The Secret's Out: Why I Stopped Shopping at Victoria's Secret

Just like most teenage girls, I shopped at Victoria’s Secret religiously growing up. I watched the fashion show every single year and my obsession grew as the years went on. As I started to get older, I discovered they were all but inclusive. They also went through a whole prison labor fiasco, but that's more news for another day. This sparked a conversation in my mind on what I want the brands I support and buy from to stand for. 




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Around the time of the 2018 fashion show, Victoria's Secret said they wouldn’t be including any plus sized or transgender models like many of their rival companies were. Their reasoning was because the show is supposed to showcase a “fantasy”—this floored me. In this day and age, I find it hard to believe that a brand like Victoria’s Secret would so publicly say they don’t feel a certain type of woman should be represented by them. We live in a society that is so quick to drag a statement like this on social media without thinking twice. While yes as the brand, they fully have the right to say such a thing, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay or that they shouldn’t be held accountable. 

Inclusivity, as it should be, is being seen more than ever before across a variety of brands. Being the person I am, it was hard for me to stand by a statement as flawed as the one made by Victoria’s Secret. While Victoria’s Secret does include models of various races, that doesn’t make up for the fact that not one of their models looks like the average American woman. 




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During this time, I had been flirting with the idea of shopping at various other bra and underwear stores and I came across Aerie. A company that I, for the record, already knew about but hadn’t given much of a chance before. It didn’t take me long to realize that Aerie stood for everything a company should stand for, let alone what a company for women should stand for. The brand uses models of all shapes and sizes, including tattooed and disabled models. There isn’t just one model that looks like the average woman— they all do. A brand like this is one I find myself drawn to. I can look at all they sell and see what I would look like in it, or what someone who doesn’t even look like me would look like in it. Slowly and surely, this brand has taken over my closet. I find it much easier and fulfilling to give a brand that cares about women my money than a brand that only cares about their image. 

Never in my life have I wanted to support a company more than I want to support this one. I have a strong urge to buy almost everything I try on from them, which makes life significantly harder. I spend way too much of my free time scrolling through their website and adding everything to my cart and then somehow force myself to not hit the “submit order” button. Supporting a company that supports me as a woman has never felt so empowering.

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