COLUMN: Victoria’s Secret lacks inclusivity, creativity, does not reflect reality

Inclusivity is in this season, and those who aren’t into that, are out.

With clothing brands—and to be more specific in this case, lingerie brands—an emergence of plus size wear, and patterns fit for the more androgynous style have become more and more prominent each year.

The Victoria’s Secret fashion show is set to air at 10 p.m. Sunday. However, recently, Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of L Brands (a flagship brand of L Brands is Victoria’s Secret), has been called out on social media for what he said during an interview by Vogue reporter Nicole Phelps.

Razek said transgender models should not be in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Here is the full question and partial quote for context:

Phelps: “I want to talk about the Instagram generation. I assume you have lots of data; do you see a shifting desire or shifting needs? Are they looking for something new from Victoria’s Secret?”

Razek: “So it’s like, why don’t you do 50? Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? [Bra sizes] It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”

Earlier in the interview Razek said in 2000 the Victoria’s Secret brand tried to put on a plus size specific show but according to Razek, “No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”

This is troublesome. One, because it has been 18 years since the original thought of a full plus-size fashion show.

In the age of body positivity and acceptance, I’m sure there would be many women who would like a plus-size lingerie fashion show from Victoria’s Secret.

Also, I’m calling you out right now Razek, because I don’t even think the company would have the product for such a fashion show considering they only go up to a size 40 bra band, and for Victoria’s Secret to not even consider it at this time is weak and shows just how bad and uncreative their marketing and products are.

Also, on the subject of not wanting transgender models, or apparently any models with any visible diversity, why not?

According to the Vogue interview, Razek said the Victoria’s Secret brand does have diversity. This year for the 2018 runway show, the brand has introduced 19 new models to the catwalk. The only visible diversity is race and the beautiful Winnie Harlow, who has vitiligo, a disease that causes skin to lose pigment over time.

Brands like Adore Me (have sizes 30A - 46DDD) and Rihanna’s brand Savage X Fenty (carries sizes from 30A - 44DDD) have an obvious advantage over Victoria’s Secret (which carries sizes between 30AA - 40DDD.)

Even Aerie, whose parent organization is American Eagle Outfitters, has a smaller size range than Victoria’s Secret (30A - 40DD) but has models on their website who have visible scars, stretch marks, age differences, tattoos and even a model who wears a colostomy bag. In fact, Aerie does not use Photoshop in their ads.

On the other hand, Victoria’s Secret is notorious for Photoshop blunders, to the point where they completely erased part of a posterior.

Razek, the world is not a fantasy. Women and people in general are not fantasies; we are people—real people who happen to wear undergarments.

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