Beauty Redefined Blog

Victoria’s Secret War on Women. Nothing Sexy About It.


One of the things we at Beauty Redefined hate most in this world–even more than Bratz dolls or people asking if we’ve seen the latest Dove video–is when companies try to commodify girl power or empowerment to sell sexist, objectifying baloney. One of the most successful swindlers of our time is Victoria’s Secret, whose “secret” is telling the masses their marketing “empowers women” and “helps customers to feel sexy, bold and powerful.”


Let us say right up front: this isn’t about prudishness. So go ahead and skip those comments. This is about our in-depth understanding of objectification — depicting and viewing women as objects rather than people — which mass media does perpetually and Victoria’s Secret does egregiously. This is about the major mental and physical consequences of objectifying ourselves, or self-objectification, which is nearly inevitable for females living in a world of constant objectification of women (like VS’s marketing). Self-objectification leads us to view ourselves from an outsider’s perspective — in essence, to view ourselves and treat ourselves as objects to be looked at and consumed. This way of living holds us back from everything more important than worrying about what we look like — in other words, literally everything. Period.

Studies show girls and women can’t throw a softball as hard when they feel self-conscious of their looks. But you can say the exact same thing for math tests, spatial skills, weight lifting, and lots more.* Self-objectification is linked to poorer sexual functioning and inability to find satisfaction and pleasure in sexual experiences**, as well as decreased sexual assertiveness, including the ability to say “no” or ask about contraception. How not sexy is that? VS should really reconsider their marketing tactics of constant objectification if they truly want to help women feel “sexy, bold, and powerful.” Can you even imagine the effects this constant body surveillance has on educational decisions, career choices, political participation, mental and physical health, romantic relationships, and everything else worthwhile in life? We’d rather not, but we can’t ignore it.

Boycott with us!

Boycott with us!

So why call out VS, specifically? Because this is a company that is nearly inescapable, between its marketing, storefronts, and nationally televised “fashion” show. This is a company that rakes in $5 billion annually by selling sexually objectifying and limiting messages to all ages under the guise of empowerment. It is pushed into our lives through our mailboxes, in 100s of millions of catalogs sent to homes and offices, through our TVs and computers, with commercials at all hours of the day, a primetime CBS “fashion show” viewed by 100 million; and non-stop TV coverage of the models and the show surrounding the primetime event, from Good Morning America to David Letterman. Not to mention thousands of sky-high window displays of Photoshopped parts of women in malls near you. And to the tune of $5 billion every year, women are buying into the “empowerment” sold by Victoria’s Secret, the US’s No. 1 lingerie retailer.

This brand begs us to believe, and totally relies on us believing, that our power comes from enhancing, accessorizing, fixing, and flaunting our bodies. It relies on us believing beautiful and “sexy” look ONE very specific way — very thin, tall, young, and wrinkle- and cellulite-free — and that we must achieve those ideals by any means necessary in order to be “sexy, bold, and powerful.” If we believe we are empowered (and made desirable, happy, and healthy) by perfecting the looks of our bodies above all else, we are giving our power to an industry that profits immensely at the expense of our self-worth. What you’ll see from VS is not empowerment, but about asking girls and women to give away their power by doing one of two things in order to feel a fake and fleeting form of “power:” 1) fixing it, or 2) flaunting it. Both leave us at the harmful and stifling state of self-objectification* that hinders female progress,  health, and happiness in every possible way.

1. Fix It!

VS: Where no thigh is good enough as-is.

VS: Where no thigh is good enough as-is.

Watch social media FLOOD with girls and women publishing their body shame triggered by the VS Fashion Show (which airs again Dec. 9). “I am seriously on a juice fast starting NOW!” a teen will tweet. “I’d kill to look like that VS model. What is her secret?!” a woman will post on Facebook. This will happen to a startling degree. (UPDATE: this DID happen to a startling degree during the last “fashion show.” Check out Indy Ink’s awesome roundup of the tweets here). Watch the “news” stories air about the extremes to which the VS models resort to “fix” their own bodies for their near-naked stroll down the catwalk on primetime network TV. Last year, Adriana Lima shared her diet and exercise plan, which we would publish here, but it is a complete recipe for organ failure and we don’t want to promote that crap. There is nothing “empowering” about starvation. 

