Guest post by Rachel O:
So plenty of criticism has been thrown Victoria’s Secret way in the past few years. They’ve been criticized for advertising that seems to be made for men instead of their female customers, stealing, and sometimes going overboard with photoshop, but what bothers me the most is their new ad campaign. Playing up attitudes of self acceptance, Victoria’s Secret has branded their latest advertising campaign as “I Love My Body” featuring regular Victoria’s Secret supermodels, along with up and comers, such as Chanel Iman. While initially excited about the ads, I soon found out it wasn’t the new Dove Real Beauty. And as it turns out, they’re not really selling anything new, just the same old bras on seven very similarly-sized, similarly-figured supermodels.
Now, if Victoria’s Secret had branched out a little, or included a supermodel like Crystal Renn, I probably would be writing a positive post. It’s not that I have issues with models or thinness, but to take what is by societies standards the most beautiful, sexy, glamorous, perfectly-proportioned women, and talk about how much they love their bodies as if it’s something revolutionary is a little insulting. It’s not that these women shouldn’t love their bodies, but the pictures they pose for tend to be part of the problem, rather than the start of a revolutionary self acceptance campaign. If Victoria’s Secret really wants to promote self acceptance, they could start by using a variety of models in different shapes and sizes.
In this day and age, when I hear it’s news that Jessica Alba likes her curvy body, or about how Kate Winslet still has issues of feeling fat, I don’t think a campaign about body acceptance that only shows models who meet the fashion industries limited views on women helps much. But, I guess some buy into the hype. Bonnie Fuller recently wrote a piece on the Huffington Post about how amazing it is that designers are using curvy women again, but doesn’t really compare the “toothpicks” to the so-called-bigger girls, only writes that “…they’ve been considered “too commercial” by snooty fashion insiders.” I think I’ll stick to saving the praise for companies like Dove.