One of the reasons I started LoveRealBeauty is that I have two gorgeous daughters and a beautiful wife. I don’t want them ever to compare themselves to a fictitious concept of beauty and think themselves not beautiful. I don’t want them to think that there is some singular, perfect, ideal beautiful look. No such thing exists. Yet, I sense so much misery, self-doubt and ill-health in attempting to conform to beauty ideals peddled by industry and culture.
Let’s be clear about the concept of beauty. There are many elements of beauty that are shared or agreed upon. There is science behind this. Scientist have actually mapped what societies find to be beautiful features. For example, there are certain features like high cheekbones that tend to make a face more attractive. Artists are trained to use the “Golden Triangle” or Divine Proportion rule to draw bodies and faces.
But let’s also be clear that beauty is not conformity. It is not certain. Lots of different shapes, sizes, colors, packaged in many different ways, are beautiful. And, we shouldn’t limit our view of beauty purely to the physical. Beauty can be something much more than a pretty face. It can be psychic. It can be attitude. It can be the entire package. Beauty can be momentary, temporal or elusive.
Although LoveRealBeauty focuses on the personal care industry (makeup and cosmetics), we recognize our deep connection to the worlds of fashion and health & fitness. You feel good, you look good. You look good, you feel good. There is an inter-connectivity.
That is why I am so disappointed at Victoria’s Secret. Yesterday, at their Fashion Show in Paris, they paraded their models with skimpy clothing to world’s fashion buyers and the rest of us a voyeurs. Here’s the thing, one only need to look at the picture above to see a complete uniformity of body type. Let’s be honest here, these women are “super skinny.” Some bodies are healthy and yet super skinny, but it’s incredibly rare. I would say that the bodies idealized in the Victoria’s Secret show look unhealthy. Even the Victoria’s Secret Angels have admitted that their bodies don’t look like what you see on the TV show. The “fantasy” comes from insane workouts, crash dieting and up to 20 layers of makeup and filler on their bodies!
This is the look that we are supposed to show to girls and women as the male fantasy of beauty and of sexuality? Is this message healthy for my daughters? After all, this is Victoria’s Secret. Their brand is about an overt sexuality and fantasy. It is not just about the clothes. It is a about the hottest women, wearing barely any clothes, walking on a raised platform as music blares and the crowd goes wild.
Are the Victoria’s Secret models beautiful? Well, yes, they are. Do they all look exactly the same in body type? Yes, they do. What is that body type? Super skinny. Since Victoria’s Secret is the standard bearer for sexy-beauty, are they amplifying and encouraging the super skinny body look? Yes, they are. Is Victoria’s secret explicitly encouraging the super skinny look as the ideal of beauty? Unfortunately, yes.
Do the women of the world need to look at the Victoria’s Secret “angel” as the ideal of a beautiful body? NO, THEY DO NOT!
As a father, I can say this: if my daughter looked like one of the Angels, I’d be damned concerned about her well-being. I, for one, won’t be shopping at Victoria’s Secret until they get REAL WOMEN who are strong, diverse, healthy, and beautiful to model at their show.