Not even the “angels” fit these ideals. Interestingly enough, this year, it seems VS has done some PR cleanup after people were concerned about the publicly proclaimed disordered eating taking place among models, so now all you’ll hear is how much all the models eat of whatever they want and how little they exercise before (or after) the show. Plus, on top of the lengths many models must go to in creating VS’s body ideals, never forget that VS has made a name for itself as one of the most extreme Photoshoppers of all time. Model’s limbs tend to go missing quite often, and the spaces in between their thighs are widened more than any living woman could handle. (Want more Photoshop examples from others? Click here). Keep in mind that for every woman taking to social media to announce her next diet to look like the VS “angels,” there are countless others who see the inescapable VS messages and feel intense shame for the ideals they know they will never meet. They will store these images in their psyches and work relentlessly to hide themselves from scrutiny or fix their parts with products and procedures. They will internalize this objectification and spend a lifetime self-objectifying because they believe they are to be looked at above all else. Body shame, which is often triggered by self-comparisons to idealized bodies in media, leads people to hide or “fix” their bodies, and hiding can often do as much harm to  mental and physical health as “fixing.”

2. Flaunt it!

Among those who do not feel immense body shame triggered by these images, objectifying messages like that of VS often “inspire” them to endorse objectification and flaunt their parts as their most important attributes. Today’s VS models are sprawled across bear-skin rugs in centerfold spreads in the catalog, posed on beds wearing panties with backsides jutted in the air and fingers in their mouths, absolutely mirroring stereotypically pornographic poses.  Today, the normalized pornography of VS seeks to “empower” us by convincing us that unlike sexist media in the past that objectified women against their will, this stuff is “just for us” now and has nothing to do with men. While men are never spoken about in text or featured in the images, the willful objectification of women posing for women is presented not as a way to seek men’s approval, but as pleasing ourselves, and in doing that, we might “just happen” to win men’s (or women’s) gazing admiration. Need us to prove it? 

  • The annual Christmas catalog promotes panties with sayings like “ALL NIGHT SHOW” and “Unwrap Me.” VS’s spokesperson in the ‘90s said their products and advertising are “not for men to look at, but for women to feel good about themselves.” If that is the case, who do they expect to read these slogans on our behinds? Surely not the women themselves.
  • Sex sells beauty redefinedYou’ve probably heard VS rolled out a line of lingerie for young women (but, really, teens) called “Bright Young Things” in 2012.  As part of the PINK brand for all the teenaged “things” across the world, these undies feature polka-dot hipsters with “Feeling Lucky?” printed on them, a lacey thong with the words, “I dare you” on the front, and so much more. And while the PINK line at VS is “technically” for college girls, a VS executive claimed they are actually marketing to a younger audience. “When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be?” Their CFO said, “They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at Pink.” Magical, isn’t it? Get Justin Bieber (2012) and Taylor Swift (2013 and 2014) to perform at a sexually objectifying, shame-inducing event where you convince beautiful women to starve themselves, put on underwear (or less) and call it all a “fashion show” that airs on network TV for the world to see.  Sheer magic.

The values Beauty Redefined stands for include control over our own bodies, freedom from the chains of self-objectification, happiness, and an understanding of our power and worth.  Victoria’s Secret represents a crazy fun-house mirror reflection of those values – a fake form of “power.”  When the desire to be desired is our No. 1 priority, we lose ourselves, our control, freedom, happiness, and worth.  In the case of Victoria’s Secret, a push-up bra and thong that says “best kisser” are made to stand for “empowerment” in a way that basically slaps us in the face.  The time to fight back is now.  Let’s take back beauty in ALL its forms, healthy sexuality (which involves much more than what we LOOK like), and happiness for every female that needs to find it. 

To join the fight: 

See More Be More Tee

Check out our limited edition SEE more, BE more T-shirts!

1. Speak up when others, in person or online, talk about VS — whether they’re Fbooking about how many meals they need to skip, or saying they wish their kids didn’t have to see the racy commercials. Any mention of VS is a great opportunity to talk about media literacy (the ability to critically deconstruct and understand media messages) and the harms of self-objectification. Talking about objectification, especially ultra-prominent forms of it like VS, is key to denormalizing it and resisting it. Post this link under their comment. Introduce them to the powerful media literacy lessons at Beauty Redefined.

2. Recognize and resist feelings of body shame and tendencies to self-objectify. Consciously consider the times you are focused on what you look like, rather than fully focusing on whatever task is at hand. When we acknowledge our inclinations toward hiding, fixing, or flaunting our bodies in an attempt to gain power, we have the opportunity to make more empowered decisions as thinking, feeling, humans — not objects to be looked at.

