The Victoria’s Secret “What Is Sexy” list has been getting dragged pretty much since its inception, and this year was no exception. In a shocking twist that no one saw coming, 2017’s “What Is Sexy” list included eighteen white people out of twenty-four categories and absolutely no black or Latina women. Also, every single person save for James Corden, the only man on the list, was roughly 110 pounds soaking wet. Basically, this list was the Vogue “diversity” cover all over again.
This is what is sexy.
Let’s take a look at the winners:
The diversity we see here is Vanessa Hudgens, who is half Filipino. They literally have one half of a person of color in the first nine spots.
First of all, the fact that they’re voting Taylor Swift for any kind of award is laughable, given that she has replaced Anne Hathaway as being the woman that the Internet loves to hate. She also hasn’t released a damn album since 2014, so it’s kind of confusing how she can win “Sexiest Entertainer” since it is doubted that people are still entertained by “Bad Blood” and “Shake It Off.” But she fits the mold of young, white, and rail thin, so that might explain things.
But the bigger problem is within the first nine spots, the only diversity is Vanessa Hudgens, who is half Filipino. They literally couldn’t have a single person of color? No one else you could think of? Not Nicki Minaj, not Rihanna, not Zoe Saldana, no one?
On the second tier, we see a little more diversity. Priyanka Chopra is an Indian actress, Jamie Chung is a Korean-American actress, Victoria Justice is half Puerto Rican, Chrissy Teigen is half Thai, and Olivia Munn is half Chinese. Here’s the problem: what even are these categories?
Sexiest red carpet look? Sexiest festival and street style? The only one that is decent and even kind of lends itself to the woman’s intelligence is Chrissy Teigen with sexiest author. The rest of them just further exemplify the same societal tropes that society has made abundantly clear it is sick of.
Women disagree with Victoria’s Secret. THIS. REAL. This is what is sexy.
This is the reason why brands like Aerie and Adore Me are giving Victoria’s Secret a run for her money. To avoid the Photoshopping scandals that Victoria’s Secret constantly finds itself in, Aerie made a mindblowingly simple choice: 86 the Photoshop and instead show real, relatable women modeling the clothes, with no retouching. Women everywhere are choosing Aerie over Victoria’s Secret for this reason alone, even besides the fact that their prices are better and their stores don’t look like Valentine’s Day year round.
Which goes back to that awful list. If Victoria’s Secret is claiming to be the authority on what is sexy, they should look beyond the damn cartoon of what they think sexy is. You don’t have to be white to be sexy. You don’t have to weigh less than 125 pounds to be sexy. You don’t have to be 5’9 with abs and long, flowing hair to be sexy. You can just be you. Other companies see that, so why is Victoria’s Secret still acting with an Abercrombie & Fitch mentality?
All in all, this list was a complete white-washing and size-shaming, coming from a brand that is already not doing too hot. Personally, I suggest you spend your money at a store where they sell clothes in your size and they are proud of that fact.