Year after year, Victoria Secret’s runway achieves a huge audience, especially among the younger generation of girls. 2015 saw both Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid take the runway. These figures become and act as role models and as inspiration for young girls, and they hold a strong influence regarding their trends and figures. With the 2016 line up, there has been some disruption in the choice, as potential Angel Cara Delevingne was slammed for her figure, apparently not suiting the requirements of an ‘Angel’. According to The Sun, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show panel rejected Cara from this year’s runway due to the fact that she looked ‘bloated.’ Edward Razek, the CMO of Victoria Secret’s replied to this accusation in a letter to Cara, stating that ‘We have tried hard to have you here,’ and that the sole reason she was not included was due to her unavailability, with filming in North Carolina.
“Not everyone can achieve a perfectly slim figure, however this should not stop anyone from pursuing their career and feeling confident in their own image”
The accusations themselves may be debatable, however this issue of fat shaming has become conventional to the social media of the 21st Century. With apps such as Instagram, the idealism of the ‘perfect body’ is pretty much unavoidable, causing many young girls to suffer from extreme self-consciousness and take on absurd diets and lifestyles in order to fit the ‘ideal.’ As everyone has differing builds and metabolisms of each person, this is troubling. Not everyone can achieve a perfectly slim figure, however this should not stop anyone from pursuing their career and feeling confident in their own image. The Victoria Secret models are known for their amazing figures, Cara Delevingne being no exception to the rule. They flatter the styles and clothing items in a visual sense, however I think it is important to consider whether or not their figures actually affect the way in which the clothes are advertised. With this concept of ‘fat shaming’ causing many problems for the younger generation, would it not be beneficial to have curvier models as part of the runway? The catwalk Angels could then be consistent with a wider audience.
Another Angel for this year, lsa Hosk, said ‘When I step out on that runway, I want to know I did everything I possibly could to earn my place in the Fashion Show.’ Many of the models this year have demonstrated their own workout routines, whilst advertising the Victoria Secret’s sportswear range. It is clear that these models focus on their careers and their appearance and general health is one of the most important concerns for them. Their job is to maintain their figure, just as other jobs require frequent training. They are therefore role models to young people not for their appearance, but for their success. As Cara herself explained when criticizing The Sun, ‘It’s shameless to discuss women’s bodies just to sell papers.’ Cara clearly shows no animosity for Victoria Secret and may even consider the offer to join the 2016 runway, with ’no casting necessary.’ Hopefully we can see Cara return to the Angels’ catwalk and dominate the show, whether ‘bloated’ or not.