Jessica Le

Sefferino Ramos

1B, 9 O’clock

19, October 2018

Victoria Secret Ideal Body Standard

Victoria Secrets has just released images and advertisements of what the perfect body looks like, and it completely destroys many women young and olds self image. Body dissatisfaction is common in many country across the world. With the wide range of social media influences and ideal perception on the “ideal” body. Many of the world youth and adolescence starts upton body dissatisfaction. Body dissatisfaction is link to many negative consequences. Such as eating disorder, self esteem, negative perception of one’s body and ect. In recent year the well known women’s undergarment brand, Victoria Secret released a line called “The Perfect Body.” Damaging many youths mind, making many feel insecure about the body. The images  presented as well as other images that can be openly seen throughout our daily lives widely show this. The image makes different appeals from two different outlooks, from the perception placed upon the viewers and the perception placed on it as a sadly positive use for advertisement.

Each of the images preview Victoria Secret models only in their underwear along with some kind of phrase regarding or mentioning having perfect bodies. In the first image we see a woman accompanied with a phrase “No one’s perfect. Until now.” almost as if assuming that the woman in the picture is perfect, causing people to feel insecure when they compare themselves to the model in the picture. In the second image it shows three models with a phrase saying “I Love my Body” and in a similar effect women and girls would be pressured into comparing their own body with the ones in the image. Finally, the third image presents most simply the statement that is being made, exclaiming that every one of the models is “The Perfect Body” cornering its female onlookers to compare themselves with each one of the models and realizing that (for the most part) none of their bodies are like any of the ones in the image. This shows a negative appeal to emotion for women as they will feel insecure with themselves as if now they “have” to have a body like the models in the picture. That appeal can be destructive and cause different problems such as eating problems and prolonged fasting so that they can try to look like the models. This is even furthered by the fact that most women who do these kinds of unhealthy habits to themselves may never look like the models they so aspire to be due to genetics and face structures.

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In a logical sense, these adverts appeal to logos in tangent to that exact appeal to pathos, as they know that if they show these images of “perfect” models dressed in their clothing line, that in order to be like the models, people will also want to buy the clothes that they see these models wearing. For example, in the third image it shows different models wearing the different styles that they offer, and when women see those models in those styles they base off what they want in comparison to how it looks on the model. It is a fallacy in which the consumers minds are attuned to believe that “since it looks really good and nice on the ones in the picture, it would also look really nice and good on me.” Due to this, the brand has been underlyingly becoming popular with these ideas of envy and from that, spread.They are featured on wide social media because of their popularity and Victoria’s Secrets popularity in general… popular social media for everyone to see, mostly starting from early teenage years.. Robert Williams studying the connection between social media and body image concerns shows this as he states “Social media are the main form of mass media being used by the youth of today, and researchers in the U.S. and Australia have commenced studying how these may be affecting body image concerns. However, the processes underlying how social media may influence young people’s body image appear to be no different from underlying other forms of mass media.” (Williams) They create these advertisements and display them all over the internet because the ones behind the advertisements know that these kinds of advertisement sells and sees income from it, even though it negatively affects the minds of those who view it. Along with that fact, it is an appeal to their credibility as a company. Victoria Secret is popular for women’s undergarment as well as their sister brand “Pink” which always present these models that are meant to make women feel insecure in comparison. Unfortunately, as malicious that this practice is, this type of advertisement is what they know will sell.

Even then, the new images that are presented are degrading at the very least as Victoria Secret went a step too far in characterizing the advertisements with a huge, obnoxious, and blunt “this is what a perfect body is.” As journalist Pavica Sheldon notes, this type of advertisement further interferes in the minds of young people as she says “Young people today live in an environment in which looks are of utmost importance, social support is low, and pressure to achieve the cultural ideals of attractiveness is high. Because comparisons to models in fashion magazines negatively influence women’s body image, women should be encouraged to examine the possibility that the bodies of magazine models are just photoshopped images with unreal body measurements.” (Sheldon) It shows how these advertisements completely destroys any positive appeal to emotion that their advertisement could potentially have on top of the fact that Victoria Secret advertisements were sensual and controversial to feminist and others that do not support their campaigns in the first place. They are stating something that blatantly tells the viewers something that they were already trying to tell its viewers from when they first started using advertisements like these, potentially causing even more destructive and bad habits and insecurities in women and girls. Even just naming can mean a lot more than it was possibly intended to be, and people make beliefs and assumptions even if the makers of this new “Perfect Body” line was not intended to offend or create further problems, and even if that was the case, it is time that Victoria Secrets as a company sees the problems its creating, takes fault and finds other ways to advertise their clothing lines.

