If you’re done staring at the banner image, there’s more to this story than just some supermodels in their underwear. It turns out that when you use an image like the one above with a phrase that includes the words “Perfect” and “Body” right next to each other, people are probably going to be very upset, regardless of the actual context. The new Victoria’s Secret campaign for “The Perfect ‘Body’” belongs to the women’s clothing retailer’s Body by Victoria line, which is described on the company’s website as “A body for every body – that’s the beauty of Body by Victoria,” implying that the company makes bras for every woman, regardless of shape and size.
However, people either don’t know that or simply don’t care, because when they see “The Perfect Body,” they immediately assume that the phrase refers to the women in the image. Thus, backlash has been heating up on Twitter and Facebook, as people have unleashed their outrage over such a senseless and offensive campaign, even sparking the hashtag #IAmPerfect, despite the fact that people are taking it out of context. A sampling:
And still, there are some who understand the core of the campaign, and that it’s not actually saying, “Hey, look at these women, they’re perfect. Be like them.”
Over on Facebook, in the land of unlimited characters, one woman has explained that this sort of advertising is difficult to explain to her daughters, because we should all understand that no one is “perfect.”
But in fairness to those who are outraged, it’s easy to see the misunderstanding, especially since we know that companies are sometimes – GASP! – dishonest in their advertising. There’s always something to be found beyond the pretty colors and attractive women, so that has led to the creation of a petition on Change.org, which not only demands that Victoria’s Secret end this campaign, but also apologize for it, because it suggests that the company knew damn well what it was doing.
We would like Victoria’s Secret to apologise and take responsibility for the unhealthy and damaging message that their wording ‘The Perfect ‘Body’’ sends out to society about women’s bodies and how they should be judged. These words are featured in your new advertising campaign for your range of bras Body.
We would like Victoria’s Secret to change the wording on their advertisements for their bra range Body, to something that does not promote unhealthy and unrealistic standards of beauty, as well as pledge to not use such harmful marketing in the future.
The signatures are flying in, too, as more than 11,000 people have “signed” the complaint, with just 3,300 remaining on the goal. Of course, nobody’s really bound to the invisible contract of online petitions, so who knows if Victoria’s Secret will actually apologize for marketing?