Victoria’s Secret’s perfectly sculpted angels got the boot.
On June 16, 2021, Victoria’s lingerie clad Angels entered the museum of cultural relics like sculptures of Aphrodite.
With a huge sigh of relief many women waved goodbye to the models of polished sensual perfection. The patriarchy cried tears of loss. I felt happy and — a little sad? How can that be? My ageless rebel feminist has written since decades about inclusivity and equality of all female shapes, ages and colors.
My nostalgia watching Victoria’s angels flap revealed that part of me loved the sensual monuments of our current Western society’s mindset. Fessing up to adoring their gorgeous perfection, I understood the idea that we don’t own a “natural” body. Our bodies are cultural; always trying to mold themselves into the culture we live in. If you grew up with Barbie you probably followed in or fought her footsteps. You know how slowly mindsets have been changing, until now; 2021 is a year of cultural pivots.
As if foreseeing the big lingerie announcement, I moderated a room on Clubhouse on Monday with the topic “plunging necklines.” How do we feel about being sexy? Several women said that they enjoyed showing their curves in low cut dresses. We figured that’s okay as long as we’re not trying to manipulate or “catch” gullible men like our foremothers. We dress for ourselves, we agreed, to enjoy our mirror image. But whose norms evoke this joy? There’s no way around it, “sexy” is a male creation; we were fashioned by men’s desires for centuries. We came to the conclusion — for now — that it is difficult to discern where a woman’s self love ends and an internalized patriarchal demand begins. Programmed for so long, can we ever truly see ourselves with our own eyes? Do we need to move to an uninhabited island to know who we are without society and to finally own our bodies?
What is your sexy?
I call Victoria’s Secret’s announcement big because this is not just a financially suffering company switching their marketing; it’s a slap into the definition of “hot and desirable.” Victoria deleted cultural icons. The perfect angels are so yesterday. No woman wants to be outdated; we will never see ourselves the same in lingerie again.