Real Beauty? Nah, Victoria’s Secret Would Rather Celebrate the ‘Perfect Body’

Brand's play on words comes off tone-deaf

Victoria's Secret is under fire for its newest bra campaign featuring the tagline "The Perfect 'Body,'" suggesting on first glance that these women have it, and you probably don't.

More than 10,000 people have signed a U.K. petition calling for Victoria's Secret to "apologise for and amend the irresponsible marketing of your new bra range 'Body.'"

"Victoria’s Secret’s new advertisements play on women's insecurities and send out a damaging message by positioning the words 'The Perfect Body' across models who have exactly the same, very slim body type," the petition notes. "This marketing campaign is harmful. It fails to celebrate the amazing diversity of women’s bodies by choosing to call only one body type 'perfect.'"

Of course, the brand isn't literally saying its models have the perfect body. It's a play on words with the popular "Body" line of bras, and the ad copy clarifies: "Perfect fit. Perfect comfort. Perfectly soft."

But at a time when unrealistic body images are such a controversial topic, this tagline has understandably sparked some fires in social media:

This year we've seen quite a few female-focused brands toss aside the whole idea of perfection. Aerie refused to Photoshop models, ModCloth pledged to be transparent about retouching, Dear Kate focused its underwear campaigns on "real women," so one has to wonder if Victoria's Secret just made a tone-deaf misstep or actively decided to troll the competition.

Roo Powell is freelance contributor to Adweek.
Publish date: October 30, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT