Victoria’s Secret is Finally Getting the Rejection it Deserves

The 2018 VS Fashion Show hits lowest ratings ever as it continues to refuse diversity.


Rebecca Lorenzo, Copy Editor

In the #MeToo and #BodyPositivity eras, thin-only Victoria’s Secret angels peacocking down the runway in extravagant, holier-than-thou wings has lost its appeal. This year’s show on Dec. 1 yielded its lowest ratings in the show’s history, proving that people are sick of being told what constitutes as beautiful.

According to El Paso Times, the VS Show was shown on ABC after years on CBS, clocking its smallest-ever audience of 3.27 million viewers since 2001. The show has lost more than half its television audience in two years.

This should come to no shock to VS-they have been shamed by the media for years for “unrealistic body ideals” and lack of inclusion. Still, they remain ignorant, continuing to do whatever they want.

While they pushed strong beyond criticism at first, their steep ratings are a marker for a new era, one where forcing body ideals on women is no longer “cool.”

VS Executive openly rejects diversity.

VS Executive Ed Razek shared is ill-advised trans-phobic and fat-phobic beliefs to VogueWe market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world,” said Razek when asked if VS would cater to plus sizes.

Razek also refuses to feature a transgender model in the VS Show. “No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is…any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us.”

Well, Razek , if this was true, don’t you think your ratings would be higher?

Razek would beg to differ, “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t. Our show is the only branded special in the world, seen in 190 countries, by 1 billion 6 million people, 45 percent more people saw it last year than the year before.”

Razek , honey… numbers do not lie. The VS Show is tanking. In a surprisingly small way, Razek is right, VS clearly does not market their clothes to people of different body shapes or demographics. However, in a grand sense, he is wrong. If companies wanted to imitate the VS Show, they would not continue to feature models with different body types. They would stick with VS’s tired model of showing the same body type for over 23 years.

Society’s narrative has changed.

With the #BodyPositivity movement, Instagram and the like, people are not fooled anymore. For the most part, the public recognizes that they are fed images and expected to like them. Now, with a much wider acceptance of bodies and representation of social media, people can choose who their role models are. Likely, they will choose someone they can relate too. Even more likely, it isn’t the picture-perfect vision VS is feeding them.

Whoever at VS is vetoing project proposals to feature transgender or curvy models is in the same denial-fueled fantasy world Razek is referring to. What is toxic about a fantasy world is that it is not reality. Plus, there is nobody else but the person imagining it to cohabit it.

This is especially true in marketing, any brands too cocky to transform are bound to briskly fall. VS is not immune to this, and if they think they are, their marketing team should be fired. Considering that the entire point of the VS Show is to market their clothes, it makes no sense why they would refuse to get with the times, especially when the data shows it is hurting the brand.

VS’s downfall is a good thing.

The problem is that people have been asking for greater representation in the women they feature. Yet, year after year, we see the same genetically-blessed, 6-foot stature void of visible imperfections that many of us cannot relate to.

While the whole situation is really nauseating, there is something beautiful about the show’s pitfall. It shows that, finally, the national narrative is changing. People are demanding representation of all demographics, meaning they are less influenced by the images that tell them they are not beautiful.

That is why influencers are the new celebrities, people have instant access to any relatable role model they choose. Gone are the days where people must pick up a tabloid or turn on MTV to have someone to idolize. Now, they can choose a real person with flaws that is just as beautiful as any VS model.

Finally, it is the gatekeepers like VS that are being influenced to change. If they don’t, VS as a brand is no longer beautiful to us.