This is a classic ad by Victoria’s Secret featuring their “perfect” models: Victoria’s Secret Angels. This ad uses the message “The Perfect Body” to sell you Victoria’s Secret bras and underwear. As a subtitle, they chose “Perfect fit. Perfect comfort. Perfectly soft.” Together, the title and subtitle send a message that these women have the perfect body and that Victoria’s Secret’s undergarments fit them perfectly.
What is wrong with this ad?
This ad is concerning in the way that it promotes the ideology that there is a “perfect” type of body. The message in the ad is evidently promoting the one body type shown in the picture as the perfect body, implying that if you do not look like this you are inferior or unattractive. This notion of perfection and ideal image are a huge part of why so many women struggle with mental health and eating disorders. Victorias Secret also has a young following, which is even more troubling. Young women growing up compare themselves to these unrealistic body images in the media and lose self-love and self-respect for themselves. Victoria’s Secret models are known to be extremely skinny and have low body fat percentage, which is common in the modelling industry. However, when they attach words like perfect or sexy to their ads they are implying a certain type of exclusivity to being sexy and beautiful. Women are not exclusively thin and tall, nor are they all primarily white. Although, there is one women of colour featured in this photo, there is barely any range of skin colour. The women appear to be either fair or sun kissed, but they do not appear to be of different races or cultures. The excessive promotion of this body type and fairness of skin as ultimate beauty and perfection contributes to body shaming and is detrimental to our societies.
The Jammed Ad
The jammed ad I created fights against the message that these women have the perfect body type by promoting the equality of all women through the notion that perfection does not exist. I truly believe that perfection does not exist, because it means something different to everyone since we live in a diverse world. Perfection is an ideology that is subjective and should not be used in advertisements applying to all women unless it promotes body positivity and diversity. My message: “the perfect body does not exist” also downplays their attempt to use the sexualization of models to sell their product. Brands like Victorias Secret need to stop pushing these ideals down our throats so that we buy their bras and feel “sexy.” If this is what sexy is, then I don’t want any part of it because to look like that I would have to take extreme measures that would strain my physical and mental health. This ad needs to be reformed in a way that squashes perfection and promotes being beautiful naturally not perfectly. By going against the original message that implies these women are perfect, I wanted to make sure I do not bash or put down these models and shame them for meeting the beauty ideals set out by Victorias Secret. That is why I added “all bodies are beautiful” to assert the fact that this is inclusive of these women who are still beautiful even though they do not represent diversity. I wanted to convey the message that these bras may be perfect but those women are not, because perfection is a sham that allows society to tell you how you should look.
Chapin, Adele. “This Victoria’s Secret Ad Might Be a Tad Body-Shaming, No?” Racked, Racked, 29 Oct. 2014, www.racked.com/2014/10/29/7571169/victorias-secret-body-shaming.