Victoria’s Secret recently made headlines for deciding to reverse its feminist makeover and “bring back sexiness” in response to falling sales.

Back in 2018 the lingerie brand, once celebrated for its glamorous catwalks and bombshell models, underwent a significant transformation. They retired their iconic ‘Angels’, moved away from their signature runways, and announced their ambition to be “the world’s leading advocate for women”. The shift came in response to mounting criticism that the company perpetuated patriarchal beauty standards and encouraged extreme diets and training among models. Prominent figures like American soccer star and gender equity campaigner Megan Rapinoe, for example, criticised the company for sending a “really harmful” message to young women that was “patriarchal, sexist” and viewed women “through a male lens and through what men desired”.
Young women are inundated with this kind of messaging. For example, Rihanna’s lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty — which also features trans, disabled and plus-sized models — frames lingerie as a form of self-love, and not about pleasing men.

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