Let me be blunt: I hate the Victoria Secret commercials.
Christmas is coming, which means the ever-delightful Dr. Who Christmas Special will be airing—complete with the first-ever female Doctor. You go, Jodie Whittaker! She’s taken over the role with panache and punch when Peter Calpaldi moved on. Having seen Whittaker be strong and serious in the first season of Broadchurch, here we get to see her versatility as an actress. I was pulling for Idris Elba as the first black actor to lead the Dr. Who cast, but Jodie is doing great as the first female. Maybe Idris will be in line for the next regeneration.
Even though this special episode won’t air until New Year’s Day, for whatever reason, I look forward to it the same way I look forward to classic Christmas shows such as Jimmy Stewart’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Alastair Sim as the best Scrooge in 1951’s rendition of A Christmas Carol.
Okay, so after letting both my geek and my love of old flicks out in the open, there’s one thing I hate about the holidays and I’ll be blunt:
I hate the Victoria Secret ads.
The Christmas special sends me into a frenetic rant and the onslaught of commercials make me ecstatic to have a DVR. Zap, zap, and zap—I cruise through them as rapidly as the system will let me. To his credit, when we’re stuck watching live TV and the scantily clad women appear on the screen, my husband leaves the room rather than ogling the models in my presence. Or, perhaps, to avoid putting up with my ravings.
Give me the Dove commercials any day. Real women of various sizes and shapes promote soap and body wash while looking like the rest of us mere mortals.
Both companies want to sell their products and convince us women that theirs is the best on the market and will solve our many physical defects as those mortal folks.
But still, Victoria Secret models—who are these people? They’re skin and bones, knobby knees and really, the women aren’t any prettier than women I see around town, the women in my life who I think are gorgeous because I know what lives inside of them.
Without their tons of makeup, I’m sure the Victoria’s Secret models are nice looking, but we wouldn’t know, would we? Have you seen the video of Colbie Caillat removing her makeup as she sings Try? What a marvelous way for girls and women to see how attractive we are without the trappings of make-up and hair extensions.
That said, I doubt if any men notice that these women aren’t anymore appealing than their wives or girlfriends since they’re concentrating on what the sexy undergarments reveal.
And that is what I rail against, what I dislike the most—the falsely implied promise in the Victoria Secret commercials:
Buy this lingerie and you will look so stunning that men everywhere will want you.
Oh, gag me.
There was a TV show on twenty some years ago, Silk Stalkings, which caused me to howl with laughter because the female cop was frequently shown taking off her thigh-highs and garter belt complete with gun tucked into one stocking. Let’s be serious here folks—what woman working hard enough to become a police officer is going to dress like that on the job? Of course, that train of thought could take me down other roads like what coroner dresses in the fashion of Sasha Alexander or Dana Delaney’s characters on their now defunct TV shows? Those stiletto heels would last exactly how long on the feet of a real coroner standing for eight plus hours a day on a hard floor?
But I’ve gotten off track.
I have family members and girlfriends who swear by the comfort of Victoria Secret bras and underwear. Now, notice that I said “comfort.” They haven’t told me that men are following them around every time they don these garments—oh, wait, that’s probably because they are wearing clothes over their underwear! What a concept.
Back to the message we’re sent—we are supposed to eat like nibbling rabbits so our stomachs will be concave, our ribs will stick out, we can have Scarlet O’Hara sized waists and our thighs will be inches apart because the muscles are so thin they couldn’t possibly touch.
Woman, be lured by the comfort—I can live with that the same way I support dying your hair any shade you want to if it’s fun for you and makes you feel good. I support comfort in any fashion. But please don’t let these commercials delude you.
Men, seriously? Do I need to insult your intelligence by even commenting to you directly?
Let me close with the famous words uttered by our friend Lorenzo during the Milan Fashion week of 2012: The models? Pah, they are only pretty when they are all made up. When you see them the week before, they are nothing special [without the trappings of fashion].
Ladies, beauty will always come from who we are inside, not from the bras we wear!
See more ranting at: Women’s Equality in Advertising
Blog updated from a former post.