RANT + RECAP: The 2014 #VSFashionShow.

Last night girls everywhere were glued to the TV for the infamous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  All in all – I loved the show this year – besides all the fluffy heels. Check out my Twitter for last night’s live tweets and reactions.

Before we all joke about the diets we need to go on so we can become Angels ourselves, I think it’s important to take a minute and appreciate the models for the phenomenal performance they put on for our enjoyment… not call them out for the state of their bodies. In my opinion, all the models last night looked ethereal last night and embodied this fantastical idea of a Victoria’s Secret “Angel.” I think there’s some suspension of disbelief in watching this show, as it’s clearly a fantastical production.

So… Can we talk about this?

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.54.46 PMBad move, Aerie. Bad move. Terrible move.

Obviously, model bodies may not be the most “realistic” type to idolize. But for a company whose digital presence is fundamentally focused on empowering women and changing perceptions about real beauty, self-love and celebrating you and your body as it is – this was SUCH a bad move. I assume the person who is responsible for pitching this idea is or will be in deep shit soon (if not fired). This is BEYOND a social faux pas, it’s complete fuckery.

#BodyShamingByAerie – a very desperate and pathetic attempt for them to try to take some share of voice during the show. Very off their brand voice, and from reading the comments it didn’t seem to be received well. I’ll be curious to see how they handle it… Maybe it will be deleted, maybe there will be an apology, maybe they will try to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened.

Most of the Aerie messaging is positive and authentically well-meaning… This was clearly targeting VS to highlight them in a negative manner. Why would you even? There are so many ways they could have incorporated the show in a way that would generate goodwill for their brand! In my humble opinion, they completely fucked up this opportunity.

Aerie: some free advice. Stop trying so hard, and stay focused on positive messaging because it works for you. Stooping down to be a Mean Girl when millions of “real girls” watched, and love the models for more than just their body is not a good look for you.

I mean, body shaming models in an attempt to get some support for “real” girls? Now you’re body shaming thin girls, putting modeling in a negative light – when there are likely girls who aspire to be models following you. Their post just seems to contradict everything their brand stands for.

IMG_0805For the record – Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio are both mothers! They have children AND banging bodies like that. What’s more real than a mother?

When you have ACTUAL, REAL WOMEN walking down a runway, there is no opportunity for retouching. “Retouching” is a huge component of Aerie’s digital presence, possibly their favorite word ever. It reminds me of the Dove Real Beauty campaign that I analyzed for my Media, Society & Individual class in college… I wrote my research paper on it and how effective the campaign was in managing and changing our general/societal perceptions about beauty.

This video is powerful, because you can see the physical transformation between “real” life (“regular?”) model into print mag/billboard model. Of course, I’m sure VS retouches photos for shoots – but this was not that. When women are walking down a runway, they have to be fucking flawless human beings to be able to pull it off, and as far as I’m concerned, all the Angels are.

IMG_0808I don’t even like Taylor Swift, but she looked phenomenal in this segment, and Karlie Kloss is such a babe.

This wasn’t even a relevant dig for Aerie to try to make. It was a sad attempt at a subtweet, but on Instagram. And an expensive one, as I’m sure this divided their audience of 122k rather than uniting them in a more positive manner.

Aerie, why would you not find a way to celebrate the Angels rather than bring them down? Everybody has a body. The Angels are #blessed with beautiful ones, but they do their fair share of work to maintain them. To call out a model and say she is less “real” simply because she’s wearing “wings” is a weak attempt to paint the Angels in a negative light so people don’t associate their figures as attainable bodies. Though I’d say they’re not easily attainable, they are aspirational – and motivational. Like, I’m ready for the gym after seeing Candice walk. What a goddess.

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All in all, really disappointed with Aerie for this tasteless post. It’s such poor form – body shaming, for shame. They stooped to comparing women rather than celebrating each and every kind of woman. For me, this completely kills all the credibility their brand had built up.

Thoughts?
xx

3 thoughts on “RANT + RECAP: The 2014 #VSFashionShow.

  1. I COMPLETELY agree!! Aerie shot themselves in the foot with this one. These social media accounts are a lot like secretaries in an office…they are the first thing every member of the public sees & they carry the duty of representing what their brand stands for.
    When aerie decided to put this picture out, they also stated that it is okay for “real” girls to bodyshame other women. How does that put out the right message when their initial purpose was to stomp shaming & promote self-acceptance?!

    I see one goal that Dove, VS, aerie and all empowering campaigns should be working toward…

    It’s not about sex, it’s not about size, & surely it’s not about shame.
    It should be about celebrating our femininity & empowering all of us simply because they ARE women. Our role in this world, as women, is diverse as our weight, our bra size, and our goals.

    Loved this post, beautiful!!

  2. I totally 100% agree with what you said. HOWEVER, I have read that the VS models are still retouched for the fashion show (notice how it’s filmed a few weeks in advance). Not that it makes your point any less valid, I’m just saying, video can be retouched and they are.

  3. YES!! I always thought highly of Aerie until they pulled that stunt. Just as it is wrong to shame individuals who may not look like VS Angels, it’s equally is wrong to shame girls who are skinny. Shaming anyone’s body type is a no-go. I also feel like VS does a decent job at showing how much their models work out in order to achieve their ideal bodies (especially on social media), which shows that they are healthy, fit individuals, and not fake angels as Aerie tried to insinuate.

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