Victoria’s Secret has been in a slow decline over the past few years. After the release of the Savage X Fenty Show in September, and other lingerie brands like Aerie using untouched models and showcasing different body types, the brand is meeting its downfall by refusing to introduce body diversity to its brand. The core principles of Victoria’s Secret in our current discourse on body positivity are problematic. the lingerie brand proved this by sticking with its founding principles until it was brought to the edge. Now their annual show has also been cancelled. Even as they change their ethos and re-evaluate what body positivity means to them as a brand, we as consumers must decide whether we care enough to buy their products, and save them.
The general consensus: lingerie lovers really don’t care anymore about Victoria’s Secret. It’s too outdated. They’re changing their core principles from one standard and epitomised version of sexy to a diversified version of it which comes across as fake. Other lingerie brands have already introduced body diversity, and willingly, but Victoria’s Secret is no longer the embodiment of sexy. Is it too late for the brand to salvage their reputation? Probably. It’s evident in the negative or uninterested responses from consumers of the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show when compared to the celebration and excitement towards the Savage x Fenty Show that premiered this year. Plus in 2018, Victoria’s Secret Fashion only gained 3.3 million views in the USA, which is virtually nothing compared to the 12 million viewers it attracted in 2001.
The other issue is that no matter how they change their principles, the brand will be historically and culturally known for its unattainable sexiness, with the same svelte and flawless models being projected as the ‘perfect’ body. However, competing and upcoming brands project what the consumers want: unapologetic sexiness no matter what you look like. Remember when their chief marketing officer made comments about transgender and plus-sized models? They chose not to hire these models because the brand does not want to sell to transgender or plus-sized women, they don’t fit in their ‘idealised fantasy’.
Overall, the brand is out-of-touch with the changing times, and their changes are too little, too late. Remember that the models are not the problem, the problem is that they represent a portion of consumers, instead of being an honest reflection of all of them. Victoria’s Secret will always be a fantasy. The brand will always be an ideal body type created by another and they need to realise that we have all moved on with beauty to accept the reality.