Victoria's Secret Problems: 3 Major Issues the Lingerie Giant Needs to Address
Victoria’s Secret Has a Race(ist) Problem
Less than 2 months after Victoria’s Secret shocked anyone with a conscience over their blatantly racist ‘geisha’ costume (modeled by the ultra blonde and very-definitely-not-Asian, Candice Swaenpoel), they upped the ante by putting the very Midwest and most-certainly-not-Native-American, Karlie Kloss, in an Indian costume. As the saying goes, once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, but 3 times is pattern. And the third time, if you remember, is last year’s fashion show which crammed all the black models into one ‘tribal’ sequence).
Now, I don’t think the people in charge of Victoria’s Secret are idiots. At the very least, the company has more than enough money to spend on diversity consultants or customer focus groups or even a book or three on racial stereotyping. Yet it appears they do none of those things prior to spending thousands (if not millions) of dollars on making and manufacturing these explicitly racist costumes. So that makes me wonder if they either don’t care (which is bad) or if they’re deliberately trading on racist controversy to bring some attention to the brand (which is worse).
Inevitably, when the R-word (by which I mean racism) comes up, someone responds with, “Well, they probably don’t intend to be racist!” Which may be true. After all, I don’t live with any of their designers. But I think we can at least agree that Victoria’s Secret doesn’t intend to avoid being racist either. And one can only be ‘accidentally’ racist so many times before other people begin to wonder what exactly is going on.