Victoria’s Secret has built its empire on the juxtaposition of fantasy and real life. From the million-dollar bras and runway show spectacle, to the more functional pieces stocked in-store, the brand aims to show that sexy, aspirational dressing can also work for everyday.
But, while promoting lingerie with gorgeous models and provocative photo shoots is one thing, a group of three U.K. students argues that the retailer’s new campaign takes the concept too far, with a damaging message about body image.
The Daily Mail reports that to promote its new collection, VS recently rolled out ads both in stores and online featuring models like Behati Prinsloo and Lily Aldridge showing off the new Body bra style. The big problem: The phrase "The Perfect Body" is splashed in giant lettering across the models' (ahem, thin, toned) stomachs. Yikes.
This inspired Leeds University students Gabriella Kountourides, Laura Ferris, and Frances Black to create a Change.org petition calling for Victoria’s Secret to "apologise for, and amend the irresponsible marketing of [its] new bra range."
In a world where Photoshop is the norm and women are bombarded daily with ads promoting a particular, "perfect" type of appearance, the campaign only perpetuates these insecurities. The petition, which already has more than 2,000 signatures, asks the company to alter its language and refrain from using this wording in the future. And, to drive the point home, they encourage those who feel similarly about the issue to use the #iamperfect hashtag on Twitter — so everyone can see that perfection doesn't come in just one size. (The Daily Mail)