The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show sends a 'dangerous message' — but a plus size campaign wants to change that

Photo: Syle & Curve Magazine
Photo: Syle & Curve Magazine

“There’s no doubt about it: becoming a #VictoriasSecretAngel completely changes your life, but after the 13 new #VSmodels were unveiled earlier this year, we still had one major concern: Will there ever be a plus-size model on their roster?”

That’s the very valid question posed by Style & Curve magazine and iTopModel, an organization that promotes diversity in fashion. They raised their concerns on Instagram as they launched a new campaign to encourage Victoria’s Secret to cast models of more diverse sizes.

There's no doubt about it: becoming a #VictoriasSecretAngel completely changes your life, but after the 13 new #VSmodels were unveiled earlier this year, we still had one major concern: Will there ever be a plus-size model on their roster?⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Two of the Angels from the new class, @hoskelsa and @jacmonika, recently admitted they are totally onboard with the idea. "I think the whole world is more open to plus-size [models] and I am sure at some point they will be ready for it," Jac told the @dailymail. "We don't know," Elsa added. "I really hope so." As do we, ladies! So, we decided to put together a list of models who we think would be a perfect addition to the #VictoriasSecret Angel crew–and hopefully dropping the "plus-size" description in the process. Models are just models, after all.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Here's one of our selected models from that list : @tabriamajors, 27, from Nashville, Tennessee showcased her curves in the steamy collection and slammed the brand for their restrictive casting.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ She posed for the shots and said: “Maybe I’ll be a Victoria’s Secret Angel this year for Halloween, since it ain’t happening in real life.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ “Just paying homage to a few of my favourite pics/outfits from VS here and showing that curvy girls can rock (and sell) lingerie just as well as straight size models.”⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ One of the images shows Tabria showing off her curves in a maroon thong and bra, the same set worn by Victoria Secret favourite @angelcandices .⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Another shot shows her in a sexy, sheer leotard with floral detailing, with skimpy bands across the side.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Meanwhile another image shows her confidently posing in a floral, scallop-edged matching bra and knicker set, arms over her head and staring right into the camera.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Her sexy shoot has struck a chord w/ online users and has been liked over 30K times on Instagram.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Many Instagrammers praised her for her campaign.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ One said: “You are millions better in my opinion and this is such beautiful creative work…”⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ Alongside of ✨@itopmodels & @styleandcurve✨ #SocialMedia campaign #AngelPlus, we’ll share pictures of Who Rocks Out in Her @victoriassecret Underwear #WomenofWorth.

A post shared by STYLE&CURVE MAGAZINE (@styleandcurve) on Nov 13, 2017 at 8:33am PST


The two brands put together a list of models who they think would be a “perfect addition to the #VictoriasSecret Angel crew.”

Their first suggestion is Tabria Majors. The 27-year-old will be featured in 2018’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, but recently mocked VS for its misunderstanding about curvy girls in her own Instagram post by showing that she looks just as good as the company’s models.

iTopModel and Style & Curve magazine will continue sharing photos of women they think are deserving of angel wings, adding the hashtag #AngelPlus.

And they aren’t the only ones using the hashtag.

#firstofall WOW!! WOW !! WOW!! 2ND of All, she went in!!! 3RD of All, WHAT CURVY MODEL DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE ON THE VICTORIA SECRET RUNWAY? @lirisc will ALWAYS get our vote!!! @Regranned from @ambercurvemodel – Are plus size women relevant in fashion ? Yes, ABSOLUTELY we are. Unfortunately, plus size women are not seen as being relevant in @victoriassecret eyes. This was apparent when the list of models for the next runway show did NOT include any plus size or curve models. Yes, VS WE ARE RELEVANT. We are sexy, strong, and can rock the runway alongside our standard size collagues. Please join @styleandcurve @itopmodels on their #angelplus campaign. Now is the time to change to change the face of beauty. : @gpc_modelingphotography HMUA: @candis_ashley_artistry Bra: @additionelle from @theashleygraham

A post shared by Full Figured Fierce (@fullfiguredfierce) on Nov 14, 2017 at 12:52am PST


Wear that crop top, wear those shorts, but make sure you always wear your best accessory…Confidence! "Break barriers and look fabulous while doing it!" • • • • #ryanerenee #breakbarriers #josepaganphotography #fabuplus #fabuplusmagazine #boohooplus #breakbarriersandstayfabulous #plusmodel #plussizebeauties #melanin #motivation #plussizefashion #boldncurvy #prettyplus #fullfigured #fullfiguredfashion #fullfiguredfierce #fullfiguredfashionista #TOCN #fashionforwardplus #plusmodelmag #angelplus #visiblyplussize #Goldenconfidence #TheseCurves #IAmNoAngel #plussize #curvygirlsvip #curvyfashionista #curvy

