Submitted by Abby Philip
When asked to submit something for Media Monday I immediately thought of Victoria’s Secret. The company’s models are who I’ve compared my bigger frame to since I was 13. While I was looking through their website I found a video titled, “Victoria’s Secret announces the 2014 What is Sexy? List”. The video appeared to be targeted to young women around my age because it mentioned celebrities girls like myself could potentially look up to. After watching the video I felt knots build up in my stomach. I felt insulted as a woman because these women were only mentioned for physical attributes, but I couldn’t help the feelings of insecurity. I do not look like these women. Does that mean I’m not sexy? As a young woman I find myself always struggling with the concept of being “sexy” because quite frankly I have no idea what it means. According to Dictionary.com “sexy” is defined as, “concerned predominantly or excessively with sex, sexually interesting or exciting, radiating sexuality, and excitingly appealing; glamorous.”
Allure Magazine says to be sexy I need to:
- Wear Red but not on my lips
- Add MEGA shine to my hair
- Choose the right perfume
- Dim the lights (my personal favorite)
- Animate my face
According to this list, I am not sexy. Watching the “Victoria’s Secret What is Sexy? List” made me question whether or not I’ll be considered “sexy”. Will I ever be put on a list recognizing “sexy” women? Another problem I found while watching the video was that I started to feel like I resented these women. I compared myself to them and started to internally shame them, hoping to find some sort of flaw to make me feel better about all of mine. As women we should be celebrating each other’s bodies, flaws and all. Beauty shouldn’t be a contest. It should be basic knowledge that the female body is beautiful, sexy, sacred. List’s like this shouldn’t exist, it should just be a known fact that every body is sexy. I fear for the girls who see this video and have the same reaction I did. I don’t want them to feel any less because they don’t have Blake Lively’s skin, or Amber Heard’s legs. This video is not socially responsible at all, it sets unrealistic expectations for women and girls and it sets the standard for beauty way to high. Not to mention there are no people of color mentioned in this list. If there were more women of color, women of different ages and sexual orientations, women from different background, women who have bigger bodies, etc. this video could be just a little bit less offensive. There are so many bodies that are left out of the “What is Sexy? List” For once it’d be nice to see representation of all body shapes and races. So what do you think being sexy means? What characteristics can be seen from someone who is “sexy”, physical or otherwise?
And more importantly, What is Sexy? Are you sexy?
I think so.
This blog post was sponsored by: Dirk Miller and Jennifer Cramer-Miller