The Victoria's Secret Fantasy

Each year, Victoria’s Secret showcases its out-of-this-world lingerie creations, set to a live pop soundtrack, high-paying audience, and worn by the higher echelons of the modelling world: the Angels.

Interviews with these women tell of crazy yogaboxilates sessions to get in shape for the show – Impossible beauty standards, anyone? Even well-established supermodel Jourdan Dunn was denied a place on the catwalk this year. What does that say about how impossibly narrow the image of an ‘angel’ is?

Arguably, it all sits unsettlingly close to a hyper-feminine culture, where PINK, (also the name of Victoria Secret’s sub-brand, aimed at teenage girls and university-age women), reigns supreme. Outfits are grouped, barbie-style, into themes: ‘snow queen’, ‘fireworks’, ‘butterflies’ and ‘carnival’. It’s not exactly healthy for girls to go from playing with impossibly proportioned dolls to seeing equally unachievable figures in an event of such scale.

However, if we simply drum it home that these models, as the name of the brand’s $2million bra tells us, represent pure ‘fantasy’, it makes it easier to watch it all happen. Like stereotypical bikini-clad-girls-with-an-expensive-car-to-make-men-buy-it adverts, no one seriously believes that by buying a Victoria’s Secret bra, they will, or should, magically transform into a 6ft gazelle with effortlessly wavy hair and a streak-free tan.

These women are beyond impressive for their dedication and stamina. Adriana Lima has been an angel for FIFTEEN YEARS. Personally, after just 2 months of pre-SSB gym sessions and healthy eating, I was happy to say goodbye to avocados for a while and stop caring about exercise. Staying angelic for fifteen years straight is borderline superhuman.

At the end of the day, the annual show creates the perfect excuse to sit back, bowl of pasta in hand, and applaud these few women who have put in the hours to now don an enormous pair of bright butterfly wings and glide down a runway for the world to see. Does it sit neatly in a feminist vision of representative beauty? Far from it. But sometimes such outrageous displays of colour, underwear and beauty can just be enjoyed for all their ridiculousness. Like designer catwalk shows, if you separate what you’re seeing from reality, you can lose yourself in the glamour and glitter, and get back to the real world afterwards.

References:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/can-watch-victorias-secret-catwalk-6811440

http://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/2012/04/05/victorias-secret-angels-exercise-tips-and-secrets

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/13/adriana-lima-grandma_n_4439915.html