After a four year hiatus, Victoria’s Secret has announced that a ‘new version’ of its controversial fashion show will be back later this year.
From Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks to Kendal Jenner and Gigi Hadid, the lingerie brand was known for turning supermodels into ‘angels’, as they donned those oh-so-famous wings.
But the brand was also mired in controversy – it was reported that the company’s CEO, Lesley Wexner, had ties to Jeffery Epstein, and in 2020, a New York Times article accused Edward Razek – the former chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company – of creating ‘a culture of misogyny, bullying, and harassment.’
There were also questions around whether Victoria’s Secret – which was accused of only celebrating one specific type of beauty standard – was still relevant in a world where the body positivity movement was gaining momentum.
The VS angels of yesteryear were a stark contrast to Rhianna’s Savage x Fenty’s first show in 2018, which cast a diverse roster of models of all shapes and sizes, and who identified in many different ways, including as trans, non-binary and queer.
Even some of the models themselves criticized the VS circus. Aussie angel Bridget Malcolm claimed that her time working with Victoria’s Secret was ‘traumatic’ and that she was so malnourished her hair fell out and her periods stopped.
In fact, when Razek was asked if the show ought to diversify, he famously replied: ‘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.’
But now, the show is back – and the internet is divided.
Fans of the brand are thrilled to see what was once an iconic show make a comeback. ‘I want the original concept…’ said one user. ‘The VS angels are just glamorous I love it it’s amazing, mesmerizing to watch.’
But others have been less impressed by the news. ‘Do you guys think the Victoria’s Secret show will get a warm welcome back?? I feel like we are post that,’ wrote one person on Twitter.
While another simply said: ‘Absolutely could live without a Victoria secret show.’
Grammy award winner, Lizzo, recently took to her own social media accounts to share her skepticism.
The singer, who has recently just launched her own shapewear brand, Yitty, said: ‘Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusivity? Or do they just value money?’
For now, the company appears to be promising a change. The CFO, Timothy Johnson said in a statement they the show will ‘reinforce our commitment to championing women’s voices and their unique perspectives.’
Watch this space.
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