Saturday, March 22, 2008

Women and their role in advertising: Victoria’s Secret.


Victoria’s Secret is known as a company that wishes to define sexy through fashion, mainly under garments. They sell quality clothing, beauty, bras, and underwear for moderate prices. So promote their product they use a small select group of models known as the Victoria’s Secret Angels. These women are thought to idolize what is sexy.
In most Victoria Secret advertisements the women are shown wear nothing but a sexy matching bra and underwear set. The idea that their clothing can make your body look as good and the models is what makes their line of under garments so appealing. Victoria Secret somehow I think ‘gets away’ to making their ads offensive because of the type of merchandise they are known for. It is almost expected to see a barely dressed woman as the primary object of their ad.
They portray what media’s version of the perfect women, tall, thin, bubbly, and glamorous. However, they do not cross the sexist line because the idea of women being sexy in their clothing is more appealing and empowering than sexist. Victoria’s Secret is more of a feminist company ran by women, for women. Yes their seasonal magazine may serve and bathroom reading for men but for women it defines sexy and says I am women and look what these clothes can do for me.
As many good characteristics that this company has, there is still a major problem. None of the ‘angels’ are moderately attractive or have normal body weights. The almost unattainable bodies of Victoria Secret models, paired with the ideal of being sexy, leads to distorted body imaging for many women. It subliminal sends the message that if you want to be sexy, and Victoria Secret is sexy, then you must be thin. To better serve the community they should look into have a couple plus sized models, because women with curves can be sexy too. It is the responsibility of the media to set social norms and advertisement is one of the most widely viewed forms of media. Making ads that portray sexy and thin can be detrimental to a society and female body acceptance.
I believe the Victoria Secret Company does have the best interests of women in mind. If brought to their attention by their customers through letters and e mails, I believe that they would change their advertisements to display women with multiple body types. Until then though we women and men of America will associate being thin with being sexy.

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