It seems that the famed lingerie brand, Victoria’s Secret, has finally listened to public opinion and tried its hand at inclusivity.
On the brand’s Instagram page, there lies a photo of Dutch model Jill Kortleve standing atop a rock in front of a bright, blue ocean. She’s got on a pretty floral bikini, which is part of the promotion for the brand’s Summer Solstice sale event.
The model is noticeably unlike the regular Victoria’s Secret models that we often see; she’s curvy and unedited and she, quite honestly, looks real. The photo is a far step ahead from the brand’s signature tall, airbrushed, and almost impossible-looking models.
It’s a drastic change that stems from years of controversy. In 2018, the VS chief marketing officer came under fire for making transphobic remarks. When asked if he’d include transgender models in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, he replied, “No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.”
Just last year, Victoria’s Secret was also exposed for its “abusive” and “misogynistic” culture. Company executive Ed Razek was said to have acted inappropriately with models, attempting to kiss them or ask them to sit on his lap.
It’s safe to say the lingerie giant has been in rough shape since these controversies.
Paired with growing trends that point towards more “body-positive” messages, the classic Victoria’s Secret image of thinness and whiteness has become obsolete. Now, there’s no place for brands that only showcase one specific body type or color.
In response to these shifting trends, the brand launched the VS Collective, a campaign that features famous female activists like Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Megan Rapinoe. The idea was to include women who were “famous for their achievements and not their proportions,” according to the New York Times.
Moreover, they’ve been showing off significantly more curvy and diverse women in their other campaigns, prompting praise from users online. It’s hard to deny that the brand’s been actively trying to turn the tides on their image, so we’ll give them a pat on the back for that.
What do you think about the new and improved Victoria’s Secret?