Last November, Victoria's Secret tweeted an image in celebration of its dreamy, annual fashion show with the caption, "Who needs a cap & gown when you can wear wings!?" suggesting that 1) the two entities were separate and unequal and 2) people could (and should) become Vicki's Secret models as easily as they could pursue higher education.
A year before, the lingerie company issued an apology after viewers expressed outrage over supermodel Karlie Kloss' Native American headdress, meant to be representative of Thanksgiving (I think we can all understand why that gesture was problematic).
Now, just in time for its fashion-meets-lingerie extravaganza, Victoria's Secret is in hot — pun intended — water yet again after releasing an advertisement for what nearly 21,000 people feel portrays an unhealthy image of the "perfect body."
"We would like Victoria's Secret to apologise and take responsibility for the unhealthy and damaging message that their 'Perfect Body' campaign sends out about women's bodies and how they should be judged," begins the U.K. petition that has garnered over 20,000 signatures to date.
It comes in response to Victoria's Secret new lingerie campaign advertising its new "Body by Victoria" collection. The advertisement campaign features an image of Victoria's Secret models in lingerie with the words "The Perfect 'Body' " scrawled across the models' arguably "perfect" bodies.
Victoria's Secret's Perfect Body campaign and corresponding image has prompted a debate about the responsibilities of the lingerie industry to promote more realistic body expectations and, of course, a conversation about conventional beauty standards. Underwear company Dear Kate responded to the advertisement by expressing disappointment. Said the Dear Kate website about the Victoria's Secret Perfect Body campaign, "It's irresponsible marketing." Dear Kate offered its own alternative to the Perfect Body ad, tweeted out by the likes of Shonda Rhimes, juxtaposing the homogeneous body types portrayed in the Victoria's Secret ad to an eclectic mix of different body types with the words "The Perfect Body" placed across the models.
Created by Frances Black, Gabriella Kountourides & Laura Ferris of Leeds, the Victoria's Secret petition asks people to tweet the hashtag #iamperfect to @VictoriasSecret in protest to and to raise awareness about the controversial advertisement.
Victoria's Secret has yet to respond to the Perfect Body campaign backlash.