Victoria’s Dark Secret
An inside look on how a lingerie company is targeting young girls and contributing to unhealthy body types.
Victoria’s Secret has always been America’s number one company for the sales of lingerie, bras, and underwear. With all of the flashy colors, brilliant patterns, and sexy designs they advertise, it seems that your perfect pair of undergarments is only the swipe of a credit card away. After all, what could be better than a bright red, lacy, bombshell bra from V.S.? Well, how about one that actually fits you?
It’s true. Over half of American women don’t even know their correct bra size, but thank goodness we have Victoria’s Secret to help us figure that out. You can walk into any Victoria’s Secret store in America and get measured for free! This doesn’t seem like a problem at all. Actually, it sounds extremely helpful and convenient, and it can be, as long as V.S. has your size in stock. Andrea Park, a New York based writer and former employee at a Victoria’s Secret says, “I remember one time this pre-teen came in to get fitted and right away I knew she wasn’t going to fit in any of our bras. I lied and told her she was a 38B but in reality she was a AA.”Clearly, if one employee is willing to lie and miss-size young girls going through development to cover up her company, more will follow her lead.
19+ cup sizes exist in bras, and over ten band sizes. V.S. only carries seven out of the 19 plus cup sizes, and six out of the ten plus band lengths, offering little options for women who are bigger than the national average. In addition, the largest size underwear that Victoria’s Secret carries, is a size 12; or an XL. By knowingly not producing more realistic sizes to accommodate all body types, V.S. is almost pledging to make women and young girls insecure about their own bodies, forcing them to change themselves to fit in with the “normal” type. This sexualization of young girls hurts everyone. It contributes to rape culture as a whole, and dressing these “Bright Young Things” in scandalous outfits hurts everyone. Victoria’s Secret created a line called “Bright Young Things” geared directly at girls ages 12-16. This underwear line is not only calling young girls “things,”but is also objectifying their bodies into sexual pleasure machines.
Victoria’s Secret recently launched a campaign called, “ The Perfect Body.” The controversial campaign depicted with 8 women standing together, ranging from sizes 00-2. By launching this campaign ad, V.S. is basically saying that if you don’t look like the models is the advertisement, then you don’t have the perfect body. Now, is this really what we want the young girls and women in our culture to believe? By shopping at Victoria’s Secret, you are promoting body negativity and insecurities in women with different body types. We need to be promoting and accepting of all body shapes and sizes. Instead of shopping at Victoria’s Secret, try more body positive brands like Aerie, American Eagle’s underwear company that enjoyed a surge in sales after promising to leave their photos unedited, Nubian Skin, Neon Moon, Impish Lee, and Lonely.