Opinion: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show sets dangerous “beauty” precedent

By: Brock Wilson
The show dubbed “the sexiest night on television” is meant to bring worldwide awareness to the Victoria’s Secret brand, but there is something young female viewers are becoming even more aware of: the link between their self esteem and appearance.

Model Chanel Iman has her hair and makeup done before the 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Photo by Bryan Bedder/Wikimedia Commons

By: BROCK WILSON

Model Chanel Iman has her hair and makeup done before the 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Photo by Bryan Bedder/Wikimedia Commons

Model Chanel Iman has her hair and makeup done before the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Photo by Bryan Bedder/Wikimedia Commons

The show dubbed “the sexiest night on television” is meant to bring worldwide awareness to the Victoria’s Secret brand, but there is something young female viewers are becoming even more aware of: the link between their self esteem and appearance.

Last year the fashion show, which consists of Victoria’s Secret “angels” flaunting the newest in Victoria’s Secret lingerie, had nearly 10 million viewers and is expected to reach closer to 15 million this year.

The glorification of underweight models creates an unhealthy environment for young girls.

The mere suggestion of these women as “angels” is enough to make me change the channel.

Young girls see these models on their tv screens and hear the praise they receive. Then many of them want to achieve this unhealthy and unattainable ideal of beauty.

This praise, evident through sites like Facebook and Twitter, reinforces the message that in order to be noticed, girls need to be skinny, airbrushed, and freshly tanned.

In a 2011 article from The Telegraph, Adriana Lima, a veteran VS fashion model, discussed her diet leading up to the show.

“For nine days before the show, she will drink only protein shakes – no solids,” according to the article.

“The concoctions include powdered egg. Two days before the show, she will abstain from the daily gallon of water, and just drink normally. Then, 12 hours before the show, she will stop drinking entirely.”

The fact that the only way to achieve this idea of “beauty” is to starve one’s self of all solid foods speaks for itself. It is unhealthy and quite frankly, disturbing.

Twenty million women in the United States suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

My twitter feed fills up with girls saying how they are going to start a diet, or stop eating food so they can look like these models. While these tweets are probably meant to be humorous, for some girls this might be how they truly feel.

Why are we letting these over tanned and underweight models poison young girls’ minds with an idea of beauty that is only attainable through starvation and based entirely on looks?

The truth, and the idea we should be sending to not only young girls but people of all shapes and sizes, is that all you need to be beautiful is to just be you.

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