The most popular Victoria's Secret Angel isn't an an actual Angel — it's the Angel body type.
And while we can preach on and on until our lungs get sore about how the lingerie brand is still oceans away from being even remotely body-diverse, last night's show proved what an effect that has on young consumers.
During the show, social media was filled with women comparing their bodies to the models.
While some of the tweets were said jokingly or sarcastically, it's still a painful reminder that Victoria's Secret needs to change NOW.
It was hard to go on Twitter last night without seeing literally thousands of tweets from women saying they now "need" to go to the gym, or that they "need" to stop eating, or that they "need" to do any number of things to achieve that trademark Victoria's Secret body.
This is the thing, though: Victoria's Secret models are paid to look like that. It's literally their job. They're paid to work out and partake in grueling diets in order to look that way. Spending your night being jealous of Adriana Lima or Candice Swanepoel is like being jealous of an investment banker or a brain surgeon — it's being jealous of someone for performing ardous tasks that fit under their job description.
Remember: All bodies are different and flawless in their own ways.
Everyone is built differently. Victoria's Secret Angels work really hard to have the body they do, but that doesn't mean OTHER bodies are "lesser than" or "not as good as" the models.
Having a toned body doesn't mean it's the "ideal" body. Everyone's version of ideal is different, and whether yours includes curves, no curves, rolls, no rolls, or anything in between, that's totally up to you! Your body is miraculous, regardless of how close or how far it is from resembling the body of one brand's lingerie model.
However, Victoria's Secret still needs to work on its definition of "diversity."
Victoria's Secret has been branding this show as the most diverse yet. The amount of headlines we read leading up to the show ranged from people praising the brand for using a "record-breaking" amount of Chinese models to representing over 20 different countries. Heads up, VS: That's literally the BARE minimum.
Additionally, race inclusivity is only one aspect of diversity. Yes, it's great that there are models with a pretty wide range of skin tones. But diversity should also include trans models, models with different abilities, models with skin disorders, and, oh, models that don't all look like they fit into the same exact body type mold.
TL;DR: Victoria's Secret needs to include a wider range of bodies, stat.
We need models of different sizes, and the numbers show it.
According to a 2014 study by Dove, women have written over 5 million negative tweets about their beauty, largely about themselves. On a slightly less bleak note, over 82% of the women surveyed believe that social media can change what we perceive as beautiful. And if follower counts and social media presence are anything to go by, there are plenty of influencers and models like Ashley Graham who are widening the definition of beauty.
We already know that plus-size women have major buying power (to the tune of $20.4 BILLION DOLLARS) so including a plus-size model (or ideally, way more than one) is only going to boost the VS brand, not hinder it.
And, to us, that's way more #goals than any amount of muscle tone.