The outrage sparked by the controversial statement of a Victoria’s Secret marketing executive has grown even worse.
Protesters gathered outside one of the brand stores in London. The demonstration was arranged by Nunude, a clothing brand, and Love Disfigure, an advocacy group.
Both the clothing line and the advocacy group have been calling for more diversity throughout all industries.
Ignoring the icy-cold temperatures, the protesting women stripped down to underwear and sports bras, demanding more visibility of all body types from the lingerie giant.
The participants called themselves “the fallen angels” and carried placards with strong messages.
“Our bodies matter too,” read one.
“We want diversity for all brands,” a second stated.
“Fighting for equality at Victoria’s Secret,” a third said.
The protest was later commemorated by both Nunude and Love Disfigure in powerful photos posted on their Instagram pages.
“It’s not just about body diversity or skin,” Nunude wrote with one picture. “It’s about every single difference! We are all loved and we are all beautiful.”
“Amazing day shared with my lovely friends #FallenAngels Campaigning for Diversity in the Fashion Industry,” Love Disfigure captioned one of the photos.
“We marched into Victoria’s Secret and stripped down to our … underwear shouting that we want diversity on our runways. Then we found ourselves in the middle of Oxford street calling for change.”
The advocacy group wrote in another social media post: “When people look at us and think we are craving for attention because we eat too much, they are clearly blind to what is happening out there.
“We have become so used to seeing one body image that we find it difficult to open up our minds to want to see others,” the group added.
It all started in November last year when Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer of L Brands – the parent company of Victoria’s Secret – made a controversial statement after the filming of the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Defending the brand for its inclusivity, Razek said: “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should.
“Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”
He added that they don’t plan to invite plus-size models to their show because “no one had any interest in it” when Victoria’s Secret tried to do so in 2000.
“I think we address the way the market is shifting on a constant basis. If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have,” he said.
“We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant.
“Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world.”
He added: “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”
Razek’s comments caused a severe backlash and he apologized for them the very next day.
He said in a statement: “To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show.
“We’ve had transgender models come to castings … And like many others, they didn’t make it … But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
This year, the lingerie giant has tried to expand diversity on its runway by featuring 19 women of color, including the first-ever model with vitiligo, Winnie Harlow.
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