3) Boycott the VS brand and the VS Fashion Show if you understand how harmful their marketing is. Do not seek out the images online or watch the perpetual media coverage of it afterward. Throw out the catalogs. Unsubscribe from their mailing lists. Plenty of other companies make excellent bras, underwear, and other lingerie and don’t use in-your-face objectification to sell them. If you do boycott VS, feel free to tell them why you’re doing so via FB, Twitter, their website, etc. We doubt it will make a difference in their marketing (see: $5 billion annually), but it can’t hurt to let them know, especially publicly via social media.

Need more help developing body image resilience that can help you overcome your self-consciousness and be more powerful than ever before? Learn how to recognize harmful ideals, redefine beauty and health, and resist what holds you back from happiness, health, and real empowerment with the Beauty Redefined Body Image Program for girls and women 14+. It is an online, anonymous therapeutic tool that can change your life, designed by Lexie & Lindsay Kite, with PhDs in body image and media.

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This post is a condensed version of a paper written and presented by Beauty Redefined co-director Lexie Kite, Ph.D., for the 2011 National Communication Association Conference, which took Top Prize in the Women’s Studies Division.
*Numerous studies demonstrate repeated exposure to sexually objectifying media encourages women to self-objectify (Fredrickson, Roberts, Noll, Quinn, & Twenge, 1998; Strelan & Hargreaves, 2005; McKinley & Hyde, 1996; Tiggemann, 2005), experience body hatred (for recent reviews, see Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002; Holmstrom, 2004), and positively endorse sexually objectifying images (Zurbriggen & Morgan, 2006).
**See Steer & Tiggemann (2008) and Fredrickson & Roberts (1997)

  1. Stupid Bloggers
    Stupid Bloggers12-10-2013

    Comodify isn’t a word. Neither is baloney (the correct spelling is bologna). Are you sure you have a PhD? Maybe you should take 5th grade refresher course.

    • Beauty Redefined
      Beauty Redefined12-10-2013

      You are adorable, Stupid Bloggers! A quick Google search will teach you everything you need to know about what “commodify” means — it has 2 m’s, so make sure you spell it right in your search. And baloney is a perfectly acceptable variant of “bologna” that means “foolish or deceptive talk; nonsense.” You’ll learn someday, cutie! Sounds like you could stand to “take fifth grade refresher course” yourself.

      • Tracey

        Beauty Redefined – checkmate.great answer!!!

      • Gaiytarie

        Beauty redefined-great answer!

      • tashina

        thanks , you hit the nail on the head, But if you think that is bad, wait until you read XOJane!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy sexist crap batman. All women SHOULD wear lingerie to please up your man, After all he is perfect just the way he is, but you on the other hand SHOULD wear lingerie, because your not perfect just the way you are. Now that does not mean he loves you more in lingerie, oh fracking please, why, yes it does, if love is conditional, and it is, as the natural movement of the 60`s and 70`s is dead, And the new sexism keeps getting stronger, than it would mean he loves you more for wearing lingerie, fracking duh already. And then she states ALL women should use vibrators, to relieve men of the awful burden of bringing us to orgasm? HUH? That is you Jane , not the rest of us. And her main option for couples is to use various vibrators. Oh, no mention that vibrators make your body change so you can`t orgasm as well if at all without them. That is responsible journalism? That is non sexist? I am an old massage therapist, I know a dozen ways to bring women and men to greater orgasm. If you really need sex toys use them, I am all for it. But to say all women should, and to exclude the truth`s in her lingerie statements and sex toy ideals, oh and she very much supports main stream porn. That is not sexist either, yikes! She writes for good men`s project. Which is supposed to support non stereo typical beliefs, huh? . Her stuff reads like Redbooks, they both should win awards in sexist belief`s. Totally like the 1950~s ideals for women. And she is the big sex counselor , they should have and ethics test to pass before you can be accredited. Women are our own worst enemies.

  2. Lindsay

    I’ve heard your presentation twice and LoVe reading your posts! I have 4 young kids (3 girls) and I’m so grateful for the knowledge and empowerment you guys have shared with the world and me so I can have the tools I need to help my kids grow up in this overly sexualized society. I feel more educated and prepared to handle the challenges that lie ahead for my family and I’m able to recognize the twisted conceptions I have always had about my own God-given body. Thank you, BR!! (I don’t know why I haven’t subscribed to you yet!). Please never stop this fight!! The world DESPERATELY needs you and your empowering messages!!!!!

