The day the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show aired on CBS, Halsey (née Ashley Frangipane) came forward to condemn statements made by VS chief creative Ed Razek. In early November, Razek told Vogue that, essentially, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show did not need to address things like diversity and inclusion.
"Shouldn’t you have transsexuals [sic] in the show?" Razek said, adding, "No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special." Razek also said that the show would likely never be body-diverse, claiming that it would be seen as "pandering" if the show made like Rihanna's Savage x Fenty line. (At New York Fashion Week this September, 14 curve models — plus one incredibly pregnant model, Slick Woods — appeared in the Fenty runway show.) Razek's comments stirred a maelstrom of controversy, culminating in the resignation of chief executive Jan Singer. Of course, the show went on, shedding its controversy like a sparkly, immortal snake.
Halsey, an outspoken advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, addressed the comments in an Instagram post Sunday night. The show was filmed on November 8, the same day Razek's poorly received words were published in Vogue. She performed her single "Without Me" on the stage, and had been a key part of the show's promotion.
"After I filmed the performance, some comments were made regarding the show that I simply cannot ignore," she wrote. "If you're on my page because you watched my performance tonight, please allow me to instead direct your attention to GLSEN, an organization that offers services aimed at protecting LGTBQ+ youth."
GLSEN (pronounced "glisten") is a national organization that seeks to ensure LGBTQ+ youth are received well in school.
Facing increased competition from brands like ThirdLove, which took out an advertisement in the New York Times in response to Razek's comments, Victoria's Secret has very little ground to stand on — part of that ground, though, is the allure of celebrity. The women involved in the yearly fashion show become icons, and the show historically taps music's hottest pop stars to perform. (Taylor Swift has graced the stage three times.) Halsey's turn, though late, is a key component to unseating VS's promotion of western beauty standards that are slowly becoming outdated.
Meanwhile, Halsey, never one to be quiet about something that bothers her, just appeared on John Mayer's Instagram Live to explain why she's not dating the star. It's good to see the institutions of the early '00s receive some inspection, huh?