There's Something Big Missing From VS's "What Is Sexy" List — & It's A Bummer

Photo: Courtesy of Victoria's Secret.
Yesterday, Victoria's Secret released its annual list of all things sexy in 2016 (with an announcement from Angels Sara Sampaio and Josephine Skriver). Now in its 11th cycle, the list includes "the fiercest and most inspiring women in Hollywood who embody an aspirational lifestyle," according to a press release.

The list's 15 women were each given their own Sexiest-something superlative, like Demi Lovato as "Sexiest Songstress" or Alicia Vikander as "Sexiest International Import." Also heralded: the sexiest "Furry Friend," U.S. city, and TV cast. Yet somehow there isn't any size diversity in the selected mix. Does that really fly in 2016, when body inclusivity is a key cultural conversation, in the fashion industry and beyond?

The company is known for featuring tall, lithe, yet buxom models in its ads and on the runway of its annual fashion show. So perhaps it shouldn't be at all surprising for the beauty standards in its annual rundown of what it considers sexy to be equally as conventional. But most of the categories aren't even about physique; the only sexiest superlative that's about a particular body part is Sexiest Legs, while most focus on vocation (Sexiest Actress, Sexiest Athlete) or facial feature.

Of course, there's no reason that a curvier woman (and not just Sexiest Mogul Sofia Vergara-curvy, no disrespect to her assets) shouldn't be celebrated for a physical category, like Sexiest Bikini Babe, or get lauded for having the sexiest gams. But even if VS was going for brand consistency with its more body-oriented sexy selects, why isn't there a single non-straight-sized pick for, say, Sexiest Actress or Sexiest Sense of Humor (or any of the three facial feature categories) out of 15 women?

The lingerie giant's awards (the brand bills itself as "the authority on what is sexy now," according to the release) are timed with two product launches: the Very Sexy bra collection and an eponymous fragrance. Notably, the brand wasn't alone in culling who or what made the cut for the sexy list. This year, some categories were up to public opinion for the first time. Customers could cast their votes for Sexiest Social Media Star in fashion, beauty, and fitness on Twitter. (The winners would be Sonya Esman of Class is Internal, Zoe Sugg of Zoella, and Hannah Bronfman of HB Fit.)

We've reached out to Victoria's Secret reps for further information about how the "What is Sexy" list is compiled and what its intended takeaway is for its customers and will update when we hear back.

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