Victoria's Secret's 'Body' Bra Line Comes In Many Sizes But You'd Never Know It From This 'Perfect Body' Ad Campaign
Pity the poor woman who doesn't live up to Victoria Secret's definition of perfection which probably hovers somewhere around 5'8", 34C-22-34. If you don't come close to those measurements, it appears you should should shop elsewhere.
A new campaign for the brand is touting a line of bras they call Body by Victoria. The ads carry the headline, "The Perfect Body," along with images of, well, women with "perfect" bodies.
Certainly there's an aspect of every advertising campaign which aims to be aspirational, motivational, uplifting in a way that, ideally, cause a person to respond, "I want to be like that. I want to be better. I'll have what she's having. I want to be better. Etc." And a nice motivational kick in the ass is a good thing every once in a while.
But when woman are subjected to this onslaught of "this is how you should look" messaging from advertisers that, let's be honest, isn't attainable in every case, it's a recipe for depression.
Yes, Victoria's Secret, and many other advertisers have long sent this message. But they usually dance around things. This campaign doesn't. The words "the perfect body" over a line up of women with perfect bodies is hardly dancing around the message.
Over in the UK, a petition posted on Change.org by 22-year-old Frances Black against the campaign has amassed over 775 signatures.
Of the campaign, Black says, "A brand like Victoria's Secret is hugely popular in America and in the UK, and they mainly market to young women. It's really hurtful to women's self-esteem. I'd like them to apologize and take accountability for choosing the wrong words for the campaign. I'd like them to amend the wording and pledge not to use such harmful language in the future."
Note that she isn't asking Victoria's Secret to stop selling bras that help women look more perfect. Because most people do want to do whatever they can to look/be better. But they don't want to have soul-crushing messaging and imagery thrust in their face on a daily basis.
Black petition reads, in part, "Every day women are bombarded with advertisements aimed at making them feel insecure about their bodies, in the hope that they will spend money on products that will supposedly make them happier and more beautiful. Victoria's Secret's new advertisements for their range of bras Body use this tactic, and send out a damaging message by positioning the words 'The Perfect 'Body'' across models of exactly the same, very slim body type."
And yes, we get that the way the headline is written, The Perfect "Body," implies they are saying Victoria's Secret has the perfectly sized bra for your body, it's word smithing like this that just hides the fact there is too much focus on perfection.