Who Can Define “The Perfect Body”

Who can define which body is perfect? Definitely it’s not Victoria’s Secret’s call. VS’s recent campaign provoked quite a lot people, and many of them used to be VS’s loyal customers.

This is the picture VS posted for “perfect body campaign”:


Although it also talks about different kinds of beauty, but it’s all aiming at bra types: push, perfect coverage, demi… All those models in the pictures are all the same: skinny, tall, not to mention their beautiful faces.

Actually, this is already not the first time that Victoria’s Secret provoked female consumers. In 2013, there was a campaign called “love my body”:


Models in the picture are also the same type they choose for this year’s campaign. Although they also invites some full-figured models to help promote this campaign, but we all know that the skinny girls are VS’s favorite choice as always. When this campaign is over, all the girls in the ads still fall into the traditional type of beauty, or skinny, so to speak.

When this campaign was first launched last year, criticism followed very naturally. Many people tweets their disappointment in VS’s campaign: “I will definitely love my body…when I’m skinny as those VS angels”, “ why do I have to look the same as those models?”

Maybe Victoria’s Secret could argue that they are only doing this according to the hegemony, maybe they are only doing this out of the expectation the society has for woman. But the fact is, few women can have the “perfect body” VS defines, and they are still rewarded by the society somehow. With the rise of feminism, woman wants to get control of her own body, not to let others judge if her body is perfect or not.

On the other hand, Dove is doing all it can to help build woman’s self-esteem through consistent real beauty campaign. We’ve already saw the video in class that Dove invites a few woman to describe their appearances to a sketch artist who cannot see them before the sketch is finished. They also require strangers to describe their looks to the artist and it turns out the same people can have two totally different sketches based on self-report and other-report.


Dove is always trying to provoke woman’s awareness of their real beauty and boost their self-esteem. They are trying to spread the idea that size doesn’t matter that much. This is really important in developing potential consumers, but also helpful for spreading the ideology of self-confidence and real beauty.

5 thoughts on “Who Can Define “The Perfect Body”

  1. I don’t know what VS team was thinking displaying the “Perfect Body” campaign. They may wanted the attention, or they were just not thinking at all. They should know by now that they would receive a ton of negative feedback by portraying one type of body type as the “perfect body”. I recently did a project on Dove’s campaign and think this is exactly what society needs. Its unfortunate to see young girls (this includes 10-12 year olds) who look at photo shopped models and compare themselves and forever have negative self esteem regarding their physical body. I understand that society is shallow and judges others based on their appearance, but I wish campaigns could focus on the intellectuals or something internal verses external in their campaigns. It would be impressive for them to focus on internal qualities while relating it to a product they are selling.


  2. When is VS going to get with the program? Everyone knows that their models are beautiful, they even have a televised fashion show. While I understand their models is part of what makes their brand, why use a campaign called “Perfect Body” showcasing these models, when it could’ve been a great opportunity for them to showcase women of different body types. It would’ve been a great opportunity for them to create an image for themselves that is beyond the physical. These days, campaigns like Dove Real beauty have made a huge impact on women and have gained a lot of respect for their brand. This just gave me another reason to never spend $40 on one of their bras.


  3. I have the utmost respect for Dove, and their respect for different types of women than the norm that is presented in media culture. Their campaign, promoting love for their bodies is fundamentally different from VS’s “perfect” body campaign. Though Dove’s campaign displays women of similar body shape, they promote self-love, which is not limited to the demographic shown in their ads. VS must have known that a firestorm would follow their campaign, as they limited the type of customer they cater to.


  4. I absolutely love this blog and article it really spoke to me as an individual and as woman. I have always hated the way I have felt after looking at women in ads. The Dove ad is amazing because it pushes to the forefront of the ad world that we need to look past the ideals of what a beautiful should look like. We are all beautiful despite the differences. LOVE IT !


  5. While I am not a huge fan of the “perfect body” standards set by Victoria Secret, I’m honestly also not a huge fan of what Dove is doing either. In their one commercial they did where they had women describe themselves, they only showed women who described themselves really poorly… and what if a woman thinks she’s beautiful? What if instead, a woman was like, “I have beautiful brown eyes and nice hair, and my teeth have a gap in them but I think it’s cute!” I find it disturbing on both ends. Victoria Secret is using the typical fashion-route, using beautiful skinny women with nice boobs and a cute butt for their ads, while Dove is using normal weight, insecure women for theirs. I think they’re both flawed. That’s why Gap Body is the best!


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