UPDATE: While Victoria’s Secret has yet to issue a public apology, it did change the campaign slogan to “A Body For Every Body” on its website.
U.K.-based university student Frances Black, who started the petition, which has been signed by 26,000 people across the globe, said in a statement: “We are absolutely overjoyed by the news that Victoria’s Secret have changed the wording on their website from ‘The Perfect ‘Body” to ‘A Body For Everybody’. We feel that this change reflects a more inclusive and healthy message. Although we are thrilled that Victoria’s Secret has listened, the campaign is not over. We want them to change the posters in all of their stores to ones with the new wording. We are also waiting for an apology, and a pledge from Victoria’s Secret that they will not use such harmful marketing in the future.”
Lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret has never been known for being inclusive when it comes to a wide range of women’s bodies in its ads (most of us don’t look like Candice Swanepoel or Behati Prinsloo, let’s be real), but its latest ads featuring a bevy of supermodels with the accompanying text “The Perfect Body” have people pretty upset.
The ads have sparked outrage since their debut, by proclaiming women have to strive for an unhealthy ideal, and now there is even a petition on Change.org, started by a UK-based university student Frances Black. “I just think it’s a really, really damaging message to send to young women,” Black told The Telegraph. “A brand like Victoria’s Secret is hugely popular in America and in the UK, and they mainly market to young women. It’s really hurtful to women’s self-esteem. I’d like them to apologise and take accountability for choosing the wrong words for the campaign. I’d like them to amend the wording and pledge not to use such harmful language in the future.”
The petition, which already has hundreds of signatures, is worded: “Every day women are bombarded with advertisements aimed at making them feel insecure about their bodies, in the hope that they will spend money on products that will supposedly make them happier and more beautiful. Victoria’s Secret’s new advertisements for their range of bras Body use this tactic, and send out a damaging message by positioning the words ‘The Perfect ‘Body’’ across models of exactly the same, very slim body type.”