I first watched the Victoria’s Secret (VS) show on television as a teenager, and immediately became obsessed with the idea of morphing myself into one of those goddesses: the envy of women and the deepest desire of men. Their perfect smiles, long, sinewy legs and flawless, glowing skin had me mesmerised. I knew where I needed to start my transformation journey – with a visit to one of their stores.
I guiltily entered the shop, (I had been taught that such establishments were quite unsavoury), and what met my eyes was truly breath-taking. Tables were weighted down with cascades of lacy french knickers, thongs, and all sorts of things I couldn’t name – all in varying shades of pink. It was a truly dazzling (and slightly disturbing), homage to juvenile sensuality. There was pop music bouncing about the place, and I think I recall a lady enthusiastically spritzing the air with plasticky perfume as I walked in… although I might’ve made that part up. What I do remember was feeling overwhelmed at the sheer volume of underwear in one shop. Previous to this, my knowledge of lingerie expanded about as far as the walls of Marks & Spencer’s underwear section, where my mother had picked out ‘sensible’ flesh coloured bras for me. Not wanting to look like a foolish imposter to the hawk-like shop assistants, I grabbed armfuls of the first bras I laid eyes on in my size and waited impatiently to try them on. I was eager for my inevitable evolution into a sex-goddess.
Well. If sex-goddesses wear rock-hard, scratchy brassieres, which render their breasts close neighbours to their chin, I succeeded. I didn’t feel sexy at all – I felt like a christmas ham bursting from it’s string, or a chicken, strutting with it’s breast proudly thrust forward. But why didn’t I look like the tanned, willowy models plastered on the changing room walls? 16 year old me quickly came to the decision that I was the problem. My weird, wobbly body wasn’t fit to be seen in pink, glittery push-up bras – I was about as sexy as a deflated balloon.
I don’t claim that the VS is the root of all evil, however I do pose that teenage girls all over the world watch their fashion show and become obsessed with the image projected – the flawless feminine they ought to be. Many, like me, embark upon a long and troubled journey of hatred toward their bodies.
Obviously now that I am a little older and wiser, I have dispelled the idea that the epitome of ‘sexy’ is uncomfortable, cheaply made underwear. I also learnt that the women who walk the catwalk for VS have spent years tirelessly perfecting every inch of their body – working out, getting an even tan, never bloody touching a hobnob – all for that moment. I’m sure that some have even resorted to plastic surgery to alter their body to this stereotype. IMO, life is way too short for that sh*t. Why are people applauded for their ability to walk up and down, with a thong wedged up their crack anyway? What are they achieving for the world exactly?
So, I’d advise that you all grab some biscuits and settle down to watch something which broadens your mind or inspires you; something which makes you laugh or cry, or cry with laughter – NOT an outdated show which idolises an unrealistic, un-inclusive, warped version of womankind.