Victoria’s Secret is a lingerie giant. The company was founded by Roy Raymond in 1977, and in 2012 it had sales of over $6 billion. Not to mention the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that attracted around 9.1 million viewers in 2014. However statistics have been said to be in steady decline, and there has been controversy surrounding the brand, particularly over that ‘perfect body’ advert. So is Victoria’s Secret really worthy of its wings?
A major criticism the brand has faced is that it’s incredibly degrading to the average woman, with all of the ‘angels’ having measurements that are unrealistic. The stores themselves are full of images of these attractive supermodels in sexy lingerie, which although appeals to the modern woman, pushes an unattainable body image that would not be healthy for many. Many say they prefer the original Victoria’s Secret Angels, such as Tyra Banks and Marisa Miller, as these models had strong curvy athletic figures, rather than very skinny frames. Of course there are still angels such as Adriana and Alessandra who have more mature curvy figures (plus the popular Candice Swanepoel and Behati Prinsloo) but many of the newer models are edging away from this. There has been a fair amount of criticism over the ‘New Angels’, not just because they’re all incredibly slim, but many of them had done very little work for the brand before being given the Angel status, suggesting it’s not exclusive anymore. I completely agree with this; some of the New Angels such as Elsa, Lais and Martha had worked hard to be given Angel status, but others had done nothing for the brand making it completely unfair. I think Victoria’s Secret should have only crowned some of these models ‘Angels’- the ones who actually deserved it. And I definitely think the brand could avoid a lot of criticism by selecting more diverse models. Of course I understand why they want the models to be toned, but choosing more curvy models would probably boost the brand’s popularity vastly. And not just curvy models, but ethnically diverse women- I can’t help but notice that the majority of Angel’s are white, and there are no Asian Angels either. Once again, being more diverse would put the brand in a better light and make it appeal to every woman across the globe.
As for the products themselves, I have to say they are quite high quality. I’ve visited the New Bond Street store (in London) multiple times and it is incredibly beautiful, with elaborate displays and a glass winding staircase in the centre- clearly a lot of effort has been put in to make the stores attractive and appealing. I have brought numerous beauty products from there and they are honestly brilliant; many designer perfumes smell the same to me but I love their fragrance range, particularly their ‘Eau so Sexy’ perfume. However, an issue is that their lingerie is incredibly expensive; when looking round the store it seemed the average price for one bra was over £35 which is too much for many people. I’ve only brought one bralet from the PINK section as these were slightly cheaper, and despite the price, I must say it’s very durable and has a beautiful design. But the quality of an affordable M&S bra is equally as good, which makes me question whether the products are really worth their price, or if we’re just drawn in by the beautiful shop layout and images of sexy supermodels. But still, I have nothing against the products themselves and I definitely enjoy shopping there; I think the brand is only corrupt on a higher level.
So it’s Victoria’s Secret worthy of its wings? I think it could be if they rethought their choice of models, and increased diversity. Then I really think Victoria’s Secret would be a favourite with the modern woman, and could promote a healthy body shape. Definitely something for the Victoria’s Secret owners to think about.