Victoria's Secret waves have become as synonymous with the brand as push-up bras and bedroom eyes. The glossy, smooth, long (no, seriously, like really long) hair is pretty, of course. But it's also largely unattainable for the 90% of women out there rocking curls, bobs, lobs, or their gorgeous natural texture. For years, models who weren't born with the look were required to wear extensions or wigs, or sit under dryers for hours to achieve it — further packing the definition of what our society deems "sexy" into a very, very narrow box.
But all of that is starting to change. After Maria Borges made history last year by being the first model to walk the runway with her natural TWA (that's "teeny-weeny Afro"), this year the brand is embracing every model's natural texture across the board. In an exclusive Facebook Live with Refinery29, Victoria's Secret Fashion Show hairstylist and Beachwaver creator Sarah Potempa revealed that all 51 women will walk with the style closest to the one they woke up with. Press play to check it out below.
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"We want to embrace everyone's natural beauty," says Potempa. "We're giving a carefree approach to the length and type of curl. Some women with shorter hair, maybe a lob, will walk with that hair. We're not gonna add extensions to make it super-long. And if someone has short hair on the side or a tight haircut, we're not gonna put a wig on or put extensions on their head. We’re gonna embrace it. There are 51 women, and we’re gonna make them feel their most beautiful."
That doesn't mean she's putting away the curling irons completely, though. Many women will still get the signature waves, only with variations. Potempa will be using three different-sized Beachwaver irons to best enhance their natural textures.
While there is nothing wrong with wearing extensions or blowing your hair into glamorous waves, we love that Victoria's Secret is making it a choice and not a prerequisite for looking and feeling sexy. There is still a ways to go (including plus-size models and more diverse casting), but we see this as a huge step toward a more inclusive view of beauty. And we can't wait to tune in to see it all in action, on December 5 at 10 p.m. on CBS.