Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Effects on Women’s Body Image< < Back to
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is known for its effects on women’s self-image. The show aired a couple weeks ago and passionate reactions can be found all over social media.
Women at Ohio University expressed their own opinions. Ohio University foreign-exchange grad student Sundus Zahra is from Islamabad, Pakistan, where she said the Victoria’s Secret lingerie is sold but a fashion show of this sort wouldn’t normally be found in her home country.
“Nudity, I mean it’s not nudity but like bikini, walking in a bikini or having fashion shows with that it’s not acceptable in our culture,” Zahra said.
Zahra also mentioned how the models make her think differently about the ideal body-image.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show models are chosen according to very specific guidelines. Models must have 34-inch bust, 24-inch waste, and 34-inch hips. They must be at least 18 years old. They must be between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall. The average American woman stands at 5 feet 4 inches tall, with a waist measurement of 35 inches. This article on Cosmopolitan.com shows on the left side the models as they are originally shaped, and on the right side photo-shopped to fit the sizes and shapes of the average American woman.
Ohio University senior Haley Cordle, a commercial photographer specializing in fashion merchandise, shoots models and students regularly. She has seen her photo subjects comparing their bodies to fashion models. She mentioned the strict and sometimes unhealthy diets some girls fall into when pushing their bodies to change form.
“But you shouldn’t compare yourself to them because that is their job, they workout 24/7, you know it’s Victoria’s Secret. So personally I enjoy watching the show and I don’t compare myself to them,” Cordle said.
Jennifer Seifert, an Ohio University professor of women’s and gender studies and the administrative director for Ohio University’s Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program, explained some reasons why girls can fall into these unhealthy habits.
“So we do know that media does affect people and if there are women who are watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show it is possible that it can affect their body image, that in culmination with a lot of ads which show unrealistic body types and on top of the Victoria’s Secret models which kind of typify that unrealistic body type can for some women give them unrealistic expectations about what their bodies should look like,” Seifert said.
Cordle talked about how the fashion industry is already working toward including more diversity and plus-size models. Nonetheless, the measurement-specific, lengthy thin body is still primarily highlighted as ideal.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is both a promotion for the company’s lingerie but also a celebration of beauty. Many different cultures have many different ideals of beauty. College can be a great place for people to express themselves artistically and challenge the norm.