    • Beauty Redefined
      Beauty Redefined12-11-2013

      Thank you so much, Lindsay! We soooo appreciate your support! It means more to us than you know. Really. I actually just took a screen shot of your comment and the one above you and posted on our BR Facebook page because it is the PERFECT juxtaposition of our commenters. Yours is so eloquent and thoughtful. Thank you!

  3. Tiffany

    I love what y’all are doing and the message y’all are trying to spread. I have a 6 year old daughter that I am trying to raise on a world that doesn’t understand modesty. I for one have vowed never to shop VS simply because a few years ago, my husband and I went into one of there stores so I could get fitted for a bra, not only where they rude to me, but they refused to help me because I wax plus size and didn’t fit what the manger explained as the physical type that VS want to see on there customers. I’m not saying all VS stores are that way, but the one I went to was. Thank you beauty redefined for trying to shed light on the problems that the media and different company’s try to project as what a women should look like.

  4. Linda

    Thank you for the work you do! I knew that there was some photoshopping going on in advertising, but until I read your posts, I didn’t realize how pervasive and horrifyingly dehumanizing it really is. (I don’t read most of those type of magazines.)

    Time to get to the point. I had been telling myself that I USED to be beautiful, because I am now a plus-size and over fifty, and that must mean that I’m not beautiful anymore. After reading your posts and examining my thought processes, I realized where some of that nonsense came from. I can now look in the mirror and love myself again. I am STILL beautiful!

  5. Erin

    Amazing article. I myself am a Women’s Studies student at the University of Ottawa and I’m writing my research on rape culture in the lingerie industry. This article is exactly what I’m talking about in my thesis. I’d love to get in touch with you further for a possible interview? Amazing work! :)

  6. Jerilyn

    I love you guys! I made a joke on FB saying “Victoria’s Secret commercials are so true to life. My friends and I always hang out in our underwear” And somebody asked me: “Why do you hate Victoria’s Secret models so much?? Just curious” To which I responded ” Just to make it clear, I don’t dislike nor am I jealous of Victoria’s Secret models. THE OBJECTIFICATION OF WOMEN DISGUSTS ME TO MY CORE!!!! This is amplified by the fact that I have 2 little girls. Body shaming, sexualization, and objectification starts with children younger and younger. A&F selling padded bras for 1st graders? Justice selling string bikini underwear that could fit my 6 year old? People are so desensitized to this BS!! It’s disgusting.” and of course I added a link to this blog ;-)

  7. Michelle

    I am glad to know that there are other people out there who do not feel what Victoria Secret does is right. I have shopped at Victoria Secret now for a long time because I like the way their products fit on me, but the way their advertising really is getting to me. What I don’t get is that people will still shop there whether or not there is a giant half naked woman on billboards/commercials, so why waste the money, time, or effort to do that.. I understand catalogs or maybe some in the store, but what they are doing is extremely objectifying to women. So many people talk trash about the idea of modesty these days, though, and it is really kind of scary, because all I can think of is that it probably will get worse in the future if nothing is done. I’m not ugly by any means and I’m really quite skinny and I’m not jealous of those models but it’s bad when I feel so uncomfortable about these pictures that I do not like going to the mall with my boyfriend, let alone into the store. I really think people should not be flaunting off their bodies for the whole world and giving a false idea of what true beauty is. I actually am trying to be doing some modeling myself, but more and more companies are following along Victoria secrets way of doing business that I am afraid I might not be able to do anything major because I am not going to stoop to their level. I think my body should not be exploited to people who I do not love let alone know. I have grown up around kids my whole life because my mom runs a daycare out of her house and it is really discouraging when the elementary school kids are talking about sexual things that they shouldn’t be at that age. But who can blame them from talking about it? I mean the sexual references are everywhere! The music they listen to, the tv at home, they can’t even go to the mall without seeing the “beauty” of the Victoria secret models or the American Eagle models. Girls and boys are becoming younger and younger when learning about sex and what “hot” people should look like. I do not have kids yet, one day probably (I am only 21) but I do not want to raise them in a place where surface values are what are praised and glorified over who they truly are in their soul. I wish more girls and guys my age felt this way as strongly as I do, because it is definitely hard feeling this way when not many people support this view. But I stand by what and how I feel about these excessive uses of nudity in the public and media, even if everyone else around me says otherwise. I would really appreciate suggestions on where to get good fitting bras and thongs, because I really would not like to support these stores any more than I have to.

