In A Surprise To No One, Victoria's Secret Thinks Thin, White Women Are Sexy

This is disappointing and pretty much expected.

Victoria’s Secret debuted its annual “What is Sexy” winners Monday, and many people are calling the brand out for its outdated stance on what sexy looks like.

Winners in categories like “Sexiest DJ” and “Sexiest Entertainer” went largely to young, thin, white women. Many on social media slammed the lingerie brand for its lack of diversity and inclusivity.

It’s never a good thing when brands declare just a narrow range of body types or skin tones as “sexy,” and unfortunately this kind of move is pretty much par for the course when it comes to Victoria’s Secret.

Year after year, VS has failed to embrace a wider range of beauty both in stores as well as on the runway of its highly watched fashion show. At a time when even high-end designers are using their platform to showcase women of different sizes and ages, the closest we’ve gotten to Victoria’s Secret following suit has been words of encouragement to do so by models like Denise Bidot and Ashley Graham.

Taylor Swift, Victoria's Secret "Sexiest Entertainer" of 2017.
rune hellestad via Getty Images
Taylor Swift, Victoria's Secret "Sexiest Entertainer" of 2017.

Other lingerie brands have done a better job of squashing outdated beauty standards, whether through committing to un-retouched advertisements or a wider range of models starring in their campaigns. Social media is flush with more body positivity and underwear selfies than ever. And still, we are yet to see a shift from what is arguably the most well-known, wide-reaching lingerie brand of them all.

The brand’s lack of offerings over a certain size has been credited with costs and resources. Cora Harrington, a lingerie expert, told Business Insider in 2016 that “what a lot of people may not realize is that each size grouping basically requires a different factory and a different set of patterns.”

But broadening your horizons to include more people on your list of “what is sexy” or, you know, not putting out a list declaring “what is sexy” in the first place doesn’t cost you anything, and would send a message to your customers that yes, thin can be sexy, but so can fat. White can be sexy, and so can black.

Sexy is not one size, race or color. If Victoria’s Secret hasn’t figured that out by now, we’re not sure it ever will. And that, for one, is pretty un-sexy if you ask us.

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