Society

Victoria's Secret Backs Off Controversial Ad Campaign

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret has backed down from their recent controversial ad campaign. “The Perfect Body” was stamped across images of ultra-thin models, including Behati Prinsloo, Lily Aldridge and Jasmine Tookes.

The company has started using “a body for every body” instead of their earlier campaign, which was widely criticized for failing to be inclusive of other body types. Victoria’s Secret hasn’t given an explanation or an apology for changing their ads. The models on the campaign haven’t changed.

When British students Frances Black, Gabriella Kountourides and Laura Ferris saw the campaign, they created a petition asking Victoria’s Secret to apologize for the ads and make amends.

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“We would like Victoria’s Secret to change the wording on their advertisements for their bra range Body to something that does not promote unhealthy and unrealistic standards of beauty, as well as pledge to not use such harmful marketing in the future,” the petition read. “Victoria’s Secret’s new advertisements play on women’s insecurities, and send out a damaging message by positioning the words ‘The Perfect Body’ across models who have exactly the same, very slim body type.”

Not only did the petition garner nearly 30,000 signatures, it also started a social media movement. People made their opinions on the ads heard on Twitter using the hashtag #Iamperfect.

The campaign was apparently problematic because it harmed women’s body image. The petition read, in part, “All this does is perpetuate low self-esteem among women who are made to feel that their bodies are inadequate and unattractive because they do not fit into a narrow standard of beauty. It contributes to a culture that encourages serious health problems such as negative body image and eating disorders.”

Though the young women who started the petition were elated about the changes in the ad campaign, they felt it was not enough. Their updated petition reads “We still want them to change all of the posters in their stores, apologize and pledge to not use such harmful marketing in the future. So let's keep spreading the word!”

Sources: change.org, People Magazine, The Daily Mail

Image via Victoria’s Secret