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Victoria’s Secret’s ‘Perfect Body’ campaign sparks outrage

Victoria’s Secret is sending mixed messages. The lingerie company is being criticized for its new advertising campaign for its new line of push up bras. The images causing controversy feature Angels Lily Aldridge, Behati Prinsloo, and Jasmine Tookes with the words “The Perfect Body” displayed across the poster.

While the ads look no different than others Victoria’s Secret has promoted throughout its history — tall women with chiseled abs, long limbs, and about 0 percent body fat — the juxtaposition of the very thin models with the words that seemingly state a specific and often unattainable standard for what a flawless figure should look like. This significance attached to the ads, though unintentional, has angered many and some are even asking for the brand to make significant changes to their policies.

First spotted in the U.K., many voiced their concerns on Twitter and after seeing the poster at a mall in Leeds, students Frances Black, Gabriella Kountourides, and Laura Ferris created a change.org petition. “Every day women are bombarded with advertisements aimed at making them feel insecure about their bodies, in the hope that they will spend money on products that will supposedly make them happier and more beautiful,” the group writes. “This marketing campaign is harmful. It fails to celebrate the amazing diversity of women’s bodies by choosing to call only one body type ‘perfect.’” They believe — as do the more than 3,000 people who have signed in support of their crusade since Monday — that media messages such as these perpetuate low self-esteem among women and girls who are made to feel inadequate and unattractive by not fitting into the narrow benchmark of what is considered beautiful.

The college students also started a hashtag movement across social media channels by asking people to tweet with the hashtag #iamperfect.vs1vs2vs3

But Victoria’s Secret isn’t alone in inadvertently communicating unhealthy body image messages. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, research has indicated that media has a powerful effect on women’s dissatisfaction with their bodies. Images such as the Victoria’s Secret ad can promote thin ideal internalization and lead to disordered eating. “Of course we find the phrase ‘a perfect body’ offensive and demeaning. There is no such thing as who determines such a meaningless standard. All this type of hype does is make people question their own body image and self-esteem,” Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of NEDA, tells Yahoo Style. “Our goal should be health and respect for our own individuality. Shame on Victoria’s Secret, but this is not exactly a surprise since they do not in any way set the example for body diversity and self-esteem at all shapes and sizes.”


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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11 comments

  1. Shame on #victoriasecret. And to all the others too. That is why they hardly produce plus size lingerie!!!! Nonsense and garbage!!!!

  2. Victoria Secret wan sell market! At this rate, misdemeanors such as anorexic and bullimic tendencies in teen girls will be further heightened! They just don’t get that they’re doing so much harm in trying to do their business and make profits! Teen girls are easily manipulated and can quickly descend into low self esteem and other vices like drug abuse, self mutilation; even suicide when they fail to achieve the standards these insensitive lots are propagating! I’d really like to know if the owner or directors at VS are spaghetti thin themselves! I mean, practise what you preach right?! Abi is it do as I say, not as I do?! Psst!

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Have you not seen Anna Wintour, Yemie? The editor of fashion bible, Vogue… She is every bit as stick thin and as dried up as the models they splash on the pages of the magazine. So I think most of them do practise what they preach.

  3. Has anyone noticed how almost ALL the Vicky’s Secret babes look like a rundown of all Leo DiCaprio’s girlfriends? Yeah they have one or two ‘mascot’ dark skinned girls but virtually NO Latinas, Indian, Polynesian or Asian chicks? Apparently being ‘perfect’ isn’t just about being skinny (Because let’s face it- these girls aren’t slim o…they are skinny)…it’s also about having a certain ‘look’. Personally I think ALL women can be sexy and great, regardless of what end of the scale they are on. But I do have an issue of ‘perfection’ falling into one body type that most women do not have the genetics or gym time to achieve. Just saying.

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Yay! Sifa is back! 😀

    • shakespeareanwalter

      And it’s not just the absence of coloured women. If in fact you simply do not meet any typical model regimen, you can’t be there. Take for instance, Kate Upton, its been reported that someone at VS vowed she’d never hire the model, simply because she looks too generic. You know, blonde, blue-eyed and big-breasted. Lol

  4. I think it’s a free world. That’s what they call perfect. If you disagree, define your own perfect. I don’t see guys going to change.org to fight against a ripped dude in a poster. My point is, do you!

  5. “Beauty is in the eyeyes of the beholder,” or does that not ring true anymore?

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