A Victoria Secret Model Isn’t A Real Woman?

This morning I woke up and took my regular scroll through Facebook and saw an article which caught my attention. Not only were the images attention grabbing but the title (not the actual title but the one used to share the post) was rather interesting to say the least. I normally don’t care too much about articles that are related to women’s issues but for some reason, my curiosity was heightened, especially because it was from BuzzFeed and they normally do a good job with their social messages. (Shout out to Quinta B). Before opening the article I scanned the comments to see what people had to say, to see if I should really read it. I had only read a couple of lines and I could see where the article was heading. It had testimonials of women who modeled the same swimsuits that Victoria Secret (VS) models wore and them claiming that they love themselves and people should celebrate women of all body types. Now I’m all for the celebration of all body types as we are all made differently (men and women), except if you’re identical twins, and even then, there are some differences. However, I was taken aback by the way BuzzFeed handled their sharing of this article. It was very tabloid-like of them. (See article http://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/heres-what-victorias-secret-swimsuits-look-like-on-real-wome#.owJ80Vkwd)

The message they were trying to bring across could have been handled with more sensitivity especially when inferring that VS Models aren’t real women and basically giving other women more ammo to attack these models. The pictures below show a VS model and another model both wearing the same swimsuit. It doesn’t take, well…it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that these two women have two distinct body types. Yet, according to a few women, only one would be considered real. Take a wild guess who it is. 

Photo Courtesy of BuzzFeed

All day I’ve been trying to wrap my head around why people are claiming a VS model isn’t real when I’m clearly looking at a real woman. What does it take for a woman to be classed as real? Does she have to boast her flaws for all to see? Should she not try to make herself presentable as do everyone else when they are interacting with others? Drawing from my own observations, many of the women who piped up today and are still doing so; ready to cast out VS models as real because they wear makeup etc, need to take a long look in the mirror and be sure that their pimples, stretch marks, birth marks and everything flawed is on show before they chastise a model for concealing theirs.

Some went even further to say it is unnatural for a woman to look like a VS model. Now this is where I had to chuckle to myself. I’m no longer a student of science nor am I working in the field, but I do know that if it is natural for a woman to have “curves in all the right places” it is also natural for a woman to look like a VS model. Don’t tell me that because you don’t look like a VS model that their aren’t people in the world who do. Don’t tell me photoshop and airbrushing causes them to look unnatural when every December at the annual VS Fashion Show, these models are walking on a live runway and to my knowledge, we haven’t developed any means of photoshopping a person live. (If we have, then share the info). These women work hard to maintain their figure but obvious jealously plays a role most of the comments I’ve read. You can say you aren’t jealous and I should go fall in a ditch somewhere; but when you are a woman, tearing down these women because they don’t look like you, it’s quite clear you have a great relationship with the color green.

We all know that VS fashions are meant for a specific audience, so why does a woman who knows she isn’t part of the target audience feel the need to shop in VS’s stores? There are so many brands out there that cater to everyone, but because these women want to say they’re wearing VS, they enter the stores. Whose fault is that? Why torture yourself by comparing your body to that of a VS model? Why help BuzzFeed in their agenda of body shaming these VS models? I’m sure you too felt some type of way when you were told that you don’t have a “beach body“. BuzzFeed could have achieved its purpose without making comparisons to the VS models and if you’re a woman and don’t see that it is wrong, then you my friend aren’t a real woman. Real women celebrate each other and as BuzzFeed so cleverly tried to hide their brazen-faced article by stating the obvious at the the very end, it still took jabs at women of similar body types to that of a VS model (yes they do exist and aren’t just made on a computer), all in the name of female empowerment. Coming from someone who doesn’t see the relevance of Feminism, it says a lot when you, as a woman, can’t see the fault.

KT Speaks

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Realist. Gobby. Juror #8. Follow me on twitter @keirnthomas. I watch a lot of tv and have a lot to say.

8 thoughts on “A Victoria Secret Model Isn’t A Real Woman?”

  1. Very good message KT. Body shaming is just that and thinner young women reading these articles feel insecure about their bodies. The message of healthy bodies, that individuals are comfortable with should be more widespread instead of body shaming.

  2. An excellent read, man. The “real woman” mantra annoys me every time I see it. VS models (or Playboy, Maxim, etc) definitely exist as human beings. It kind of goes along with the “fake breasts” idea. To me, if you can touch them, they are real, haha.

  3. While you make good points about being inclusive to /all/ body types, I think you missed the mark in that last paragraph. As a man, you probably don’t feel the need or social pressure to wear bras all the time, but most women do. Bra shopping is tedious, and the selections at many nationwide retailers are not supportive or comfortable (this problem multiplies as the size increases, and with larger sizes, the garments often have no fun colors or patterns, and the way they’re cut is significantly less flattering than smaller sizes). Bras at Walmart, Target, wherever–they’re not built well, and they will capsize on you after a short period of time. VS makes their bras with quality materials–and there’s a VS in most malls, making it the most widely available supply of quality bras. If you’re a larger woman, you’re probably actually more likely to shop there, because they will have actual choices in colors/patterns/cuts that are supportive AND for your size.

    It hurts my heart that women who are shaped like VS models are being slammed with claims of “unrealness.” Buzzfeed should have known better than to title the article with that. A more accurate title would have been something like “Non-models try VS swimsuits.” or “VS Swimsuits on different body types.” Skinny shaming is definitely a thing, and it’s definitely hurtful. But, you need to understand that the attacks coming from these women on the internet are sprouting out of a gaping hole of hurt, caused by growing up in a world that slapped constrictive picture-definitions of “pretty” on every available surface, and time and time again, they looked at those images and did not see anything like themselves. They grew up looking in a mirror and picking out their flaws, the things that made them different than the models. The models were the standard. Then, in the past few years, along comes body positivity, a movement that tells them that what’s happened is wrong, and makes them feel like they /are/ beautiful. A couple women with bodies that look more like theirs show up in mainstream media, being portrayed as sexy, smart, and capable–not the “fat friend.” Their voices in this matter are finally being listened to–so some of them lash out at what they see as their enemy. The standard that made them feel so terrible for so many years–and that just creates more hurt.

    But, when we address this issue, we need to remember to have compassion for all parties. If you really want to help this situation, try to phrase your posts with more sensitivity. From what I picked up, the tone in this post was far too sharp, bitter, and pretentious. Please remember that you have never experienced many of the issues of which you speak, so when you throw out statements about VS’s target audience, or ridicule people for not “just shopping somewhere else,” you come across as very one sided and ignorant to the three dimensional nature of this problem.

    1. So is that excuse for them to take their hurt on others? Are they girls or women? I hate this stupid excuse that “hurt people hurt people. Being hurt is not an excuse for them to skinny shame women. This does mean that I don’t feel sorry for them, but adults need to stop hurting others just because they’re hurt.

  4. They didn’t like it when they were body shame? Being hurt is not excuse for them to be a jerk. They could’ve thought of helping instead of bring more shame.

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