The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show pegs itself as a celebration for everything the US lingerie brand represents: femininity, decadence and the unbridled confidence of lithe-limbed supermodels, but the annual spectacle is never far from controversy.
While the show has been praised for featuring models from a diverse mix of ethnic backgrounds, the lineup remains homogeneous in terms of body shape, with the company never having cast a plus-size woman to walk its famous runway.
Now, one model is calling for a complete boycott of the show in light of the news that this year’s soirée, which is expected to take place in November, will once again feature exclusively slim women.
Robyn Lawley, who was the first plus-size model to face the cover of Sports Illustrated, has started an online petition calling for Victoria’s Secret to be more inclusive.
Writing on Instagram, the 29-year-old Australian model argued that the lingerie brand has “dominated the space for almost 20 years by telling women there is only one kind of body beautiful.
“Until Victoria’s Secret commits to representing ALL women on stage, I am calling for a complete boycott of this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” she continues.
“It’s time Victoria’s Secret recognised the buying power and influence of women of ALL ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities.
“The female gaze is powerful, and together, we can celebrate the beauty of our diversity. It’s about time Victoria’s Secret celebrated the customers that fuel its bottom line.”
The post has been well-received by Lawley’s 190,000 followers, garnering more than 1,900 likes and hundreds of supportive comments; the petition has been signed by more than 700 people so far.
As opposed to watching this year’s show, which will take place in New York City, the mother-of-one urged people to share an unedited photograph of themselves on Instagram under the hashtag #MyAngelWings.
She added that for every person who shares a snap, lingerie brand ThirdLove will donate a bra to Support The Girls, a nonprofit organisation that distributes bras and menstrual products to homeless women across the US.
The model lineup for this year’s Victoria’s Show was announced in September, with British models Leomie Anderson, 25, Sadie Newman, 24, and Cheyenne Maya Carty, 22, among those cast.
Canadian model Winnie Harlow, who has vitiligo, will also make her Victoria's Secret debut this year.
It’s not yet clear whether catwalk regulars, such as Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss, will be included.
The Independent has contacted Victoria's Secret for comment.
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