The Victoria’s Secret Runway Show attracts national attention each year. The sexy lingerie, large angel wings, jeweled costumes and musical performances create great television moments. For some models, it is a dream come true to walk in the coveted runway show. But what about the women who don’t fit the Victoria’s Secret mold? Although you can spot the occasional sprinkle of color in the show, what about representation when it comes women with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and plus size women?
There has been a large discussion around inclusion in recent years. There is a need for everyday women to see themselves represented in the media. Shows like this contribute to the pressures of women having to maintain this unattainable level of perfection. While there is nothing wrong with being a size double zero, there is also nothing wrong with being sizes 12 or 22.
Victoria’s Secret exec Ed Razek explained in a recent Vogue Magazine interview that the people have no interest in seeing plus-size models in their annual runway show. “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t,” he said. I beg to differ. A show that is inclusive to all women – plus size, transgender or disabled has the power to change the game. Still, the idea of representing all women in the show is a lost cause because they claim it would no longer be desirable to their audience. “The show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader.”
I am thankful for brands like Savage x Fenty for using their platform to include all women. From runway shows to advertisements, the brand recognizes the importance of representation, diversity and inclusion. When Razek was asked about the Savage x Fenty show, he said, “Everybody keeps talking about Rihanna’s show. If we had done Rihanna’s show, we would be accused of pandering without question.” It seems Razek has an answer for everything. To prove a Victoria’s Secret Runway Show can provide fantasy and include women of all shapes, here are 25 diverse models who would take the show to another level.