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Friday, November 7, 2014

Please, Victoria, I'm already Embraceable

Victoria's Secret is back in the news and backpedaling on their recent "Perfect Body" campaign.  I thought it would be pertinent to repost something written way back in June of 2011:


Stock Image via Polyvore
It's time for the semi-annual sale at Victoria's Secret.  There was time I got excited about going in to that store to select some fun, new undergarments, plucking through the bins of exotic bras, lacy undies and enticing negligees that promised to make me irresistible.  But I haven't been in several years now.  Even though I tend to like cotton undies, I am a woman who is feminine to the core.  Now when I see the commercials or even pass the retail store, I don't see cute and frilly things to encourage femininity.  I see fake and uncomfortable things that encourage fantasy.

Seriously, the female body is alluring and attractive, beautiful and to be celebrated.  However, I find the flaunting and restructuring of the normal shape to be offensive.  The message to me is clear: "If you don't look like this, you're not attractive in the right way.  If you aren't shaped like these models, you must constrict, lift and conform or cut and reshape to be what we deem desirable.  You are not enough to satisfy, to allure, to be wanted.  You need what we sell, or you won't measure up."

It makes me sad because we get this message from so many sources.  The message that somehow we are not enough. But when it comes to something as close to our identity as our core female value, it becomes more personal and more important to guard our minds with the truth.  Because so many of us have been used, betrayed and exploited, our insecurities can render us weak if we gather our value from people and not our Father.  Victoria's Secret uses our vulnerabilities against us.

With a background in advertising and brand marketing, I know that corporations prey on the female desire to be beautiful and desirable.  While working with one company, the marketing V.P. often commented about "creating the need" for an unnecessary but profitable product line he was selling to women.  The need had to be created by promoting insecurity about what was truly the norm.  I give credit Victoria's branding of sexuality, just the label of "Victoria's Secret" makes most men assume that whatever the product is, it will be sexy.  They have marketing prowess and are churning out messages loud and clear.  How sad that they now market to the teen and even tween generations!  See the "Pink" brand?  Already, our girls are inundated with the message that they must be sexy to be valuable.

So, for me - at least for now - I'm not buying anything from Victoria's Secret.  What they sell is not reality, but fantasy, and I'm not buying the fantasy.  My reality is pretty great.  What about you?  You may whole-heartedly disagree and I'd love to hear why.  I do not think my little personal boycott will raise one eyebrow at Victoria's Secret headquarters, but I feel good about taking this stand.

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord" (Psalm 45:11)

What Others Are Saying:
Victoria's War on Women
Victoria's Secret Ditches the "Perfect Body" Campaign

Updated to add ... in full disclosure, I do possess and wear some of these branded items which were given as gifts or remain from previous days.  

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