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These baseless names for clothing lines with advertisements that are deemed less than perfect due to public outcry have shown a negative appeal to emotion for women and girls especially in terms of how it makes individuals seem inferior in body shape compared to these models. However, due to the effectiveness of these advertisements, it only goes to support the companies ethos when it comes to their popularity, even if it states a problem that is going on in society, it has also shown that these advertisements statistically bring in customers and therefore they are created and used even with how destructive it can be on the female psyche. Whether it is intentional or not it goes to show a certain ignorance in naming a product of there’s something that shows somewhat of a superiority complex and it is something that should be changed but as long as these advertisements bring in more customers, there is nothing stopping them from continuing to create these adverts for an unfortunately sad profit gain.

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Annotated Bibliography

  1. Andsager, Julie. “Research Directions in Social Media and Body Image.” Sex Roles, vol.

71, no. 11–12, Dec. 2014, pp. 407–413. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0430-4.

The study of social media’s potential influence on body image. Shows how individuals may be more likely to encounter unsought messages in social media than in traditional media. Also states that social media offer the ability to reach a variety of at-risk groups with media literacy training. It helped me understand that media addresses the media-related aspect of body dissatisfaction because it teaches critical and analytical skills. This is a reliable source because it is an academic journal.

  1. Cusumano, Dale L., and J.Kevin Thompson. “Media Influence and Body Image in

8-11-Year-Old Boys and Girls: A Preliminary Report on the Multidimensional Media Influence Scale.” International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 29, no. 1, Jan. 2001, pp. 37–44. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=3992730&site=ehost-live.

Gave me a background of body insecurities within the young children’s ranging from eight to eleven year olds. Showed me the risk and social factors that is placed these innocent childrens. It helped me understand the risk of eating disorders and poor body images each time a child goes onto social media. This academic journal is a reliable source from Chaffey database.  

  1. Sheldon, Pavica. “Pressure To Be Perfect: Influences on College Students’ Body

Esteem.” Southern Communication Journal, vol. 75, no. 3, July 2010, pp. 277–298. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10417940903026543.

Presents a study that develops a scale of society ideal body  images. How social support is low, and pressure to achieve the cultural ideals of attractiveness is high. When a comparisons to models in fashion magazines negatively influence women’s body image, women should be encouraged to examine the possibility that the bodies of magazine models are just photoshopped images with unreal body measurements. This source shows me how empowered women and men may act together to eliminate sources that threaten their body satisfaction and healthy eating. This article is an academic journal.

 

  1. Swami, Virens. “Body Dissatisfaction Assessed by the Photographic Figure

Rating Scale Is Associated with Sociocultural, Personality, and Media Influences.” Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, vol. 52, no. 1, Feb. 2011, pp. 57–63. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9450.2010.00836.x.

This clarifies my stance that body dissatisfaction is associated with sociocultural, personality, and media influences. This study sought to investigate the convergent validity of a new measure of body dissatisfaction, in relation to media influence, celebrity worship, the Big Five personality factors, and respondent weight status. This source showed that body dissatisfaction was most strongly predicted by body mass index and Emotional Stability. This is an academic journal from Chaffey database.

  1. Williams, Robert, and Lina Ricciardelli. “Social Media and Body Image Concerns:

Further Considerations and Broader Perspectives.” Sex Roles, vol. 71, no. 11–12, Dec. 2014, pp. 389–392. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0429-x.

In this journal it provides research that examines the effects of social media on young women’s body image concerns. Social media are the main form of mass media being used by the youth of today, and is affecting body image concerns. This source allowed me to see how social media may influence young people’s body image appear to be no different from underlying other forms of mass media. It helped me understand that there is no clear evidence that social networking sites and other forms of social media are more detrimental to one’s body image than other forms of media. This is an academic journal.