This week saw the Victoria’s Secret Angels return to the catwalk for their annual show. This is now not so much a catwalk event, but a highlight of the fashion and social calendar, with fireworks and A list pop stars accompanying the Angels as they strut their stuff wearing, well, not very much.
Some would argue that these women being paraded in their underwear for the world to ogle is anti-feminist. The likes of Cara Delevingne, Doutzen Kroes and Alessandra Ambrosio being turned into sex objects as they parade about van minuscule knickers with giant angel wings strapped to their backs.
This year, one reporter from The Independent was even banned from asking the models any questions about their own feminist views. Despite this being a show made up nearly entirely of women (lucky Ed Sheeran) and marketing underwear for women, there is still an air of anti-feminism about the whole thing. It’s because sex is involved.
The lingerie is inherently sexy, as are the gorgeous ladies wearing it. But sex sells. That’s why the show has got so big – it’s decadent, sexy and smouldering. As is much of the underwear, but most of it – jewel encrusted bras aside, is affordable. It’s a bedroom fantasy that is attainable.
And what’s wrong with that? Women should be allowed to feel sexy, whether it’s on the bedroom, or under their clothes just to give them a secret boost, maybe literally in a push-up bra, when walking down the street. Being a feminist shouldn’t be synonymous with Granny wearing Doc Martins and Granny pants. Women can still be feminists in killer heels and sexy lingerie.
Some argue that while the underwear is attainable, looking like the Angels who model it is not. But these girls work hard. Victoria’s Secret models do not just starve themselves, they are all put on rigorous exercise routines. While we can’t all look like Miranda Kerr, I think it’s healthy to show that exercising and eating healthily can give you a good figure.
Having said that, British model Jourdan Dunn was looking particularly thin this year, but it was noticeable next to the more athletic figures of the likes of Adriana Lima, which proves that these girls, while thin, are in fact healthy. Too often is it assumed that because a girl is thin, she has starved herself. But that’s another issue altogether.
These girls are flirty and fun, and the catwalk show is just that. This year saw the likes of Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift singing musical accompaniment for the Angels as they walked. Swift herself is a self-proclaimed feminist. She has spoken put before about how many young girls are afraid to call themselves feminists because it has become seen as a negative thing, related to being disgruntles and angry, much like the point Emma Watson raised in her He For She speech at the UN earlier this year.
Taylor Swift is currently the biggest female pop star on the planet. And while she indulged in wearing a skimpy number for the Victoria’s Secrets show to enter into the spirit of things alongside her friend Karlie Kloss, she tends to keep her clothes on while she performs, unlike many other strumpet signers in the charts today.
Well then, why is it ok for the models to take their clothes off and not the pop stars I hear you ask? Because the models’ job is to sell and display underwear, which is pretty hard to do with your clothes on. A pop star’s job is to sell music; you don’t need to take your clothes off to do that. But this brings us back to that point that has resonated throughout the last century of culture: sex sells.
But what’s wrong with feeling sexy anyway. It can be very empowering. You can still be a feminist while you wear sexy underwear. Yes, feel free to pull on a pair of Bridget Jones knickers every now and then, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting equal gender rights while wearing a push up bra and pretty pants.