We all know the Victoria’s Secret logo, as the company is famous for their sexy lingerie. However, many would argue they are much more famous for their collection of supermodels, also known as the Victoria’s Secret Angels, some of which can be pictured in the ad.
In it’s simplest form this ad is intended to be a positive endorsement for their collection of bras. The term ‘body’ means the body of the bra and the assumingly desirable lift that the undergarment would give a women’s breasts. Conversely, when I read this ad I think of the word ‘body’ referring to the women’s bodies and when I consider how this ad has been done I feel as though Victoria’s Secret is advertising what they advocate and support as the ideal and desirable build. The photos of the models support very little diversity with each woman showing thin legs, a flat stomach, large breasts, and a pouty face. In my eyes this clearly highlights a very narrow interval for what the company looks for in their models and how they choose to represent themselves. Furthermore, the line ‘a body for every body’ communicates that the build of the girls depicted is a look capable of being achieved by anybody and everybody. As one should know, this is completely false as appearance is highly influenced by genetics. These women are rather thin, perhaps not to the point of having an eating disorder, but they are much thinner and taller than 99%, if not more of, the female population. The wide spread media encouragement of this body type leaves women questioning and feeling insecure that they don’t have, and can’t have, the beautiful body ‘everyone wants’. These models are genetically gifted with these features and imposing the message this is how we should all want to look is how the company encourages it’s consumers to buy their products in hopes that they will then look like models.
Culture Jammed Ad
I attempted to highlight the pressure this ad places on women. I did this by crossing out the word ‘every’ and replacing it with the word ‘no’, thus making the phrase ‘a body for no body’. Visually we are able to see that the words are describing the models pictured and referring to their bodies as achievable by everybody; however, I don’t believe this to be accurate or fair. The figures of the women pictured are not what should be considered the ideal for women and when the word ‘every’ is used this is exactly what is conveyed. I have altered the statement even though perhaps this body type is achievable but only by a small percentage of women, and thus this shouldn’t be the norm. I would also hazard to guess that the women pictured here are photo shopped, making the women shown not even an accurate reflection of themselves. Of course, many people do not fall victim to the pressures of the media and there are lots of women who are comfortable in their own skin, but there are also plenty who are not and the rate of eating disorders has climbed since the fashion industry’s support has began to lie with the extremely tall and thin models. A standard of beauty has been created that is next to unobtainable and I think it is important for the media industry to realize their influence over society and what should be considered the ideal. It is important to celebrate diversity and individual differences, not criticize and shame them. What should be considered the ideal body type is a healthy, active figure that reflects the individual’s genetic gifts – whether that is long legs or curves.