Transgenders and The Body Positive Activists

Image from Applied Health

Models, bras and panties- oh my!

We all see them, in almost every mall peppered in the U.S. between the mannequins and the posters of the year’s Victoria’s Secret Angels, you cannot miss it. Victoria’s Secret, the quintessential bra and panty selling giantess that rules the market on undergarments for women. Pubescent teenage girls and twenty-somethings alike all flock to find out what secret Victoria has and they walk out with bags of these articles to mark their physiological entry into adulthood. For a while, the posters that show off the physique of these models has given many a teenage girl the aspirations to achieve such a figure. This has also contributed to a whole new set of problems such as eating disorders within the female teenage population. Nonetheless, the spirit of aspirational goals was birthed in the hearts of young girls everywhere to look like Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr, or Sara Sampaio.

Everyone knew that Victoria Secret was a brand and with this brand came a very specific look which all the Victoria Secret models must attain. There was not any question about; it is the look that mattered. It is the brand requirements that made it so. Public opinion has been split about it. Nevertheless, Victoria’s Secret made every prepubescent boy shiver with delight upon passing a poster of an Angel, and tweener girls get all excited about their first “high end” bra and panty line.

Enter: Overweight and Trans acceptance

Then came the onslaught. We have all heard of the U.K. nutrition company, Protein World, being forced to take down their ad posters for being “beach ready” as the poster has a physical fit, attractive, yellow bikini-clad blond woman featured as the model for their “beach body ready” campaign. This caused outrage in the Body Positive movement. Even London Mayor Sadiq Khan enforced a rule to ban all “offensive” or “fat shaming” advertisements from the London Tube walls.

Then the Body Positive group posted an ad of their own. Apparently, the same “Body Positive” movement is harping on Victoria’s Secret. Victoria Secret released some advertisements that have triggered these people, and they are calling for a boycott. According to the Body Positive group, the only remedy is to feature plus-sized women on the annual Victoria’s Secret runway. The transgender community also decided to chime in and demanded that transgender 'women' also be allowed to take part in the annual show. While this might not be anything new, it does pose some serious thought.

The Reality

Whether it is Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, Dolce & Gabbana’s new line, or an IFBB pro bodybuilder show, the fact remains- it is all about looks. Does the bra accentuate your figure? Do you have the body ratio to pass for the Men’s Physique champion? Do you have the body type that will flatter the clothes D&G styled for you? It is all about the looks, as shallow as that might seem, it is the reality. So, for instance, when someone as big as Tess Holliday dons a Victoria’s Secret costume, it is painful to watch. One would almost feel bad for her as she parades around while a trail of feathers follows her up and down the runway. In the same sense, a morbidly obese man will not win Mr. Olympia and defeat the current champion in a showdown, and it would be a sad thing to watch him try to win because again, these industries are all about looks. They do not have the looks and yet they want to force their way into these industries without changing their behaviors to suit their brands.

Letting the market decide

Speaking of marketing guru, Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Officer, Ed Razek, held his ground about the brand, the company, and the creative decision. Ultimately he delivered the cold hard truth about why he will not allow the capitulation of this company to the fat positive narrative. You can read his full interview here. Thus far, the market decided what they wanted, and they want the thin, fit, curvy Victoria Secret Angels to be just that; thin, fit, and curvy. With about 1 billion people who tuned into the show, it only seems natural to continue the course.

It is quite apparent that these people, the Body Positive and transgender communities are doing everything in their power to manipulate companies through boycotts to try and get them to submit. Their tactics are very shrewd in every diabolical sense. It is weaponizing these people to be literal kamikaze bombs who will suffer ridicule while trying to act brave.

Tess Holliday, who is featured on the cover of Cosmo and claims she is not being represented, caused a stir and a backlash against the publication. Sales went down, and yet people called her “brave.” Miranda Kerr’s tight, petite, and very fit frame is just as exposed however no one calls her brave at all, and that is the point. The so-called bravery of Tess Holliday is simply optics. It is a scam to suggest that because she is out there, wearing a size 45 bikini, somehow she is more vulnerable because she is exposed.

Moreover, ignorant people applaud this and companies try to capitalize on it. If they do not, the companies are shamed and experience a drop in numbers and they panic. It is only a select minor group of people making the biggest most annoying noise in the culture, yet companies capitulate and bend the knee. Once one bends the knee, it is only a matter of time before they are consumed either with a failed brand, a tarnished image, or bankruptcy and those things all tend to coalesce into each other.

The position of Ed Rezak is bold. While competitors of Victoria’s Secret have bent the knee like the lingerie company Third Love, Ed will not. He understands the brand, he understands the core customer base, and he understands the need to ensure the brand’s success. It is apparent that the Victoria Secret Angels are well aware of the plight they are in.

They also get the recognition for the hard work they put into their physiques and continually endure scrutiny.  Ed recognizes that Victoria’s Secret is the people’s first love, not their Third Love. Ed has dug his heels and continues to stand by the branding and the look needed for the brand. It seems as though the Angels are here to stay and fight the Lingerie Black Bloc.

John Lee / Senior Contributor
John Lee is a conservative, Christian Asian who loves God, country and music. He's proud to be American and wants to MAGA!
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