Victoria’s Secret: Double Standard?


Victoria's Secret Original Billboard Ad

Victoria’s Secret Original Billboard Ad

Victoria’s Secret is one of the most well known brands which markets premium lingerie, women wear, and beauty products. However, the misleading assumptions about the models portray negative connotations with body image. The ten models in lingerie promoting Victoria’s Secret billboard demonstrate false expectations about what perfection really is, as the pressures to achieve an unrealistic body ideal can be the cause of serious health issues. The notion of a “perfect” body in comparison to a Victoria’s secret models can constantly damage women’s understanding of their body image causing them to go to extreme  and dangerous measures to intimate this body type.

The negative attributes that come from media influences can transform the values and beliefs young women have in regards to body image, self image, and self esteem. Young women are more inclined to compare their bodies to the visually flawless figures of these Victoria’s secret supermodels because of mainstream and cultural institutions, including mass media influence. The media endorses an unrealistic goal, where young women believe they should have a paper thin figure, or goddess like attributes to be accepted within society. Young people are especially influenced by the media, as they desperately try to imitate the prominent, glamorous role models they observe in through advertisement. Many youth develop eating disorders, low self-esteem, psychological complications and experience other difficulties by internalizing negative ideas found in billboards like Victoria’s Secret.

On the other hand, this billboard aims to demonstrates how young women should be able embrace their sexuality and feel confident and desirable. Nonetheless, young people feel the mere opposite, where this form of media and advertising affects their perception on their body image. We live in a society where thinness and beauty are highly valued  and are the norms for young women. When models are portrayed as stick thin figures it creates a perception through the media that all young women must look the same way. Proceeding, it progressively makes these young women self destruct knowing they are unable to obtain or sustain the body image of these models. This can affect how they feel about themselves and how they will shape into the women they will be in the future.

Deconstruction of Victoria's Secret Billboard

Deconstruction of Victoria’s Secret Billboard Ad

Culture jamming provides exposure to the public about political assumptions about current events, which allow individuals to understand the world by critically analyzing the modern commercial culture through ironic or satirical commentary. By refiguring the tagline and the ten models’ heads, I produced an image that challenges the idea of unattainable physical norms and double standards. By changing the human heads into cyborg heads I portray how each model has the same presumed identity forcing society to believe this should be the norm. The tagline “a Body for Everybody” is a deception within the image because in reality Victoria’s Secret promotes a standardized look that all women should pertain or should transform into. Young women become more aware of these body shapes from the media, which ultimately makes it difficult for them to identify themselves when trying to fit into society.

The cyborg heads covering the models faces reveal that notion that body standards should all constructed in the same manner, thus creating a double standard in society. The lack of individuality with the models physical attributes exemplifies unreachable targets for young women to achieve.  It does not feel like Victoria’s Secret brand has a “Body for Everybody” as it develops negative self esteem upon on the physical characteristics of many young women in the world. With the conceptualization that all models are “cloned” and the expectations to be like Victoria’s Secret models, this brand builds detrimental pressures for young women to look a certain way. Women start to have the vision that attaining the identical bodies to these model will make them feel more empowered and satisfied about themselves. However, by young women comparing themselves with other people and media images, these external pressures can destroy their confidence and self assurance. The deconstruction of the billboard expresses that society may extend to the idea of being comfortable in your own kin, yet these cyborgs are what are creating this unattainable norms that everyone feels the need to follow.

Brown, Genevieve Shaw. “Victoria’s Secret Changes Controversial ‘Perfect Body’ Slogan.”        ABC News. ABC News Network, 6 Nov. 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.