‘The perfect body’ imagined by Victoria’s Secret

Everyone has their own idea of a ‘perfect’ body. Victoria’s Secret has just presented their perception of the perfect body, and it has caused outrage across social media platforms.

The brand, known for its lingerie and sleepwear more than anything, recently released an ad campaign with a lineup of ‘stick thin’ models, according to Dominic Kelly, author on Opposing Viewpoints. Across the image, in bold letters, was printed ‘The Perfect Body’. The reaction to the image was collective and viral among young women especially, with a petition on Change.org and hundreds of angry tweets directed at the brand. Tweets described the campaign in varying ways, from “harmful” to “shameful.”

Retaliation against the brand began at the hands of three British students, whose petition gained almost 30,000 signatures by this week. The hashtag “iamperfect” was used against the brand, and continues to collect tweets supporting all women, all types of ‘perfect’. Another US-based lingerie brand, Dear Kate, released their own version of a Victoria Secret campaign, featuring a variety of women with ‘The Perfect Body’ written underneath.

Dear Kate, another lingerie brand, recreated the advert with a larger variety of women.
Dear Kate, another lingerie brand, recreated the advert with a larger variety of women.

Having ten beautiful, striking models in their latest line of lingerie is not a new concept for Victoria’s Secret. Campaigns such as these are a trademark of the brand. However, the idea of perfect being applicable to these models sparked outrage across many spheres of social media. As reported by Clover Hope for Jezebel, the brand was crossing into an ‘ugly territory’, with their slogan of choice.

Their choice of using exceptionally skinny women as a portrayal of perfection is the center of the issue. The implication is that this body – one that many people do not have – is ideal over others. According to the campaigners, the ad failed “to celebrate the amazing diversity” of women’s body shapes and types.

The strength of the reaction eventually caused Victoria’s Secret to change their campaign. While the initial slogan read “The Perfect Body,” it now reads “A Body For Every Body.” Underneath the headline, it says, “Perfect Fit. Perfect Comfort. Perfectly Soft.” However, the brand did not release a statement about the change or what caused it. As Buzzfeed pointed out, the word “perfect” was not entirely exempt from the campaign.

The second version of the campaign, released by Victoria's Secret earlier last week.
The second version of the campaign, released by Victoria’s Secret earlier last week.

Junior Ella Cheng-Bradshaw said, “They seem to be implying that the consumers of the brand should also have ‘the perfect body’. I think their new one is somewhat better and it sounds more open to a variety of audience.”

An emphasis on perfection is already dangerous among youth and women today. This is often channeled through weight loss and body image. Victoria’s Secret, with a fair amount of influence to their name, further propelled the idea of perfection with their unreasonable and unrealistic take on it.

Author: Meera Navlakha

Meera Navlakha has been a part of the Eye staff since sophomore year and has taken journalism all four years of high school. Currently a senior, she has been at SAS for eight years but is originally from India. Apart from journalism, she loves reading, going to brunch and re-watching episodes of her favorite shows. She can be contacted at navlakha33816@sas.edu.sg.

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