Why the Victoria Secret Fashion Show is Problematic

The first ever Victoria’s Secret fashion show was held almost thirty years ago. This show soon began to occur annually, and it has been happening consistently ever since. It is easy to point out that a lot has changed within society throughout the past thirty years, but Victoria’s Secret has made it clear that they will do all they can to push out the representation that the world hopes for in future fashion shows. They plan to uphold their image of skinny, tall, and cis models that the company has been promoting since 1995.

A few weeks ago, it was made public by Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, that Victoria’s Secret is nowhere near interested in making its annual fashion show seem more “inclusive”. Razek made problematic statements regarding transgender and plus-size models entering the show. He was quoted stating that transgender women and plus-size women are unable to capture the “fantasy” that the Victoria’s Secret fashion show strives to create each year. He further explains that "If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have... We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t." Razek proceeded to mention this after his anti-trans and plus-size shaming remarks. He then later apologized in a tweet stating that he did not mean for his remarks to come across as “insensitive". Razek's statements and apologies, however, have done no good for the communities he has directly targeted.

YouTube sensation, Gigi Gorgeous, a transgender woman who is famous for publicly releasing a documentary following her through her transition and her YouTube videos uploaded throughout the years had PLENTY to say about the statements made by Razek. She uploaded a video titled “SHAME ON YOU Victoria’s Secret”, in which she expressed how being a consumer of Victoria’s Secret products since the beginning of her transition made her feel like the beautiful woman she had felt inside for so long. She further explained that the company’s failure to include both transgender and plus-size women in the fashion show made her sick and that she would no longer be purchasing from them. She then expressed her sadness from the statements that were made because of how great Victoria’s Secrets products had made her feel in the past.

The Victoria’s Secret fashion show is in need of a long, overdue makeover if it wants to appeal to major audiences. Society is in need of a fashion show that celebrates all body types and genders because that is what ACTUAL society is like. Looking at the same looking models for thirty years is getting quite old, and it will not be much of a surprise if Victoria’s Secret loses customers over the inhumane comments that were made.