    • Merissa

      @Michelle – I feel much the same way as you do, and I also happen to be 21. It’s nice to know there are other young women out there who care a lot about this issue. It’s hard not to feel upset when many shows, movies and advertisements attempt to seduce men with unrealistic images and portrayals of women while telling women how to improve their appearance. I avoid watching more mainstream movies and TV shows with my boyfriend because they consistently contain female sexual objectification; this usually makes me feel like I’m watching a movie/show/soft-porno directed by a horny, 15-year-old boy … not really what I’m into. The inequality makes me angry and sad, and what makes it harder is that as respectful and loving and reassuring as my boyfriend is, he will never understand what it is like to be the victim of these ridiculous messages.

      Also, the store Aerie has a nice selection of bras/underwear AND recently they’ve stopped photoshopping their models. I feel much better about seeing a model with a realistic body than seeing a starving, photoshopped VS model!!!

      • Tashina

        And what is the deal on how women can`t have hips and a rear end, not that it should be flaunted, but I was shocked to see one Victoria model with hips, women with hips get no representation, and we make up 50% of the population. Why are we bad and ugly? It does not exist in any model mags, porn or anywhere. Why aren`t we counted. You can have tits the size of water melons but Gawd forbid you have hips and a bum of any kind.

  8. Hillary

    My friend brought up an excellent point. I’m embarrased to say that I didn’t realize it myself. In the above post about VS which I shared on Facebook, why were their images even shown? Whether for good or bad, sex sells. I appreciate the images showing ridiculous air brushing and altered bodies which points out the industry’s lies, but there was no need to show the VS models images with the FB meme. The more we even see the images the more normal they become, and more effort is needed to mentally fight that I do not need to look like the perceived norm. Perhaps consider more seriously the images which you use to spread your very important message.

    • Beauty Redefined
      Beauty Redefined06-03-2014

      Hi Hillary! Thanks for your comment. We are verrrry careful about the images we show on social media and our site (as you’re probably aware). With this one, we decided to show their faces and a small amount of their shoulders to allude to the fact that they are one of many examples where females are regularly naked and men aren’t. We made the deliberate choice to show their faces, but nothing sexually objectifying – which we’re highly against. Thanks for your input, and believe me, we almost never show actual bodies and never anything sexually objectifying, but when we do show faces/shoulders or anything else, it’s on purpose! It’s all in the name of media literacy.

  9. Alyssa

    I understand what this article is trying to say, but I love VS products. It increases my self esteem drastically whenever I use them. Being a larger bra size, it’s hard for me to find bras that fit while being cute/sexy at the same time. Victoria Secret is really the only store I am able to find that does! The employees that work there are nice and helpful as well. I don’t think middle school students should shop there, but that’s the parent’s decision. Just because they sell lacey thongs doesn’t mean that they are acting like women are objects. No one is saying you have to purchase it. Personally, I found this article a little insulting. Buying bras and underwear from them makes me feel sexy, so I WILL continue to do so. This article states that VS “objectifys women” but it really doesn’t. If anything, it makes us feel sexy. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. But stop shaming the company when they have done hardly done anything wrong. If you don’t like it, don’t shop there. Stop making the ones who do feel like they’ve done something wrong. It’s not a crime to want to feel beautiful.

  10. Alyssa

    The models are gorgeous, and its because they watch what they eat and exercise. How would you know that they starve themselves??? Just because they are skinny doesn’t mean they have a eating disorder! If you aren’t happy about your God given body, fix it. Get off your butt and exercise. But don’t you dare insult anyone that way. Body shaming starts with other women insulting each other. So just LAY OFF THE MODELS.

    • Gaiytarie

      Alyssa, I think the whole point of this article is very simple-women are a lot more than just their looks. And why is that we should exercise to feel beautiful and not appreciate our body shape?If we truly want to feel empowered we should buy perfumes, lingerie and make up rather than educate ourselves or pursue our creativity? Every woman is beautiful in her own way and these brands only sell if they make you believe you need to look a certain way to be attractive. If they truly feel “empowerment” is being sexy and bold, then how come it is when women chase their dreams and pursue their career goals, that they can truly buy what they want and live a life of fulfillment? Isn’t that, what empowerment is?To follow your bliss which has absolutely nothing to do with how you look but how you feel from within?A handicapped or disabled girl isn’t beautiful?You expect a girl, on a wheelchair to go and exercise, so that she can can feel “empowered” by the way her body looks? There are women who are successful pilots, architects, writers, editors, business entrepreneurs etc. and I think they serve as inspiration to those who truly want to live an empowered life. There is a balance between our mind, body and soul, if we find that, we can live a life of contentment. Self-care is great but manipulating women into sexually objectifying themselves is quite inhumane and derogatory. Women are a lot more than that, we are achievers, creators and leaders as well.

