The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is always a spectacle. It’s a fashion show that anyone and everyone in the fashion world (and beyond) looks forward to.
There are so many reasons to love the VS Fashion Show. This year, we watched Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, and Bruno Mars give amazing performances, and we got to see some very familiar faces on the runway (Bella and Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, to name a few).
However, the most admirable aspect of the fashion show—part of the reason the whole world watches—is the love. The love that these girls have for fashion, for each other, and for themselves is incredibly inspiring. Of course, it is a televised event that is strategically filmed so that everything looks perfect. It’s true that there could be crazy cat fights going on behind the scenes or super mean producers yelling at everyone, but I just don’t think that’s the case.
From the moment the show started, the Angels were smiling and showing their true personalities. All of these girls aren’t actors; they don’t work every day to fool people into believing their fake emotions. These clips didn’t seem fake or staged, it seemed as though the producers wanted the world to see the Angels for who they are: beautiful, different, inspiring women who have worked so hard to get to where they are.
Consider this video of the Angels spending some time with Lady Gaga:
This clip is similar to so many others that we saw during the show. The Angels are showing their personalities and aren’t stunned into silence by the prospects of the entire world watching.
Besides just a gut feeling that these moments weren’t just staged to please the audience, I have some tangible evidence to consider as well.
This year, the VS Angels sported their natural hair at the fashion show. No wigs, no extensions, just them. Maria Borges started the trend last year by walking the runway with an Afro, and this year three more models followed suit. Allure quoted the VS Fashion Show casting director, John David Pfeiffer on the matter.
He said that for years the women would all come into the auditions with lush, voluminous hair straight out of a magazine. However, this year, they overwhelmingly sported their natural hair. He said:
“Honestly, [the hairstylists] worked with the texture and adjusted it a little bit, but it’s definitely more inclusive. And, so much more visually interesting.”
This may be a recent trend, but it’s definitely something that deserves some recognition. The casting director and producers of the show are clearly looking for women who are proud to be themselves. This is so evident when these they step out onto the runway. They are playful. They dance, lip sync and interact with the audience instead of walking stiffly down the runway with little to no signs of emotion. This was evident throughout the entire show, including The Weeknd’s performance of Starboy.
I’m definitely not trying to degrade other fashion shows or say that the VS Fashion Show is perfect in terms of inclusivity. But, the fashion world is pretty cutthroat; many will attest to that. The Angels worked hard to be where they are, and their hard work is being recognized. However, they are also accepted for exactly who they are. Not only are they accepted, they’re comfortable enough in that environment to show themselves to the world.
I believe this is truly a testament to all of those who put on the production. Victoria’s Secret has found one of the keys to reeling in viewers that aren’t necessarily fashion gurus: make it fun, make it entertaining and make it relatable. I love fashion, and I SWOONED over Kendall Jenner every time she stepped on stage.
I mean, she’s perfect, right? Anyways…yes, I loved all of those aspects of the show. I felt INSPIRED, though, by the environment it created for women to be themselves. I hope that the fashion industry will begin to take notes and follow suit.