Victoria’s Secret Body Shaming: ‘Perfect Body’ Ad Seen As Bad For Women’s Image

October 30, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Victoria’s Secret body shaming controversy has taken Twitter by storm. Victoria’s Secret has released a new ad, which features 10 models in lingerie with the words “perfect body,” splashed on the front. Many women have taken to social media to say that the company is body shaming them by having only skinny models in the ad. Three ladies upset by the message conveyed in the ad, have started a petition demanding that the company apologize.

Victoria's Secret Body Shaming Pic

Is Victoria’s Secret body-shaming women with their “perfect body” ad? According to a group of women, who has started a petition against the brand, the answer is a big fat yes.

This week, the largest American retailer of lingerie launched a new ad called “perfect body.” The ad features 10 beautiful ladies in lingerie standing in a row.

9 of the models are very skinny and are facing the camera, while the only model with curves has her back turned, head down as if she is ashamed of what she looks like.

Three ladies from England, Frances Black, Gabriella Kountourides and Laura Ferris, who were angered by the image, took to the internet to make their voices heard.

The trio started a petition that has more than 7000 supporters. Ferris, Kountourides and Black are asking Victoria’s Secret to stop body shaming their clients with unrealistic images.

They also want the brand to apologize. Black claims that no woman has the perfect, Photoshopped, size 000 and surgically-enhanced body that Victoria’s Secret is promoting. She adds:

“It’s really hurtful to women’s self-esteem. I’d like them to apologize and take accountability for choosing the wrong words for the campaign. I’d like them to amend the wording and pledge not to use such harmful language in the future.”

Countless women have taken to Twitter to support the petition using #iamperfect. One person said that Victoria’s Secret should be ashamed telling young girls, the only way to look good is to have their ribs showing.

Another one said, Victoria’s Secret should make women feel beautiful, not start body shaming them.

Few skeptical voices have pointed out the fact that Victoria’s Secret has built an entire empire on the idea of a perfect female body, so why such outrage? The brand’s ads have often put forward women, who are far from what is considered “normal,” or “realistic” in terms of body image.

Victoria’s Secret had no comment on the backlash. What do you think of Victoria’s Secret body shaming outrage?

Victoria's Secret Body Shaming


Category: News

Comments (23)

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  1. Shelly says:

    There is nothing wrong with the ad. I don’t feel as if they are body shaming in the slightest. I am a bigger woman with ample curves myself.( I am 5’9″, 280 lbs, size 20W and don’t care. I even wear Victoria’s Secret…..yes they do make it in my size. ) Do these models look like me? No, of course not. I’m not a model. As far as the “bigger model” having her back to us…..well that’s because she’s modeling the back of the bra!!!! It’s a racerback!!!! C’mon people. Get with it. Quit being overly sensitive about everything. Do those complaining not realize that they are body shaming the models in the picture? That they are acting as if by being thin is wrong?

    Have some self confidence ladies. Be comfortable in the skin you’re in. Love yourself. If something such as this ad “outrages” you and makes you feel like something is wrong with you, then change whatever you don’t like…..but do it for you.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you, Thank you. I basically said the same thing as you. I also have purchased a lot of items from VS. I had to rehab myself because I was an addict. Like you said some people are so sensible about little things like this when there are so much more to be sensible about. How about the abuse and killing of children and our men and women risking their lives overseas…
      You hit right on the head with your comment. Take care and thanks again.

    • Patrice says:

      I have to agree with Shelly. It never even accured to me that Victoria’s Secret was saying anything about perfect bodies. I purchase all of my bra’s, panties and teddies slips, and anything else sexy from VS. The so called “perfect” word at least in my eyes is all about the perfect undergarments for a women’s figure. The only time I get upset is when I see something really sexy and since I am top heavy 38D. They don’t offer the long line demi bra, the bikinis and a few other items just don’t come in a size above 36D. It was also very hard for me to find a backless bra in my size. But this perfect thing IMHO is just crazy.


    • Mike says:

      Women are so mean to each other, even when they see a ad with thin models…..duh, that is why they are models for VS. Love the sinner, hate the sin…….get with it, its a ad, nothing more, and most wish they looked that good.

