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Victoria’s Secret under fire for their “Perfect Body” campaign

Students are petitioning for the lingerie brand to change their body-shaming advertisements

By Jamie Khoo | Published: 31 Oct 2014

VS, #iamperfect!
Photo: Victoria's Secret

[Updated 7 November 2014] Victoria's Secret have updated the 'Body' advertisement on their website, replacing the offensive "The Perfect 'Body'" phrase to "A Body for Every Body". The visuals of the mdoels remain the same and some print ads and posters have not yet been changed to reflect the new tagline. The lingerie client have not issued any public statement or apology, as was requested on the change.org petition. Authors of the petition see this change as "amazing news" but add, "The campaign is NOT over! We still want them to change all of the posters in their stores, apologise and pledge to not use such harmful marketing in the future. So let's keep spreading the word!"

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Oh no, Victoria’s Secret. We’ve come too far in the body-acceptance movement for you to pull something like this.

The advertising campaign for Victoria’s Secret new range of bras, featuring the tagline “The Perfect ‘Body’”, has sparked outrage among women. They’re seeing it as body shaming and potentially harmful to the young women it’s targeting. So much so that students from the University of Leeds in the UK have taken to change.org, petitioning the lingerie company to “apologise for and amend the irresponsible marketing” of this new collection.

Irresponsible, yes. It’s confusing too. The “Body” of their tagline actually refers to the name of the bra collection. But the play on words and accompanying images aren’t that clever; they just add to the countless unrealistic body ideals already wrecking havoc on women and girls’ body image everywhere.

With almost 13,000 signatures, the petition is now only a few thousand signatures shy of their 15,000 target. The women are speaking, and we hear them roar.

As students Frances Black, Gabriella Kountourides and Laura Ferris write in their petition: “Victoria’s Secret’s new advertisements play on women's insecurities, and send out a damaging message by positioning the words 'The Perfect Body' across models who have exactly the same, very slim body type.

“This marketing campaign is harmful. It fails to celebrate the amazing diversity of women’s bodies by choosing to call only one body type ‘perfect’.”

Their further appeal to the public to spread the message using the hashtag #iamperfect has met with positive response. Since the three women started using the hashtag on 29 October, others have joined in a rising Twitter storm to call Victoria’s Secret to account.

They’re also using the hashtag to celebrate body diversity and embrace all forms of beauty. Even Dove gave a shout-out using #iamperfect, bringing their “Perfect Real Body” of a previous campaign to the fore again.

C’mon, Victoria’s Secret, you can do better than this. We hope you’re taking note.

Related: Stop the Beauty Madness campaign's hard-hitting images
Related: Model Meaghan Kausman shoots down swimwear label for photoshopping her


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