Don’t Keep This To Yourself: We Should All Boycott The 2015 Victoria’s Secret Show


I’m going to put something out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don’t, send it right back.

I think we should boycott the Victoria’s Secret Show.

No, none of us were invited. Yes, it’s already been filmed. But I’m going to use my power, as a very small cog in the capitalist machine, to not watch the show when it airs on TV. Isn’t that how ‘activism’ works?

While the Victoria’s Secret Runway Show was filmed today, it isn’t set to air until December 8th. You see, the producers literally need a month to edit the behind the scenes footage into a sequence that makes it appear mildly interesting. They also need this time to select camera angles that scream ‘fun’, and ‘girlpower’, rather than ‘creepy’, and ‘objectifying’.

So I thought I’d construct a manifesto to gather my thoughts (like the Communist Manifesto, but less extreme, and more about Kendall Jenner), and encourage women around the world to abandon the Victoria’s Secret Show, and do something else on December 8th.

Let’s start with the $2 million bra, shall we?

$2 million.

For a bra.

A few decades ago, we had feminists calling for us to BURN our bras, and now we have a jewel-encrusted one that’s worth $2 million? Am I meant to be impressed? Or envious? Or concerned, given that Victoria’s Secret appears to be on a fairly serious budget since their $20 million fantasy bra ‘splurge’ in 2000?

Giselle Bunchden, still thinking about the $20 million bra she wore 15 years ago. (IMAGE: via Instagram: @giselle).

While wearing the bra (which, lets be honest, probably weighs more than she does) Lily Aldridge said that “everyone should have one”. She was probably joking, but when nearly half the world’s population is living on less than $2.50 a day, it’s just not really that funny.

Lily Aldridge, just chillin, wearing her $2 million bra. (IMAGE: via Instagram: @lilyaldridge)
Lily Aldridge, just chillin, wearing her $2 million bra. (IMAGE: via Instagram: @lilyaldridge)

But Aldridge’s poor sense of humour isn’t the only reason I think we should boycott the 2015 Victoria’s Secret show.

The vernacular used to describe these models mirrors that used to describe Olympians, perhaps no more explicitly than when, last year, the show’s Creative Director said, “It really is like being an Olympian – they have to be in peak condition”.

The end of his quote must have been cut off, because I’m sure he would have gone on to say “…peak condition to wear underpants in front of millions of people”.

“Work hard girls. And one day maybe you, too, can be objectified in front of millions of people worldwide”. (IMAGE: via Instagram: @victoriassecret)
“Work hard girls. And one day maybe you, too, can be objectified in front of millions of people worldwide”. (IMAGE: via Instagram: @victoriassecret)

But one of the most frustrating claims is that the girls are chosen based on, and in order to show off, their unique personalities.

Last week, the Internet was very excited to learn that Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner will be walking in this years show. I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say that their (bland) personalities probably weren’t a major point of consideration in that casting decision.

One former director of brand strategy at Victoria’s Secret says that the brand seeks out models with great personalities, and very specifically chooses models “women can relate to or feel comfortable around”.


I don’t buy it. Victoria’s Secret doesn’t seem too interested in Amy Schumer’s fun personality, or Malala Yousafzai’s activism for female education, so how about we stop pretending that Rosie Huntington Whitely was cast because of anything other than the fact that she looks like a real life human Barbie doll.

So I urge you to get out your calendar and circle December 8th, to remind yourself of all the important things you have to do that day.

You probably have some weird symptoms you should look up on WebMD. Why not start an online petition for a really inconsequential cause, like people naming their children Gary, or wearing crocs?

I for one will be googling pressing issues such as ‘does my dog feel guilt?’ and ‘how much is TOO much sleep?’

Anything, and I mean anything, is more productive and better for women’s self-esteem, than watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.



Clare Stephens is a Sydney-based writer. She's a regular New Matilda contributor and writes primarily on cultural and social issues.