      • Leighla says:

        Mike..You say women are so mean to each other in yet your last line was stupid..”and most wish they looked that good.” Yah.. that wasn’t mean at all!!

  2. irma says:

    i thought the word body refered to the body of the bra or the volume of the bra…. not the actual womans body…

  3. Lisa says:

    I declare some people don’t have a life at all. All day they do is sit around and find things to criticize….
    These three no life having chicks are not exactly plus size or overweight, so what the hell is bugging them. Give me a break, there are more important things in this world to complain about beside a Victoria Secret ad. I could see if they were plus size women and being a plus size woman myself, I have shopped and purchased so much lingerie and pajamas from VS it’s crazy. So they do have large sizes…my underwear/bra draw is evidence…

    • Noreen says:

      How can you claim they don’t have lives, when you’re taking your precious time to criticize them? Have you considered that they care about other women and decided to do what they believe to be the right thing to do, considering the way young women grow up feeling the need to live up to commoditized standards? Face it, the majority young women will never, ever outgrow or be able to leave the ugly media implications that bombard them. Why do you think that anorexia is a thing? That self-harm among young women is a thing?

      I’ll tell you what- These young women seem compassionate to put theirselves in harm’s way of naysayers like you, who would’ve most likely called actual heavy girls “fat bitches” or the like. At least they’re not the ones running around insulting others, and frankly I’d like to know what you do in your spare time, seeing as you feel fit to judge someone else for having some decency to involve themselves with something other women would face harassment for.

  4. jim says:

    For the purposes of what they sell and who there customer is, I get it.

  5. Joyce says:

    I personally don’t like any ad by Victoria’s Secret. I think they use women in a sexual way, disrespecting the gender, and making women (especially young women) look like they are just inviting sex. I do believe there is a more sophisticated way to advertise their garments. I came along back in the 70’s when women couldn’t get credit, had not had the vote very long, had to have permission of their husband for everything and were not paid equally for the same work as man. We had no real rights and I remember having to fight for my rights because I was divorced and raising a son. It’s somewhat different now, however, not so that women are sometimes taken seriously and when raped, are accused of dressing provocatively. They (VS) need to clean up their ads and make these young women look like just that…young women coming along in life with education, work, motherhood, and reputable people. It can be done…so do it!

  6. deb Ferg says:

    Not sure why all the fuss. These models work hard and make lots of sacrifices to have a body like that. Self image is about YOU and your self esteem. These young ladies aren’t perfect…makeup and touch up are amazing but let them have their 15 minutes of fame and learn to love yourself.

  7. Mahatmah Muhjesbude says:

    In our pitiful dystopian descent into the hell of psycho-proprietary perverted morality, mostly perpetrated by envious closet religionist extremists here in America, it would be inevitable that advanced beauty and perfection of the amazing human form would eventually be jealously vilified. It doesn’t surprise me.

    These morbidly obese wenches should better spend their time doing power squats with their tree stump legs rather than only exercising their chubutchki little fingers doing alternate reps dipping into the Fritos bag and twittering on their phones like venomous trolls so that they themselves might someday ‘ascend’ to more attractive self improvement.

    Otherwise, they should all move over to one of those over-the-deep-end Sexually insane countries in the Middle east where they force their women to be covered from head to toe in rags?

    Then we’d only have these nice slim attractive women to help keep our eyesight sharp and clear, instead of going blind from watching grossly porcine women on those scooters in WalMart who can’t even get off of it afterward because the seat get sucked so far up their fat buttocks that it gets stuck!

  8. tom says:

    I find the picture of the 3 girls showing their middle fingers to be shameful. I can tell you too that these women although photoshopped work hard to look good through nutrition and exercise.

  9. Lacolle says:

    It is a bad choice of words and images, as it may be ignored by older women, that are just fine with themselves, the other women and even young teenagers will be affected by this.

    Even though the ad was designed to be “benign” in a sense, selling underwear, the hidden message in the ad, that is picked up by the sub-conscience aspect, you may as well be programming their brains to see themselves in the mirror and say, “Not perfect”, “No where near it.” Then the problems begin.

    They start starving themselves, they start taking diet drugs, they take things to the extreme, to achieve the “Perfect Body”, like the image portrays.

