The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show sends a 'dangerous message' — but a plus size campaign wants to change that

Photo: Syle & Curve Magazine

“There’s no doubt about it: becoming a #VictoriasSecretAngel completely changes your life, but after the 13 new #VSmodels were unveiled earlier this year, we still had one major concern: Will there ever be a plus-size model on their roster?”

That’s the very valid question posed by Style & Curve magazine and iTopModel, an organization that promotes diversity in fashion. They raised their concerns on Instagram as they launched a new campaign to encourage Victoria’s Secret to cast models of more diverse sizes.

The two brands put together a list of models who they think would be a “perfect addition to the #VictoriasSecret Angel crew.”

Their first suggestion is Tabria Majors. The 27-year-old will be featured in 2018’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, but recently mocked VS for its misunderstanding about curvy girls in her own Instagram post by showing that she looks just as good as the company’s models.

iTopModel and Style & Curve magazine will continue sharing photos of women they think are deserving of angel wings, adding the hashtag #AngelPlus.

And they aren’t the only ones using the hashtag.

Some followers are using the campaign to open up about their own self-image and body acceptance:

Style & Curve magazine’s Lyz Lupo tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the brand has made progress over the last few years. “Victoria’s Secret was praised last year when black models Herieth Paul, Maria Borges and Jourdana Phillips all walked the runway showcasing their natural Afro-Caribbean hair,” she says. In the past, she notes, “Black Victoria’s Secret models have walked the runway with long, straightened locks.”

When the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show lineup was released, Lupo says people were quick to point out that this could be the most diverse cast ever, “with almost half of the models being of black, Asian or Hispanic descent.” However, she adds, “Not one of the 52 models is plus-size. That’s why iTopModel decided to team up and combine their resources with Style & Curve in order to encourage Victoria’s Secret to cast plus-size and curvy models, using this hashtag #AngelPlus.”

The two companies think adding diversely sized models is “long overdue.” But that doesn’t mean they aren’t big fans of the annual show. “We admire Victoria’s Secret and what they’ve done; it’s an amazing brand,” Lupo says. But they want to improve it. They point to the Body By Victoria collection as an example.

“The ironic thing is, Victoria’s Secret literally has a ‘Body By Victoria’ campaign that aims to find a fit for every body,” she says. “The problem with this is they exclude bodies over a particular size, and all the models represented in the campaign have similar body types. But they didn’t cast plus-size models because they still promote the idea that plus-size models might not be fit enough for their brand.”

Lupo says that Joby BachAshley GrahamLiris CrosseLa’Tecia ThomasIskra LawrencePhilomena KwaoLaura Brioschi, and Tabria Majors prove on their social media that they eat healthy and train regularly. “We believe that #HealthyIsTheNewSkinny is relevant to mention here, because it means that plus-size models are also healthy and fit,” she adds.

She concludes: “Although the fashion show might not be body-shaming plus-size women directly, by excluding women of a certain shape or size, it sends a dangerous message to viewers. Honestly, we’re not sure why Victoria’s Secret still seems so hesitant to put a plus-size model in the show. If anything, it would make the show, and the brand, stronger, more diverse and more inclusive.”

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