Victoria’s Secret has long been known for its stick-thin models and narrow definition of beauty. In recent years, critics have been more vocal about their disapproval of the lingerie brand and its refusal to catch up with inclusive culture. But a series of recent moves show the company is finally taking steps in the right direction. In a long overdue move, Victoria’s Secret has just hired a plus-size model, a first in the brand’s 40 year history.
Last week, Victoria’s Secret announced a partnership with UK-based lingerie brand Bluebella. Model and influencer Ali Tate Cutler, who is a size 14, has been chosen as the face of the campaign, marking a historic moment for VS. On their website they noted that the collection celebrates inclusivity and strength, with each piece is designed for modern, empowered, and confident women.
“I never expected that I was going to see an image of myself on the wall next to these top supermodels that I have been looking up to since I was a little girl,” Cutler told E!. “It feels amazing. I feel on top of the world.”
In an Instagram post, Cutler wrote, “I believe I’m the first size 14 on @victoriassecret? Regardless I’m pretty stoked to work with a brand I idolized when I was a teen. Great step in the right direction for bodies.”
Victoria’s Secret is certainly due for changes after a controversial 2018. Last year, former chief marketing officer of VS’s parent company L Brands, Ed Razek, told Vogue that the brand’s annual fashion shows only feature thin women because “the show is a fantasy.” Oof. Later, in May 2019, it was announced that show will no longer air on TV.
Still, it seems the brand is making an effort. In August, VS revealed its first transgender model, and now Cutler will represent plus-size women. It’s worth noting, however, that the Bluebella x Victoria’s Secret collaboration only offers bra and teddy sizes up to 36DD and panties and loungewear up to XL.
Cutler elaborated in her conversation with E!: “I feel like they are headed in the right direction and they are listening to their audience who have requested to see more women of diverse shapes and sizes. I think if they continue to head in that direction, they will be on to a jackpot because that is reflective of what the average woman is in America.”
A step in the right direction certainly, but Victoria’s Secret still has a lot of evolving to do.