A post shared by Ryane Renee (@modelryanerenee) on Nov 9, 2017 at 8:34am PST


Which #curvymodel and #plusmodel should be walking for @victoriassecret???? – Thank you for the repost @fullfiguredfierce. With @ambercurvemodel for the campaign #AngelPlus by @styleandcurve together with @itopmodels. #WomenofWorth #styleandcurve #curvy #curves #plussize #confidenceatanysize #styleandcurvemag #slay #confidence #happiness #love #life #ashleygraham #additionelle #itopmodels

A post shared by STYLE&CURVE MAGAZINE (@styleandcurve) on Nov 14, 2017 at 7:59am PST


Some followers are using the campaign to open up about their own self-image and body acceptance:

Happy 32 to me! I plan to celebrate it on the beach, in my Itty bitty teeny weeny black polka dot bikini. In the last year I have learned so much about me and unlearned a lot too. I am more in love with not just my husband and children, but with my life and myself. I have many things to be grateful for. I have 5 amazing dogs, and wouldn't trade them for anything. I've learned to appreciate my mom more, she is the hero who took care of our family when my dad and the rest of us, needed her the most. My friends, a thousand miles from here, who have called and texted for my birthday. My model family, specifically @fullfiguredfierce, for encouraging me and being like sisters to me. They make this world worth being in and I can't say thank you enough. Looking forward to the adventures this year will bring! <3 #atlanta #newyork #miami #fitmodel #diversity #fashion #fullfiguredfierce #fullfiguredfashion #plussizefashion #angelplus #scoutme #atlantaplusmodel #plussizemodel #curvygirl #curvemodel #fashion #atlplusmodel #fitmodeling #effyourbeautystandards #model #miamimodel #nomakeup #allnatural #thereisnowrongwaytobeawoman #bikinimodel #honormycurves #nosizefitsall #bodypositive #thisbody #globalcurvysisterhood #nofilter

A post shared by Alex Mann (@thealexmann_plusmodel) on Nov 12, 2017 at 9:38am PST


“Ignore the critics …….. only mediocrity is safe from ridicule. Dare to be different!”- Dita Von Teese As a physician, business owner, and model who is comfortable and confident in her own skin I continue to fight an uphill battle as a positive role model for young women. Questions as to why I model lingerie and swimwear? Please ask ❤️ : @indiumboudoir Robe: @harlowandfox from @birdies_kc Bodysuit: @victoriassecret from @indiumboudoir Gem closet HMUA: @makeupbymelkc #boudoir #boudoirmodel #boudoirphotography #plussize #plussizemodel #plussizefashion #curvymodel #curvygirlsvip #curvynation #plusmodelmag #pmmlovemybody #beautybeyondsize #styleandcurvemag #iamsizesexy #iamcurve #iamallwoman #bodypositive #curvesaresexy #curvesarein #beautyandboudoir #goldenconfidence #styleandcurvemag #boudoirphotos #plussizelingerie #volup2isdiversity #crlookoftheday #lingeriemodel #celebratemysize #willywantscurve #effyourbeautystandards

A post shared by Amber Curve ✨ (@ambercurvemodel) on Nov 7, 2017 at 5:27pm PST


Style & Curve magazine’s Lyz Lupo tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the brand has made progress over the last few years. “Victoria’s Secret was praised last year when black models Herieth Paul, Maria Borges and Jourdana Phillips all walked the runway showcasing their natural Afro-Caribbean hair,” she says. In the past, she notes, “Black Victoria’s Secret models have walked the runway with long, straightened locks.”

When the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show lineup was released, Lupo says people were quick to point out that this could be the most diverse cast ever, “with almost half of the models being of black, Asian or Hispanic descent.” However, she adds, “Not one of the 52 models is plus-size. That’s why iTopModel decided to team up and combine their resources with Style & Curve in order to encourage Victoria’s Secret to cast plus-size and curvy models, using this hashtag #AngelPlus.”

The two companies think adding diversely sized models is “long overdue.” But that doesn’t mean they aren’t big fans of the annual show. “We admire Victoria’s Secret and what they’ve done; it’s an amazing brand,” Lupo says. But they want to improve it. They point to the Body By Victoria collection as an example.

“The ironic thing is, Victoria’s Secret literally has a ‘Body By Victoria’ campaign that aims to find a fit for every body,” she says. “The problem with this is they exclude bodies over a particular size, and all the models represented in the campaign have similar body types. But they didn’t cast plus-size models because they still promote the idea that plus-size models might not be fit enough for their brand.”

Lupo says that Joby BachAshley GrahamLiris CrosseLa’Tecia ThomasIskra LawrencePhilomena KwaoLaura Brioschi, and Tabria Majors prove on their social media that they eat healthy and train regularly. “We believe that #HealthyIsTheNewSkinny is relevant to mention here, because it means that plus-size models are also healthy and fit,” she adds.

She concludes: “Although the fashion show might not be body-shaming plus-size women directly, by excluding women of a certain shape or size, it sends a dangerous message to viewers. Honestly, we’re not sure why Victoria’s Secret still seems so hesitant to put a plus-size model in the show. If anything, it would make the show, and the brand, stronger, more diverse and more inclusive.”

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