Victoria’s Secret Just Published Their ‘What Is Sexy’ List, And It’s Pissing Everybody Off

Of all the modern lingerie brands, Victoria’s Secret has been the most seemingly adamant about perpetually excluding diversity from its advertising campaigns. In addition to most of the Victoria’s Secret angels being white, there is absolutely zero representation for plus-size or curvy women when it comes to the images emblazoned on the iconic, pink-hued underwear shops.

When you see a VS angel wearing the brand’s lingerie, you don’t think “This would look good on me” — you simply think, “This looks good on that Victoria’s Secret model.”

While all of these notions are far from groundbreaking, the lingerie brand has managed to remind all of us, yet again, of its inherent exclusivity. Victoria’s Secret recently published its annual “What Is Sexy” list, and it’s no secret (see what I did there?) as to what the winners have in common: they are all young and thin, and the majority of them are white.

Winners on the #WhatIsSexy list include Mandy Moore as the “Sexiest Actress,” Taylor Swift as the “Sexiest Entertainer,” and Margot Robbie as “Forever Sexy.” (WTF does that award mean? Is 26-year-old Margot Robbie supposed to be the gracefully-aging older woman in this lineup??)

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(Also, what the hell is “Sexiest Snapper”? I’m pretty sure Victoria’s Secret is just making shit up.)

Twitter was shocked at the homogenous list — and people commented on how it seems abundantly clear just what kind of person Victoria’s Secret deems to be “sexy.”

This isn’t to disparage the women who are on the list — far from it. But, considering women of color only made up a tiny percentage of the list, it would seem that this roundup is pretty biased in favorite young, thin, white chicks.

As Mashable‘s Christina Careaga writes:

Of course, all women on this list are beautiful and strong – but its blaring lack of diversity cannot be ignored. Yes, Vanessa Hudgens won “sexist style risk taker,” Priyanka Chopra won “sexiest red carpet look,” and Jamie Chung won “sexiest festival style,” but what even are those categories? While thin white women top the list in their professional field, women of color win nonsensical categories like “sexiest festival style.” It’s invalidating, VS (do better).

And let’s not forget that there isn’t a single black woman on this list. Where TF is Rihanna? Or Janelle Monáe? Or freaking Beyoncé?

Don’t even try to convince me that Taylor Swift is a sexier entertainer than Beyoncé.

And let’s not forget the obvious lack of size diversity on this list. As Careaga adds:

Beyond the lack of racial diversity amongst winners: there is no – repeat no – size diversity on the list, a complaint about the company’s 2016 winners that was apparently ignored. Thin is still (all that’s) in, according to Victoria’s Secret.

While the “What Is Sexy” list is supposedly chosen by voters, it seems pretty apparent that the company had a significant hand in choosing the winners. I doubt it’s any huge coincidence that Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga (both of whom have performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show) were awarded.

I have little confidence that this criticism will somehow yield different results next year. But, until it does, I think I’ll probably refrain from buying any of this company’s overpriced underwear in the foreseeable future.

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