With 500 million viewers in 2015 (Robehend, 2015), it’s hard to argue that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is not a popular event. This lingerie show features some of the world’s top paid models (Forbes 2015) and contains a variety of musical performers. As it has grown in popularity it has become much more performance-based than fashion-based (Harrington, 2015). The reasons behind its popularity, however, are most definitely up for debate. Some say that it is a form of artwork (Feldman 2014), however others maintain that it fosters “an unhealthy relationship with materialism” (Gould 1994). Many point out fairly obvious issues with the show: its lack of diversity (only 30% of models are from racial minorities (Builder 2015) which points to a dramatic lack of diversity), near-impossible beauty standards (Fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women (Smolak 1996)), emphasis on consumerism, and objectification of women (Granja-Sierra). Discussing the show through intersectional analyses opens up important deliberations about the ways the performance produces problematic narratives of race, class, gender, and more.
Builder, M. (n.d.). “Why Sue He’s Appearance in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Matters.” Retrieved January 26, 2016.
Feldman, J. (n.d.). “How The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Wings Are Actually Made.” Retrieved January 28, 2016, from TheHuffingtonPost.com,
Gould, J. (n.d.). “Sexuality and Ethics in Advertising: A Research Agenda and a Policy Guideline Perspective.” Retrieved January 28, 2016.
Granja-Sierra, V. (2013, December). “Why The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Is Damaging To A Woman’s Psyche.” Retrieved January 28, 2016.
Harrington, C. (2015, December). Lingerie Expert: Here’s the Problem with the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
Robehmed, N. (2015, December 8). “The Business of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.” Retrieved January 28, 2016.
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Smolak, L. (n.d.). “National National Eating Disorders Association/Next Door Neighbors puppet guide book. “ Retrieved January 28, 2016.