Why did the brand backtrack so much with this list?
Every year, Victoria's Secret releases their "What Is Sexy" list, which usually includes celebrities and other prominent people in the media. The categories include things like "sexiest actress" and "sexiest fitspiration." While VS has made some attempts to become more inclusive (like when the brand shared photos of VS Angel Jasmine Tookes with unretouched stretch marks), this list backtracks a bit, which is a serious bummer.
For one, the list, which features 22 women, the cast of the TV show The Royals, and one guy—James Corden, who was dubbed "sexiest late night host"—features very few women of color, like Priyanka Chopra and Jamie Chung. In the past, VS has encouraged models of color to sport their natural hairstyles on the runway, which was seen as an inclusive move on the brand's part. But the fact that the majority of the women deemed "sexy" by the brand this year look so similar to each other left many scratching their heads.
What's more, there's not a single woman on this list who would be considered plus-size. (See also: Plus-Size Models We'd Love to Become Victoria's Secret Angels.) The body-positivity movement has helped people begin to accept that every body is beautiful. Of course, this includes thin women too, but featuring only thin women sends the wrong message about what it means to be sexy. In 2017, we know that sexy doesn't only apply to one kind of body or shade of skin, but it seems that spreading this message is more of a slowwww marathon than a sprint.