesthetic - only the most uniformly gorgeous and incredibly fit (but importantly, 'voluptuous' in all the right places) models who know how to smize and blow kisses with more naturalness than the average model.
If I’m to be honest, the impression I get from VS is ‘most likely you’ll never get to the heights these girls down our runway have attained with their bodies and looks (and they’ve definitely encouraged that by how tough they are on casting) but hey! here’s to you trying and may this serve as inspiration to you!’, and they’ve operated on this mantra for a long time now.
Not many of the models speak about how body positive VS is, do they? Most models are of certain body dimensions already; but VS models have to go that extra length and train and diet like crazy and cleanse weeks beforehand to be ‘show ready’. You could argue that it’s merely a model’s own standards that they hold themselves to, to feel like they are at their best, but I think all the models are in great shape normally already. In normal circumstances, it’s alright to have some fat on the old tum tum and still feel damn sexy and attractive, and honestly, it should be an easy decision for VS to be more body inclusive.
I feel like in order to distract people from the fact that the brand isn’t doing enough to change, they’re opted to make the wings, the set, the costumes accompanying the lingerie more exuberant, more big, more rah rah. It's only going to work for so long.
No one is forcing this beauty standard upon anyone, and each woman is beautiful in her own way, no matter the body size/shape. Where exactly does VS say "everybody should look like this?" / "only this is beautiful?" . Why can't people admire and enjoy something beautiful , in this case, the Victoria's Secret models, without making a big deal out of it? Is this the disgusting "cultural sensitivity" that 2018 has reached?
These girls look more or less the same all year round, because they work out everyday, and eat in a healthy way. However, I think that every person who complains about them having an "unachievable" body is wrong. These girls have their genes in a way that is easier for them to stay fit and slim. I've been following few of them lately and they work all day (photoshoots ,appearances, runway shows), and wake up early in the morning to workout. Of course it's easier to accuse them for looking like that, then actually hitting the gym yourself. I can guarantee that every woman/girl who would work out regularly and eat healthy foods more often would look like at least the best version of themselves, if not a VS model.
After all,these models promote a healthy lifestyle: they post what meals they eat on social media, their workout routines, etc. I think they could provide a good source of inspiration for anyone who - not necessarily wants to look like a model - but is looking to make a positive change in their lives.
On the other hand, of course it's easier to point your finger at Victoria's Secret for promoting a body type that is very hard to achieve, needs a lot of work, discipline and sacrifice. People who make those accusations should try and go to the gym, change their lifestyle, eating habits - and , after a lot of dedication & effort : Voilà! It's not that "unachievable" anymore! Not everybody should or is supposed to look like a VS model or a certain way, as every body shape is special and beautiful in its own way, but possibly a lifestyle change could make many of these critics look like the best version of themselves, and be less frustrated ♂️. Just saying! Everybody should stop comparing themselves and accept the fact that yes, these stunning beautiful women exist , they're there. Alive. They respresent themselves the proof that it is real, ACHIEVABLE. For some, maybe not all. As a conclusion, everyone is beautiful in their own way and shouldn't body shame or criticise other people for their looks. Very fit and gym addicts, or not at all that type of person, everybody is unique and special in their own way.
I don't think anyone is accusing VS of implying that everyone should look the way their models do; everyone knows that that's not possible. However, an argument can be made that VS prefers to work with a particular type of beautiful to showcase their brand; of course, that is absolutely okay too, but in a social climate where other up-and-coming lingerie brands are becoming more inclusive (e.g the brands mentioned in Vanessa's article), are you surprised that a brand as big and as admired as VS wasn't going to be questioned about their lineup? I think people were hoping to see VS join in the conversation, if not lead by example, that's all.
I'm going to assume that you don't really think being culturally sensitive is disgusting, because that's an awful thing to say.
Yes, I do agree that the touchiness meter has gotten very, very sensitive over 2018, but being culturally aware to a reasonable extent is important - it demonstrates that you respect others and their culture that might not necessarily be a part of yours. People are clearly admiring and enjoying how beautiful the models are, are evidenced by how many people tune into watch the show. As Vanessa pointed out in her article, it looked like VS made a conscious effort not to be culturally offensive after past criticism and it shows the brand is listening or at least doing a bit of research before they send something clearly tone deaf down the runway. Nevertheless, Vanessa's article is more about the female image in general, rather than it being about culture, I think.
No one is attacking the models or their bodies, myself included, if you think my previous post was. I don't think that was the intention of Vanessa's article either. I agree that the girls are great at sharing their prepping and training on instagram- it's what makes them relatable in that a lot of hard work goes into achieving what they've got. VS has demonstrated its power in being able to launch incredible careers for women time and time again too, which is why landing a spot on VS's cast is such a big deal. My point was that even when these women have incredible bodies pretty all the time, they still have to go that extra mile to be in peak form- it's very hard to maintain this form all year round. Some women will see the girls as body goals and strive to look they way they do. Some with a weaker sense of will power will see the girls, see perfection, and be discouraged because there's no alternative image that VS is presenting to the world about how their lingerie can look fantastic on someone who isn't hitting 6 feet tall and has washboard abs. I get that it's not VS's duty to please everyone (because it's never going to happen), but as I mentioned earlier in this post it'd be nice if they mixed it up a little to show they understand how their brand fits into the changing world.
Perhaps VS wants to reflect perfect fantasy rather than realism. But again, it goes back to Vanessa's question about female body perception, and whose fantasy it is exactly that they're reflecting.
I am mainly referring to the Business of Fashion instagram article recently published,and a few other articles, not to what you guys said.
The level of cultural sensitivity over every little single,minor issue 2018 has reached is...ridiculous! That was what I was referring to! We also had minor issues created just for the sake of endless debating at University as well, as I studied fashion recently, and it was becoming tiring to listen to, for many of us students.
That "tiring" experience sounds like people being encouraged to find their voice and then strengthen it through practice debate.
We are not born knowing how to speak up in meaningful ways, and it's a natural process to have to listen/read through a lot of nonsense and white noise before we realise what's important about an issue.
Anyhow, the VS article doesn't seem to mention the main issues that I see being discussed on the internet in relation to the brand - that VS doesn't make a wide enough range of sizes, and doesn't seem to offer a trustworthy in-store measuring service. Perhaps poor sales are more to do with the actual product and the stores, not the perception of the spokesmodels.
In the end, the market will decide. I would not doubt they're losing sales because of poor service and lack of sizes, because they absolute do have those issues. As for the exclusivity issues, this will be another thing where the market will decide, but as of yet I dont see any connection. The brand is already pretty diverse ethnically to begin with. In my opinion its their business, people are not entitled to an image that they want VS to showcase. I think the company is as it says, they are partially a lingerie company and partially a fantasy company. Company shouldn't have apologized at all for those statements. They shouldn't be giving an inch to what is frankly an outrage mob, because in the eyes of the mob no matter how much they apologize or even make changes, they are already dead in the eyes of the mob, and they will keep drawing a little bit of blood each time, just like a mosquito.
All this talk in the media of VS embodying body exclusivity seems to almost be suggesting VS is part of a prevailing bad trend in the fashion industry. But I tend to think of VS as actually bucking the trend, here; plus-sized models, body positivity, body inclusivity etc are all over the place these days. Nothing is wrong with that, of course, but nothing is wrong with VS remaining firm in extolling the Angels as the exclusive elite, and I say good on them for promoting healthy body images and not kowtowing to outrage mobs.