By Sarah Burstein, Staff Writer
Late last week, Victoria’s Secret attempted to make up for the latest “oops, we forgot people could be offended by this” campaign that hit the advertising world. The store originally released a campaign for their new “body” bra that depicted 10 similarly built (i.e. extremely thin) models overlaid with the text, “the perfect ‘body.’” It was only until an online petition signed by 27,000 people along with the twitter hashtag, #iamperfect became viral that good ol’ Victoria slyly changed the campaign’s tagline to “A Body for Every Body.”
Oh, Victoria’s Secret. I try so hard with you, I really do. Whenever I walk into your store I block all the little voices in my head that whisper “photoshop” repeatedly. Nothing can beat your overpriced yet extremely soft sweatpants and your 7 for $26.50 underwear special. But seriously, this is just getting ridiculous. When the beautiful women who don your store’s clothing don’t even fit the unachievable goal that you portray as the standard of beauty ideals, I think there’s a problem.
Actually, I know there’s a problem, because “42 percent of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner,” and “69 percent of 5th-12th grade girls reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of what the perfect body looks like,” according to statistics from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders website.
Imagine the frustration and confusion young girls feel when on one hand they have their parents, school and teachers preaching to them the dangers of eating disorders and on the other hand they virtually cannot escape the emphasis the media places on the “perfect” body which, by the way, is only natural to 5 percent of women.
While it’s positive that Victoria’s Secret attempted to mollify their consumers by changing their slogan, they shouldn’t be let off the hook so easily. Victoria’s Secret is a major brand that exerts a ton of influence on society. As a brand with that power, I think it’s only ethical to ask that they do more. Whether it’s going cold-turkey from photoshop (like competitor Aerie) or including women that have different shaped bodies in their campaigns, Victoria’s Secret has some work to do, as do we all.