The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: A Retrospective

I realize the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aired several weeks ago, which in this day and age is equivalent to an entire lifetime, but with two kids, a job etc. etc. I will most likely never be the first to write about anything pop-culture related. I did have some thoughts while watching the show though, so I decided to share them with you today, a month later. We’ll call it a “throwback” post so it seems cooler. Some of my thoughts were fleeting; Is Bruno Mars really that short? Should I get hair extensions? Oh look, there’s Kylie Jenner, again. This sandwich could really use some mustard, just to name a few. But some stuck with me longer and here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Why am I watching this?

First and foremost, I questioned what it was that drew me to watching the entire 43 minutes of unicorn-like women walking down a runway in lingerie. What was it that made me, a 36-year-old heterosexual woman still struggling with that “last 10 pounds” spend precious free-time on this? I think the answer has something to do with the fact that everyone else seemed to have watched it and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. But maybe not. Maybe I am just a (literal) glutton for punishment. Pass the popcorn!

2. Are any of them moms?

I wanted the answer to be no so I’d feel better about the fact that their bodies have seemingly zero “flaws” but I googled it and apparently the answer is yes. Not only yes, but one of them is actually pregnant WHILE IN THE FASHION SHOW! Her name is Irina Shayk and you can see some pictures of her here. Her boyfriend is also Bradley Cooper. Life isn’t fair sometimes people, I don’t know what else to tell you. Let’s move on.

3. Why is there so much cheering?

I’ve had the privilege of attending a few NY fashion shows so I know about the vibe at these things, but this felt more like watching a CBS sitcom with a really bad laugh track. There was constant cheering – not just clapping, but full-blown hootin’ and hollerin’ throughout this entire spectacle. It felt so fake and forced and left me wondering what in the hell everyone was SO excited about. Is watching women walking in lingerie really akin to the excitement of cheering on your favorite sport’s team at the Super Bowl? Is this where we are as a society? 

4. Where the fuck are their vaginas?

They say the camera adds 10 pounds but I feel like in this case it must take away a few inches of vaginal width. I’ve seen some vagina in my day (I go to the Korean Spa, get your head out of the gutter) but I’ve never seen such narrow vaginas in my life. Is it because their hips are so small? Is it a prerequisite that in order to earn your Angel Wings (not sure if you’re supposed to capitalize that but I’m going with it) you have to demonstrate extreme vaginal narrowness? I’m not sure, but I need answers. I’m just afraid to google them.

5. What’s with all the winking?

At the end of the runway, each model strikes a pose for the camera and, once again, cheering ensues. It seems like 99% of the time they wink. Is this the secret to female power? Should I be winking more at my husband? What about at work? Or to my kids? Do you think I could actually get my kids to do what I want them to do if I wink at them? Maybe these ladies have unlocked their full potential by mastering eye muscle control. Here’s what I look like when I try to wink and smile at the same time.

I will need some practice.

6. Why are Bella and Gigi Hadid crying?

We could debate this for days, but when I see sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid break down in tears during their behind the scenes interview because they have been “dreaming about doing this since they were kids” I can’t help but wonder how I would feel if my daughter’s dream in life was to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Not modeling, I get that. But specifically this show? Granted, I don’t have a daughter so I’ll leave that one up to the moms who do.  As a woman though, I should hope their dreams extend beyond being in their underwear. Especially the thong kind – those fuckers are really uncomfortable if you wear them too long.

7. These bitches ain’t got nothin’ on me.

These women are gorgeous, there’s no denying that. Their bodies look like works of art to me and I refuse to try and shame them for being beautiful. But they’re only representing one kind of beauty. And while I may not have been born with the type of body that will earn me the Victoria’s Secret stamp of approval, I can’t let that impact how I feel about my own beauty, or anyone else’s for that matter. I will probably always be trying to lose 10 pounds and mourning the loss of my cleavage before having kids. I may always hate my stretch marks and want to murder anyone who tells me to love the “tiger stripes” I “earned” (ps, I’ve had them since puberty as have many women so can we please stop with that stupid saying), but I am still one sexy mother and I will not let the mass celebration of a certain kind of beauty diminish my ability to celebrate my own. We can all be beautiful. And here I am from a boudoir session I did to surprise my husband a few years ago in my own Victoria’s Secret lingerie to prove it. There’s room for all of our varying vaginal widths on the runway ladies, there really is!

Courtesy of Tiffany J Photography (and my husband)

In the end, I guess my feelings are quite mixed about the show. I’m not necessarily glad there’s a cultural phenomenon surrounding it but I’m glad I can watch it and walk away feeling just as good about myself as I did before. I’d like to think Gigi and Bella would shed a tear about that as well. 

Did you watch? Would love to hear your thoughts too!

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