The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is kind of bullshit.
KIDDING! I'm kidding. The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is not “kind of” bullshit.
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is concrete bullshit.
Don't get me wrong, I love being a customer. I love being sold to.
Who doesn't? We all do. It makes us feel special. It makes us feel important. It makes us feel vital to the success of some larger, more powerful entity.
What I don't love is an elaborate, hour-long underwear commercial masquerading as something other than an elaborate, hour-long underwear commercial.
Models waxing poetic about “the energy and emotion” in the venue sending “chills down your spine” as if they're describing what it was like to witness the presidential inauguration or the crucifixion of Jesus Christ himself doesn't always sit well with customers perfectly willing to buy Victoria's Secret underwear without having our intelligence insulted.
This isn't an appeal to end the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show altogether (I WOULDN'T DARE, AMERICA), but perhaps there's a way to give this show — one that features only rail-thin women and has come under fire for cultural appropriation on more than one occasion — some meaning outside of its main, capitalist purpose.
This year, my sister texted to “book” our living room ahead of the December 5 show in an effort to make absolutely certain she'd be able to see it at 10 pm sharp.
When it aired and I asked whether there would be any curvy girls walking that night, I was honestly more shocked than I probably should have been to discover no, there weren't.
EVERY. SINGLE. MODEL. coming down the runway represented the same shape, and that shape was unattainable to the majority of the female population.
At first, my roommate Charlotte and I mocked the tradition of exclusivity and unachievable perfection.
Eventually, though, I truly wondered why a major name, like Ashley Graham, hadn't been tapped for this year's show.
“Victoria's Secret doesn't make their runway lingerie in plus-size,” my sister told me, “so like, Ashley Graham is gorgeous, but they'd put her in Pink [VS's activewear line, targeted toward younger consumers] for this show. She's too famous for just Pink. If they tried to put her in just Pink she'd be like, 'Get the FUCK outta here.'”
While my sister may be right, Ashley isn't opposed to walking in the show altogether.
On Monday, the evening the VSFS aired, the model shared fan art by 18-year-old Annie Breen on Instagram that depicted her walking the Victoria's Secret runway in enormous, feathery wings, much to her followers' delight.
Ashley tagged the lingerie company in the post, perhaps in an effort to nudge it toward a more diverse approach to casting 2017's show.
She also talked to TMZ, reaffirming she's ready to walk whenever she gets the call. She said,
Victoria's Secret, I'm here for you.
At the very least, the brand could consider offering ready-to-wear options that will fit the average, size-16 American woman (as they currently do not).
Until then, this gorgeous, dreamy fan art will have to suffice.