Victoria’s Secret’s oversexed branding doesn’t seem to be resonating in the post-#MeToo era. In a petition on Change.org, millennial model Robyn Lawley is calling on people to boycott the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The iconic annual event looks a little like a glitzy strip tease, with the world’s top models–Victoria’s Secret calls them “angels”–strutting down a catwalk in sexy lingerie, sky-high heels, and occasionally diamond-encrusted bras worth millions of dollars. In this campaign, Lawley coins the hashtag #WeAreAllAngels.
At last check, her petition had more than 6,000 supporters.
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I have started an online petition -link in bio ???? JOIN ME and lets help change the minds of Victoria’s Secret to be more diverse and inclusive of body shapes and sizes on their runways! Victoria Secret have dominated the space for almost 30 years by telling women there is only one kind of body beautiful. – you can read more in the link of my bio why it’s so important to encourage diversity for our future daughters sake. Until Victoria’s Secret commits to representing ALL women on stage, I am calling for a complete boycott of this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It’s time Victoria’s Secret recognized the buying power and influence of women of ALL ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. The female gaze is powerful, and together, we can celebrate the beauty of our diversity. It’s about time Victoria’s Secret celebrated the customers that fuel its bottom line. Will you join me? 1 Sign the petition! 2 Encourage your friends not to tune in or attend the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show share a photo of yourself on Instagram, as you are (not airbrushed and beautiful), use the hashtag #weareallangels to share what makes you uniquely beautiful, please tag me so I can see (@robynlawley) and @ThirdLove For every person who shares a post with #weareallangels hashtag, ThirdLove will donate one bra to @isupportthegirls (a national non-profit that collects and distributes bras to homeless women and girls around the country !!!)
Lawley, the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated back in 2015, is primarily concerned about the lack of body diversity at the show. Over the years, the brand has incorporated models from a wider array of ethnic backgrounds, but the models all look more or less the same in terms of body type: They’re all homogeneously tall, leggy, and lean, with very few curves.
As Lawley writes in an Instagram post:
“Victoria’s Secret has dominated the space for almost 30 years by telling women there is only one kind of body beautiful. It’s time Victoria’s Secret recognized the buying power and influence of women of ALL ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. The female gaze is powerful, and together, we can celebrate the beauty of our diversity. It’s about time Victoria’s Secret celebrated the customers that fuel its bottom line.”
Lawley’s discomfort with Victoria’s Secret’s marketing reflects a wider dissatisfaction with the brand. Millennials don’t seem to be as taken by Victoria’s Secret as earlier generations, as is evident from the fact that the brand’s sales and stock price have been declining. One analyst referred to it as the “Sears of brassieres,” a nod to the department store chain that has filed for bankruptcy. In its place, a range of body-positive, feminist underwear brands have entered the market, including Knix, Lively, ThirdLove, and TomboyX.
We reached out to Victoria’s Secret for comment about the petition and will update if we hear back.