Dear Victoria’s Secret Show, I Don’t Get You


Consider this my official plea to have the appeal of The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show unpacked for me, preferably via a detailed PowerPoint presentation created by a non-sexually-fantasizing male or female. Because I see these creatures everywhere, tweeting and ‘gramming and taking up quality blog space to sizzle on about the apparently HOLD-THE-FUCKING-PHONE event. And, despite having the empathic powers of your creepy sophomore year Psych professor (when I choose to), I just do not get it. Give me a falsely self-actualizing juice cleanse or everyone-and-their-mother’s bowing down to Chanel-cum-Lagerfeld, and I can understand it—even if I do not necessarily agree. But this? No, this is a different animal—one whose limits are too painfully obvious for me to look past.

To wit, in case you’re lacking a thinking/feeling brain: the show continues to place women on a pedestal formed entirely by their ratio of “good” and “bad” body fat (see: supple breasts and behind, lack of fat anywhere else); it employs usually corny musicians like Maroon 5 (I’m in denial that my ladylove Tay Swift succumbed this year) to croon amongst these blessed bodies, in celebration of something that is as yet unclear; and shills the cheesiest, often tackiest undergarments a human-lady or effeminate male has the option to buy.

I realize that much of fashion is aspirational, in an often twisted, self-defeating way. This show could conceivably fall into that category, providing me with a cozy explanation—but it would be an unsatisfactory one. My issue is with what exactly people are aspiring towards? Because there’s not much to chew on once you get past the slew of gotta-have-em six-pack abs. Is this just a reflection of America’s largely awful taste in clothing—their preference for absurdly padded boob-huggers made by underfed children in a factory on the other side of the world? Perhaps, though it seems to appeal to the international crowd too, as this year’s London venue proved.

The entire show—with its hype more worthy of some major diplomatic success or a truly reinvigorated economy—is practically comedic, but it seems people have chosen to ignore the joke. Am I just deeply flawed for not being able to get it up here? Was there a deficiency of half-naked, embellished women in my childhood, causing me to quell some kind of nausea when they appear en masse? And what of feminism, that beloved recent bedmate of the fashion world and world at large? Where does that feisty little lamb go while this show goes on? Because she sure as hell isn’t in the audience.

Ah, what’s that you say? Hypocrisy? In fashion? [adopts butchered British tone] I simply can’t imagine.

4 replies »

  1. I never understood these shows either. I honestly feel sad for these women because they are subjected to only being seen as a physical object. Yes, it’s their job and that’s what they signed up for, but I have no idea the level of intellect they possess because all I see is their bodies in lingerie. I love me some fashion, but when it comes to this, oh boy…

    • I think you’re mixing up physical object and sexualized object. We’re all physical objects. A circus performer, a dancer, and an actor all “sign up” to become physical objects on a stage in their work, as well. But they’re not always sexualized.
      Also, I have not explanations for the fashion show. I’m just saddened a little.

  2. I love your site! I’ve been binge-reading your fashion-related posts all afternoon. I also don’t get the VS show either. The lingerie itself is not all that exciting, and most of the fashion-conscious women who make a big deal about it on social media, are probably wearing much nicer lingerie than stuff from VS. I love beautiful lingerie, but VS underwear is cheap, tacky crap.

    VS models these days seem to be super fit, but I don’t think it’s really celebrating a fit woman’s body if they’re wearing a bra that adds two cup sizes to hide that most of the models are quite flat-chested, as a result of genetics and their intense diet & fitness regimes. They’re still gorgeous, fit and (presumably) healthy. But it saddens me that they whittle themselves away to nothing but then add the curves back on with industrial-strength padding, and act like this is what we should all be aiming for. Women can’t win in a VS show.

    • THANK YOU! And I totally agree with everything you’re saying–the entire thing is gross and unappealing to me, but then again many things in America are…so I’m not surprised ;)

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