    Those of us who don’t care and are very comfortable in our own skins, will not be affected, only pissed off, but the one’s that do care and are obsessed with “being perfect”, you are starting a medical nightmare of the worst kind in these women and girls. Anorexia, bulimia, diet drugs and when that doesn’t work, hard drugs and then death.

    You would think that Victoria’s Secret would keep this in mind, when selling items that are most personal to women.

    Maybe it’s time to start showing the world, the women are not going to take this treatment any longer and start boycotting the ones that are guilty of such bad crimes of the mind, only to gain a dollar.

    Being skinny is NOT being perfect. Never!!

  10. joann says:

    I agree with Shelly. Get over it OK? I liken it to those very expensive car ads. We cannot all afford to buy a very expensive car; not all of us are rich — but so what? Deal with it. Beauty and confidence comes from ones self no matter how skinny or how un-skinny! You (we) ladies are all gorgeous and those that think they are perfect — NEWS FLASH: Get over that too! Lots of love!

  11. pam wright says:

    Since when is skinny and immaciated sexy? Sexy women have curves and softness to them that make a man want to touch them. Touching skin tightly stretched over bones is, well, CREEPY!!!
    Thankfully it’s the day before Halloween so skeletons are is fashion this month.

    • Amanda says:

      How is what your saying not mean. I’m naturally thin and people these days make my feel horrible. I’ve had people ask me if I’m sick. I’m happy with my body I eat well and workout. there are so many more haters on skinny people than any other body type.

  12. Kelley says:

    I see a lot of good points in ALL of the comments below (well almost) and while I respect and admire the skinny model for their hard work and dedication to their profession I also see the flip side of the coin. I am also a bigger woman (close to Shelly’s size and also confident)but as a WOMAN I have learned to love my body and realize that if I am not happy with myself… I can change it. However… it is our younger, more impressionable “girls” out there that will see an ad like this and believe they are NOT perfect because the ad said so. Which yes is sad but nonetheless true. I grew up a thin young girl with my mother telling me my body was great but I still didn’t believe it. It’s what the young do.

    All that being said, isn’t there a happy medium? Why can’t they have women with all DIFFERENT body shapes? I know they built their empire on the thin model but I believe it is time to CELEBRATE ALL WOMEN…NO MATTER WHAT THEIR SIZE AND SHAPE!

  13. JT says:

    I don’t think that Victoria’s Secret has the power to “shame” women. Maybe too many women are shaming themselves from the inside out. They are making the choice to feel shamed, in my opinion.

    I don’t understand this concept that these VS models are not “real” women somehow. It’s not like you are conjuring up a yeti here. These women are “real” people, in that group of real people who happen to be tall and thin. Fashion favors the tall, thin woman, so hooray for them!

    Your self esteem belongs to you. Don’t give it away. Feeling shamed is a choice that these women are making, in my opinion.

    Feeling shamed by a picture of tall thin women seems as ridiculous as feeling shamed because you don’t have an intellect as commanding as Stephen Hawking or because you can’t run as fast as Usain Bolt. We are all these crazy mixtures of qualities and perfectly imperfect or imperfectly perfect.

    Maybe these women should be grateful that their lives are built so that they have the luxury of obsessing over something that is not life threatening and totally optional. If you have food, clothing, water, shelter and safety covered then you can move up the pyramid of needs and direct your attention to feeling threatened by a big photograph.

  14. Shelby says:

    Do they realize that the so called “curvier” woman is wearing a razorBACK bra. It kind of stands to reason she’s slightly turned. You know. To show the RAZORBACK. I don’t see it as body shaming. The ad, in my opinion, is showing that there’s a a perfect bra for every body type. “Perfect fit. Perfect comfort. Perfectly soft. Perfect body.” I mean honestly. I think their aim was to say if your bra fits perfectly you feel perfect.

  15. Rick says:

    They should not stop using in shape models.Maybe separate tubbies

  16. deb Ferg says:

    Does anyone realize that VS sells larger sizes?

  17. Emma says:

    This makes me sad, that all of you are saying to get over it.
    As a teenager myself, I feel constant pressure to have the most perfect body attainable.
    Then again, who gives a fu*k about us teenagers, right?

    I have one thing to say to this ad:

    F*ck you, Victoria’s Secret.

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