  11. Arianne

    Not to agree or disagree with this article, I’m just curious as to how you propose marketing lingerie. At the end of the day Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, and all other brands that sell underwear have a product to sell. This product is worn by women and I doubt all women will suddenly stop wearing underwear altogether. Yes Victoria’s Secret ads promote all kinds of unhealthy and objectifying ideals but then aren’t all clothing ads technically objectifying? All models are mannequins used to display a company’s products. Yes companies should use non-photoshopped models of all shapes sizes, and colours to promote healthy ideals but I don’t see how any company could use models in a non-objectifying manner.

    • Joy

      You should check out Aerie’s tactics when it comes to selling intimate apparel and everyday clothes. A real example.

  12. Heather

    I would love to read the full paper for which this article is the condensed version. Would you tell me the title? Is it available online or through any academic archival sources or databases, such as EBSCO?

    Thank you for everything you do!

    • BR Admin
      BR Admin12-05-2014

      Hey Heather! If you want to email us through the contact page on our site, I’ll email you the paper. I think that’s easier than finding it online – though I think it’s in a National Communication Association archive somewhere. Thanks!

  13. Carl White
    Carl White12-09-2014

    I am all for trying to help women and girls to feel better about themselves as long as we remember that all our joy and happiness and success in life starts and ends with ourselves regardless of our beauty or the lack of it.
    With that said, the reality of being a human being is that we all objectify each other until we have an emotional connection with another person and you can not have an emotional connection with 7 billion people on the planet.
    I am a guy, a beautiful woman or ugly woman or smart woman or dumb woman and so forth and so on is just that until I get to know her. At that time she becomes something else, maybe I even discover who she really is but until then she is just another human being. A boring, cool, fat or smart guy is just that to me until I get to know him too, just another human being.
    And human beings have superficial qualities that make other human beings want to know them and first and foremost is beauty.
    Think about it, you walk in to a room and can pick any one person to get to know out of a group of people you have never met and who are all dressed the same, nothing identifies success or wealth, etc, who are you going to pick? The most beautiful person, of course, or maybe the most beautiful person you think you have a chance with but you are going to go for beauty unless you have some other specific physical fetish.
    Give me a person that says they can recognize kindness or character or intelligence just by looking at someone and I will show you a liar.
    Of course, if you have the chance to get to know each of these people in the room before you make your pick then you may very well pick someone else based on more important qualities but who gets to know or has the time to get to know everyone they come across in life. No, you pick the people you are attracted to, all kinds of attractions, not just beauty, and then you keep or discard them from your life as you get to know them.
    I think of beauty like hitting the lottery and it has been proven that in general beautiful people usually experience more joy, happiness and success in life simply because they will get more opportunties to have these things. Just like the beautiful women will get more dates she will get more opportunties when it comes to everything else in life that she applies herself to simply because of her beauty so why would you not want to be beautiful.
    The key is to teach young women, young men, the world, that you can only work with what you have. Successful, happy people understand this, OK, I am not beautiful but I am smart, creative, have a great personality, etc, fine, lets suck all I can from life with whatever I have.
    I personally believe the problem when it all comes down to it is that we as human beings have bought in to the concept that we are all special which is just BS. Everyone thinks they should be rich, should have a beautiful kind mate, be famous, etc. because we are all so special.
    Most people are not physically beautiful no matter what they do, same for intelligence, personality, athletic prowess, etc. and most people will not be rich or have great success in anything, that is the fate of being human.
    Most people are average in every way and the best they can hope for is to maximize whatever they have and accept the results. The most content people I ever meet in life are the people that accept themselves for who and what they are and do not worry about what other people have including beauty.
    I personally think that the women that feel self-conscious of their looks are screwed up the most by exactly people like you who think you are trying to help them. If a woman comes to you and says, I feel self-conscience about my intelligence, she will probably not get a speech about how intelligence does not really matter and that true intelligence comes from within, no, she will be told to work harder, take courses, read books and you may even agree to help her gain more knowledge. You will admire her for wanting to be more intelligent but will probably be honest with her and tell her it will require lots of work and even then she may not be as smart as some people simply because intelligence is also made up of genetics.
    You would also admire her if she wanted to be kinder, more successful, funnier, have a better personality, run faster, etc.
    So why does the woman that wants to be more beautiful not get that same help. I have a feeling that since the beginning of human beings existing that nothing has ever been more powerful than beauty so why do we suddenly in the modern world not want to maximize that power, its simply a part of being human?
    Successful people are always taught to dress better, groom better, speak better, be nicer to customers and employees and other people but, suddenly, no, beauty does not matter, just be whatever you are as you are and do not worry about improving yourself in this one department.
    Why shouldn’t human beings be taught to be as beautiful as they personally can be in ALL departments while being taught to accept that all they can do is their own personal best with what they have and they have to accept this about themselves and about others.
    Think about it, if your child says they want to be in the NBA or cure cancer or be an astronaut or end hunger or write a great novel we do everything to encourage them while hopefully preparing them for the reality that they may not reach their goal but in the process they may find happiness in whatever success they do achieve in that pursuit and find their true purpose in life. The ole its the journey, not the destination.
    So when a little girl says she wants to be beautiful just like the Victorias Secret angels, why should we not treat her in the exact same way.
    That would seem to make more sense than telling her that beauty does not matter despite all the evidence to the contrary. I think the shame comes from people like you who lie to her and try and tell her it does not matter and that she should know this when, in fact, she knows it does matter. Her shame is in wanting what you have told her is wrong to want.
    I feel no shame in wanting to look like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, I am even willing to admit that I am jealous of them in that they hit the genetic lottery and I did not, but I feel no shame in this as I accept that I am human, such is life and I am what I am.

