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Victoria's Secret's new ambassador, Megan Rapinoe, has welcomed the brand's change of image, after it opted to ditch its 'angels' and instead enlist a new VS Collective.
The collective includes Olympic soccer champion Megan Rapinoe and actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, alongside other big names: model and body positivity advocate Paloma Elsesser, Chinese American freestyle skier Eileen Gu, and media star, Amanda de Cadenet.
South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech and transgender model Valentina Sampaio have also been signed as part of the new campaign.
Speaking on her recruitment, Rapinoe had some candid words when describing what the VS show used to be, dubbing it "patriarchal, sexist, viewing not just what it meant to be sexy but what the clothes were trying to accomplish through a male lens and through what men desired."
She added: "I am humbled to join this group of incredible women to drive change within the Victoria's Secret brand and beyond.
"So often I felt myself on the outside looking in with brands in the beauty and fashion industry, and I'm thrilled to be creating a space that sees the true spectrum of ALL women."
Valentina Sampaio added that the opportunity was one she hoped created "positive change throughout the world."
"Being a trans woman often means facing closed doors to people's hearts. As a powerful global platform, Victoria's Secret is committed to opening these doors for trans women like me, by celebrating, uplifting and advocating for ALL women," she said in a statement.
Victoria's Secret has long come fire for the way it presents itself as the purveyor of tiny lingerie, with angel wings, tiny models and a strong emphasis on the male gaze unashamedly prioritised.
It finally cancelled its renowned Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2019, after backlash surrounding its lack of inclusivity, when it came to diversity and body size.
Martha Pease, the company's chief marketing office, said that she was behind the initiative, adding that it came to be after spending a year doing "a lot of work talking to women to understand where we were falling down and where we needed to really focus going forward."
"When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond," Martin Waters, CEO of Victoria's Secret, told the New York Times. "We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want."
A commendable statement - but one that some people think has come a little too late.
Responding to the news of the new marketing angle on social media, one person wrote: "I will stick to the independent brands run by women who have been advocating all this time and doing the right thing. And are trying to be sustainable. At the end of the day it's still just relentless numbers of mass produced fast fashion being wrapped in a more 'palatable' blanket that most of us can see right through anyway".
Meanwhile, another penned: "Convenient now that women's empowerment is 'in style' they hop on board. I'll be sticking to the brands that have stuck by women since the beginning because to me, this feels a little too late".
"They are now performative marketing after they ignored the several calls for change for so long," wrote someone else.
However, others were more positive about the move, stating that whatever the reason for the change, it should be celebrated.
One wrote: "Finally!!! Showing women in an empowering light and not as a sex object. Don't get me wrong. Love the sexy but also needs to be positive. Women buy the products. I guess some men are going to be p***ed off. Lol".
As another said: "Victoria's Secret has been overdue for a rebrand and I love Megan Rapinoe and Priyanka Chopra".
"No but i'm so f*cking proud of Victoria's Secret," someone else wrote. "They have a female soccer player, Priyanka Chopra, trans icon Valentina Sampaio, African supermodel Adut Akech, plus sized icon, Palomija, amongst other activists and sport players (sic)'.
It looks like the jury is still out on this VS rebrand...
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