Target: Victoria’s Secret CEO, Sharen Jester Turney
Goal: Retract advertisement aimed at women which implies that only one body type is perfect
Victoria’s Secret has launched a lingerie collection intended to fit a woman’s body perfectly. The problem with the company’s advertising campaign for this collection is the slogan, which reads “The Perfect ‘Body’,” with 10 very thin and chiseled women behind it. All of the women in the advertisement possess the same body type, which implies that a ‘perfect’ body reflects this size and height. Victoria’s Secret has a prominent influence on young women. In order to become a positive influence for young women of all sizes, the company should advertise all body types as perfect and beautiful.
Employees of Victoria’s Secret insist that the company’s roots were humble in that it wanted to help all types of women feel beautiful in their own skin. Years of favoring tall, thin women in its advertisements proves that the company has abandoned its former beliefs. This recent advertisement is further proof of the company’s message: to be perfect, a woman must be thin, tall and chiseled. This is not to say that this size of woman is not beautiful. The issue is that women of all shapes, sizes, heights and nationalities are perfect, but this is not portrayed by the media. Favoring a particular body type and insisting that one is perfect fosters body shaming, eating disorders and depression in young, impressionable women.
Perfection is thin; perfection is thick; perfection is cellulite; perfection is fit; perfection is curvy and round. A woman’s mind, drive, charisma, kindness and personality should always trump what size pants she wears. Encourage Victoria’s Secret to launch a follow-up campaign to its “The Perfect ‘Body'” advertisement which glorifies all shapes and sizes of women, labeling them all beautiful and perfect. Young women need a body-positive role model, and Victoria’s Secret could fit the glove.
Dear Ms. Turney,
Victoria’s Secret has launched a new line of bras with the tagline “The Perfect ‘Body’,” implying that the ten women in the advertisement have ‘perfect’ bodies. Whether or not Victoria’s Secret truly believes that a tall, thin, chiseled body is perfection is now irrelevant. The issue at hand is this advertisement implies that women who possess stout frames, thicker legs and larger breasts are not perfect. This implication is dangerous and irresponsible.
I am writing to you to urge Victoria’s Secret to launch a separate campaign designed to glorify all body types. An advertisement featuring women of all sizes, shapes and nationalities, wearing lingerie proudly and confidently, with a tagline that insists all women are perfect. I believe that tall, fit women are beautiful; a woman with no thigh gap and protruding stomach is just as beautiful.
Your company holds a strong influence on impressionable women and girls of all ages. They look to the media for acceptance and encouragement. I urge you to be a positive influence to these females, so they see your advertisements and know that they too are beautiful.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Samantha Marx via Wikimedia