    • Amalia

      your comment sounds logical except for two things .first: beauty comes in all shapes not only in vs ‘s version so why does my daughter need to look like a vs’s angel to feel beautiful when she might be beautiful as she is? second: u can’t compare intelligence or anything else with beauty . intelligence is a lasting thing while beauty is a vain thing that doesn’t last and one doesn’t build his life on such a thing .
      i can tell u that the power of beauty u r tallking about is not a fact, it is only in the western civilization where women r already objectified.i’m from another civilization where women haven’t suffered from objectification nor from self-conciousness ,but recently they became unsatisfied with their body image to a certain degree due to the world becoming a small village situation . i can say that vs’ angels image has become international. men here were oblivious to the intricate world of women bodies’ shapes and measurements, they depended on their personal preferences but now they r hard to please .
      so yes , i totally encourge this blogger in her efforts to stop this war of beauty distortion and women objectification .

  14. Truly

    Typical guy! A bit defensive and long winded.It’s not a guy thing.

    • Tom


      “Typical guy” – nice insult, that had to feel good.

      It absolutely is a guy thing as well as a gal thing. Those VS ads are aimed at us, too. The message tells men to seek glamor and youth above all else. How many relationships has VS ruined?

  15. Sara

    Right next to the Victoria’s Secret in my mall there is a GameStop.

    And in the Victoria’s Secret window, right next to the video game store, there’s a giant picture of a half-naked woman, perfectly photo-shopped and fingers “sexily” in her mouth.

    Needless to say, a bunch of men gather at the Game stop’s right wing now, eyeballing her, and sometimes even catcalling the picture.**

    It is disgusting and revolting. Victoria’s Secret’s senseless window advertising needs to stop.

    ** No offense to the customers of GameStop as a whole, just these men

    • Brooke

      VS is next to the Disney store in my hometown. Then Twin Peeks (a sluttier version of Hooters) is next to Toys R Us. How convenient?! Ugh!

  16. Allyoop

    Do you know of any concerted effort to petition/protest against Victoria’s Secret—particularly the huge pictures of almost naked women outside their stores?

  17. Barbara

    Although I do agree that we are indeed more than just our bodies, I also believe that it’s okay to take care of yourself. Taking care of your body means you appreciate it, means you know it’s okay to love yourself, it’s okay to wear pretty underwear, to feel sexy and beautiful in your own skin – and this is the point: balance. You deserve to love yourself, to feel good in your own skin, and this includes working towards that goal, of feeling happy and confortable with your body. Let’s not go to that extreme of saying “why are you exercising to change your body?” if the person wants be healthier and confortable in his/her skin. The difference is, indeed, when you’re trying to change yourself because of some irrealistic idea sold by the media, or you love yourself enough to take care of you. There’s is no point in hating here. LOVE YOURSELVES AND KNOW IT’S OKAY TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR MIND AND BODY. That’s why education is so important – because despite the media’s power, we all are able to change it, by challeging our children, family and friends to think differently :)

