Halsey, Ashley Graham, and Iskra Lawrence are some of the women who are pushing the brand to be more inclusive.
Photo: Taylor Hill / FilmMagic
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which aired Sunday night, featured a star-studded runway including models like Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Behati Prinsloo, and Adriana Lima—to name a few. They even broke a few beauty barriers, by exchanging their bombshell-waves-only policy for close-crops and Afros. Another notable addition to this year's lineup was Winnie Harlow, the first model with vitiligo to walk the VS runway. But when it comes to inclusivity, the brand still has a long way to go, which is why a few celebs took to social media to voice their concern.
To start, Halsey, who was one of the performers at the show this year, posted a note to her Instagram calling out Victoria's Secret's lack of diversity. "I have adored the Victorias Secret fashion show since I was young," she wrote. "Performing this year alongside other amazing artists and hard working models/friends was supposed to be the best night of my year. However, after I filmed the performance, some comments were made regarding the show that I simply cannot ignore." (Related: Halsey Opens Up About How Endometriosis Surgeries Affected Her Body)
The comments Halsey is referring to are from the now-infamous Vogue interview where Ed Razek, the vice president of public relations, stated that trans models shouldn't be included in the show. "It's like, why doesn't your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don't think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It's a 42-minute entertainment special. That's what it is."
Halsey addressed those comments in her note. "As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity," she wrote. "Especially not one motivated by stereotype...If you are a trans person reading this, and these comments made you feel alienated or invalidated please know that you have allies. We stand in solidarity, and complete and total acceptance is the only 'fantasy' that I support..."
Feeling REAL because that celluLIT, those rolls are cute, that jiggle is sexy and everyBODY deserves to feel confident in the skin they’re in. I won’t be told what a fantasy is I’ll just be it Who we are is what makes us beautiful not just a beauty ideal... Proud to be imperfectly perfect and ofc #AerieReal forever
Iskra Lawrence was another celeb to throw some shade at the brand. The Australian model posted a video of herself flaunting her curves in a bikini and wrote: "That cellulite, those rolls are cute, that jiggle is sexy and everybody deserves to feel confident in the skin they're in." Alluding to Razek's comments, Lawrence added, "I won't be told what a fantasy is. I'll just be it." (Related: Iskra Lawrence Strips Down in Emotional Body Confidence Video)
Ashley Graham also subtly snubbed the brand by sharing several photos of women, of all different shapes and sizes, walking the runway in lingerie. She simply used #BeautyBeyondSize to caption the photos—the hashtag she uses to promote her lingerie brand, Addition Elle, which specifically caters to plus-size women. (This isn't the first time Graham has called out VS either.)
Given their recent comments, it might seem as though Victoria's Secret is standing their ground and plans to uphold their "fantasy" in the future. But there's no denying that all the backlash over the years has definitely caused the brand to chip away at this image of "perfection" they've developed. For now, their casting reflects a slight nod to diversity and a small shift in beauty norms—and that might just be the first step toward the evolution so many people are still waiting for.