So Victoria’s Secret thinks it’s time to update its image, with a return to modesty (er . .. femininity).
I remember when this shop was much more tasteful, some eighteen years ago, when I first moved to the United States. When you’d call the catalogue, a plummy British voice would answer, thus feeding the fantasy that VSC was a sophisticated brand from London, undergirding the illusion that Queen Victoria wore lacy dainties under her imposing gowns.
My own take on VSC has gone from one of interest—back in 1990 it was an affordable and pretty place to purchase matching lingerie sets—to embarrassment as the models’ poses have become more aggressively “sexy” (in quotation marks because these poses try so hard, they’re anything but!).
The former poet laureate, Billy Collins, has a poem called “Victoria’s Secret,” which presents a male reader flipping through the catalogue he’s randomly received in the mail. The female models look at him as he looks at them, thus presenting an interesting twist on what we call the “male gaze.”
Right now Victoria’s Secret is a secret I can keep. Let’s see whether it becomes worth sharing.