VS Fashion Show: A Men’s Rights Issue

Men are Angels Too

Image via Harper’s Bazaar This show is a disgrace to all involved.

Image via Harper’s Bazaar This show is a disgrace to all involved.

Wyatt Harris, Staff Writer

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This past weekend, the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show was aired on television and it was reported to have some of its lowest ratings in years. The fashion show was already mired in controversy as the company had released statements reflecting a transphobic recruiting process for “Angels.” This could’ve been part of the reason for historically low numbers or maybe even the increasing women’s rights movements where all body shapes and sizes are to be celebrated and something like the VS fashion show reflects impossible standards and unhealthy eating habits. Frankly, I don’t really see a problem in having a fashion show that celebrates the hard work of models; however, I could not be more appalled with the VS fashion show for one reason: there are no men featured as angels.

Gender equality is one of the hottest topics in social politics today and luckily, we are making a lot of progress in mending the gap between how men and women are treated in today’s society. However, the glaring lack of a masculine presence in this year’s VS fashion show reflects just how long we have to go to achieve true gender equality.

For those of you who are unaware, the VS fashion show recruits dozens of the world’s top models and has them display their newest products all while wearing various iterations of angel’s wings. There are also musical numbers and tributes to the models. This is great and all, but the lack of men is a burning social issue that I will simply not stand for.

All over social media this weekend I was force fed pictures of these female models as proud female role models. Even girls my own age were lauding over these beautiful women as if they were actually angels sent down from heaven. Meanwhile, I was left feeling unequivocally deflated as I had no one to look up to. How am I, as a 6’1’’ muscular white teenage male, supposed to compare myself to someone like Gigi Hadid? This promotes a seriously unhealthy body image for young impressionable males. Am I supposed to feel that because I’m not a female supermodel that I am not an angel? Frankly, when this kind of gender discrimination is implemented, it leaves young men feeling like the angel who lost his wings, Lucifer.

The only men at the show were musical performers such as Shawn Mendes, and this only added salt to the wound. When you ask men to perform for a show dominated by women, we are left feeling like mere jesters in a woman’s world and this severely deflates our self-esteem. I hope when this article inevitably reaches superstar performers across the globe, they consider how performing impacts guys that look up to them.

I am an advocate for female equity, especially in the wage sector, but that is a two way street. Not only are “angels” compensated generously for their performance in the show, but it is a great opportunity to spread their brand. In a modeling world already monopolized by women, the increasing gap in both pay and popularity between men and women is only amplified by the segregation of men from the VS fashion show.

I am disgusted at the bigotry and ignorance displayed by Victoria’s Secret via the way they conduct their fashion show. I will certainly boycott viewing the show until they do the right thing and allow men to be angels. How am I supposed to bring kids into the world knowing such an embarrassing tradition is allowed to be broadcasted to millions?

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