Why Victoria’s Secret Has The Notion Of ‘Fantasy’ All Wrong

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It’s been an interesting year witnessing how iconic brands and publications that were built on exclusivity have taken the shift to become inclusive. Whilst some have triumphed and others have missed the mark, there’s one that hasn’t taken on this shift in culture at all: Victoria’s Secret.

Their 2018 show hasn’t aired as of yet, but, the brand is causing headlines due to an statements made by Ed Razek in a recent interview with Vogue:

“So it’s like, why don’t you do 50? Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? 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.”

How does a fantasy exist if it doesn’t include the viewer?

For anyone other than a white, thin, cisgender person the Victoria’s Secret show has been something set apart from them rather than a stimulant of desire to ‘be’ something. It’s made countless teens across the world post images of the model with captions such as ‘diet starts now’. The fantasy of Victoria’s Secret has for so long been built on toxicity, and now, as we are more aware of the negative effects of female beauty standards as well as the power they have beyond simply appearance.

Along with the downfall of falsity on social media, the idea of ‘aspirational’ no longer warrants praise or sales. The world doesn’t want a fantasy anymore. The world wants representation. The reality of what we – the people who have previously or currently bought from Victoria’s Secret – look like needs to be shown.  A true fantasy today is having brands that see beyond their marketing aims to consider the impact of their message on society.