  18. nanners92

    I’m sorry… but this article is seriously offending to me. Almost as offensive as removing makeup from Barbie. The only undies I wear are VS, why? Because they’re cute and comfortable. I dare you to find a more comfortable sports bra. Seriously. And they’re the only company that make a 32 DD. Which some of us actually are naturally.
    Who we should really be pointing the finger at are the people who teach their daughter’s to envy things like a Barbie doll because she’s so pretty. Or to look at a magazine and feel bad about themselves. Because seriously, who actually shames themselves by looking at a doll? Or the cover of a magazine?
    The other group of people responsible for our body shaming are the parents of the so called men who have been raised to only see women as a sexual object to be possessed. And to not see them as a human being. The things that come out of the teenage boys mouths lately are disgusting. Really what girl can hear that out of a boys mouth and not think there’s something wrong with themselves?
    It’s really not these types of companies that are responsible for our behavior… it’s our parenting, and ourselves. Blame the correct people.

    • Zovesta

      But where are the parents getting the idea from? You can’t just say “the parents” without realizing that even if YOU recognize it mostly from parents, it’s from about a million things hitting us constantly. Yes, I grew up bitter, and still am, because I have large feet – size 10 wide. When I saw the tiny, perfect feet of my dolls, I was angry and humiliated because I could NEVER have such pretty, dainty feet. And even though I try not to, when I see women in magazines with thin arms, perky breasts, and small waists, I hurt, and I want to correct all these “wrong” things about me. Don’t plug your ears and pretend it doesn’t happen just because you yourself don’t experience it. We compare ourselves to the things we see around us without really meaning to, or thinking about it. (That’s why it would be great if we saw a variety of body types instead of just the same busty, thin, thigh-gapped white woman day after day… there is NOTHING WRONG with that body type, but it’s painful when that is the ONLY type you see constantly, when a large percentage of the population will never be that.)
      I think you have a point, and I can understand what you’re saying for sure. But I can also understand the article. The article is telling us to stop valuing our looks above all else, and to stop treating our bodies as though they are for show. Which I can understand and sympathize with, but man, I run a makeup blog, I am all about my appearance.
      I like how soft and comfy VS undies are, and I like how sexy they make me feel when I wear them. When I have a tough test coming up, I wear them to give me a boost of confidence. Yes, my confidence is mostly stemming from my own studying, my knowledge that I know the material, the things that matter for a test… but my lingerie gives me an extra boost, and I think we could all use that.
      This article does make me feel slightly uncomfortable though, for more or less shaming people who really value their appearance. I can understand HOW we value our appearance is the problem, and that’s what they’re trying to say, but it does make me squirm a bit. And I do find the “intrude on ANY conversation about VS even if it is not at all relevant to a debate or you!!” bit very annoying.
      Btw, I think lots of other companies make 32DD. =) Aerie, Bare Necessities, Hanes, etc… you could always take a look there and save some moolah!

    • Lionessia

      I’m wearing a 34F from HerRoom right now. Many, many other companies make bras that will fit you. I suggest this article: Check out brands like Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein, Chantelle, Curvy Kate, DKNY, Elle Macpherson, Elomi, Fantasie, Freya, Josie, La Perla, Le Mystere, Natori, Panache, and Wacoal.

  19. Anonymous Ellie
    Anonymous Ellie11-24-2016

    Another stupid article. Not going to say what other women think but for me, VS and other clothing stores sell a lifestyle. You don’t understand marketing and business if you don’t grasp that very first basic rule of advertising. When I walk past a VS store, I don’t hate my body as I glimpse across a scantily clad model laughing and enjoying throwing fake snow in the air. I project that onto myself. Sure, I don’t need to have a matching set of bra and panties to feel sexy and happy but after a long tiring day of working (and why am I working other than to make money to provide for me), it sure feels nice to take a long hot bath and slip into something sexy and pretty. It makes me feel sexy and mostly content to feel a beautiful silky soft slip as I drift off to sleep in my bed whether it’s by myself or next to my SO. So good on VS for promoting a lifestyle that makes me feel sexiest in my bare minimums. If you don’t understand my point, then try imaging your self at a period in history where our lingerie options involved wearing pointy cone things they called “bras.” So, no I can’t call VS out for selling a lifestyle I admire and project myself unto. If you’re content with who you are and your femininity, a brand of clothing shouldn’t be able to change that. Obviously, they are going to use the thinnest and sexiest females alive to project an ideal lifestyle! It’s not meant to be a reality anyway! I am the reality and yes, I wear my VS lingeries to feel sexy at night when I slip into bed, I can’t stand the thought of being naked (I’m too paranoid about things crawling up my lady holes) so the next best thing is VS.

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