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Victoria's Secret: Is the secret unrealistic women?

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Victoria Secret's infamous fashion show will hit our TVs on 2nd of December.

It’s safe to say I’ll be glued to my television screen, mourning over the Angels' beautiful figures, adorned in some of the most luxurious and expensive underwear in the world.

You’ll probably find me crying into a pack of digestive biscuits after a *shock* horror realisation, that I’ll never look like those all-legs goddesses that'll infiltrate my social media feeds for the foreseeable future.

Image Credit: Ruby Naldrett

This sparks the question: is Victoria Secret outdated? The world is becoming obsessed with body positivity and we see evidence of people celebrating different shapes, sizes, and cultures across the globe. Yet, Victoria Secret models are always consistent: an average height of 5’9.5” and US size 4 , this isn’t a true representation of average women.

According to research undertaken by SimplyBe, 89% of women do not feel represented in mainstream advertising, on runways, on TV & in the fashion press.

Let's take a look at the facts of the VS show:

Image Courtesy of SimplyBe

The average dress size in the UK and US is 16, and for both countries the average height of a woman is 5'4". 

 

Image Courtesy of SimplyBe

It's easy to understand why 89% of women don't feel represented when the above information its only showing a minority of people. No curve or plus-sized models have ever been represented in the VS show, nor does it seem to be considered for future shows. So, is the fantasy starting to fade? 

Whilst VS can't honestly say it's promoting a positive body experience for the viewing woman, stats suggest that over 1 billion people are going to tune in when the show airs on Sunday - so it doesn't look like it.

I can vouch that I have definitely found myself at some point comparing my body to that of a model or a girl I've found online. The Victoria Secret show is one of the highest promoted catwalks in the world. It's safe to say that the media will be pushing out images/videos of the show for weeks after it's aired, a constant reminder for women around the globe of the highly desired Angels. 

I would love to see a more inclusive range of women walking the runway in future shows. There's a lot that needs to be done to, in my opinion, make the VS show relevant to the modern woman. There are currently 14 Angels who represent the Victoria Secret Brand. All of them are sized between US 2 - US 6 and a height range of 5'8" - 5'11" (only one model is 5'8"; Marisa Miller.) I don't know that many women around me that are taller than 5'8" and whilst I'm 5'8" myself, I could only dream of fitting into a US 2 (which is equivalent of a UK 4).

But then again, I don't actually dream of this clothing size. Victoria Secret Angels work out multiple times a day to get the bodies they have. They're on strict diets and have personal trainers to train and shape their bodies to what they are now. Realistically, who has the time? My gym membership eats away at my annual salary when in reality, I don't have enough time to dedicate to the gym as VS Angels do. Maybe, if I took my job out the equation I'd have the time to work out? But then I'd probably run out of money pretty quickly in order to pay for the gym.

It's a vicious circle and realistically the only outcome is that I won't look like a VS model. Neither will the vast majority of the women around the world. The fantasy might not be over yet, but Victoria's Secret should consider the future and make a decision. It's time for change.

 

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