Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2016: Feeling insecure yet?

 

Despite having record low ratings in 2015, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is back. This year, Victoria’s Secret traveled to Paris for it’s annual televised fashion show airing December 5th.  Like a car accident or fitspo on Instagram, I can’t look away.

Victoria’s Secret is not high fashion, but it does boast the biggest names in the modelling world wearing next to nothing , blowing kisses with barrel curls to an audience of oglers filling up their brains with a year’s worth of spank bank material.

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Bella Hadid walks the 2016 VS Fashion Show 

The only thing that intrigues me about this year’s fashion show is that Lady Gaga will be performing. Intrigues/disappoints me, but nonetheless all Gaga is good Gaga. Other than the appearance of Mother Monster, I am one hundo percent against this annual televised event.

It’s awkward to watch. Really, really, awkward and can be damaging to it’s viewers.

I don’t believe it’s empowering for women to wear thongs barely covering their biscuits wearing angel wings strut down an incredibly long runway. I believe, wholeheartedly, that Victoria’s Secret WANTS us to believe their show is about women feeling confident with their bodies, with each other, giving bedroom eyes in the name of selling under garments.

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Backstage VS Fashion Show 

However, what little clothing the women wear on the runway isn’t for sale. Maybe a hoodie here, a g-string there, but the overall aesthetic isn’t practical for the real world, or the boudoir. I’m sorry, but VS is expensive enough that if my boyfriend even TRIED pawing at my bra or gitch I would be slapping him and asking for reimbursement.

Since maybe 10% of what’s being worn is actually for sale, the other 90% is selling an idea and image of women. I believe a majority of women watch the broadcast with sheer curiosity to these perfect bodies paying attention to the models, their beauty, and then digesting what they’ve seen in an attempt to understand their own place in this spectrum of desirability.

VS Angels are not for women, but men. They capture the attention of men to perhaps inspire sales of their merchandise, but in my opinion, they exist to promote an unrealistic, unattainable, and unhealthy image of women to the masses. This public, televised display of the female body, maintains a power dynamic that favors men.

“To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren’t is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men’s sexual–and hence social–confidence while undermining that of women.”
Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

I know there will be people who can take the VS Fashion Show at face value, turn off the TV and continue with their lives, but I don’t think we should discount the large percentage of viewers, most likely under the age of 18, who are not able to separate themselves from what is being shown.

Young women in particular, compare themselves and their bodies with what is shown as the celebrated and coveted idea. This can be incredibly damaging to their psyche, their health, and give birth to or enhance negative and complicated feelings she may already possess.

I feel it can be equally damaging to dismiss the Victoria’s Secret image as unrealistic (which it is for many of us) because it further creates a separation between what is “real” and what is “desired.” Making the VS Angel the “other”, and keeping the broadcast on air, further promotes the struggle for women to live up to that ideal, to exist outside of their peers. Again, not all women or young women will follow this thinking, but a significant amount of viewers and consumers of this image will hold on to it’s implied message as they struggle with their own body image.

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Just here for Gaga 

Now for the men.

Yes, VS Fashion show is equally damaging to men. I think it further celebrates the female body as a form of entertainment for men and hinders the ability for men to celebrate and accept women as their equals. I think a lot of feminist literature considers the ways in which men’s relationships to women are being negatively impacted due to the promoted sexualized, beauty focused image that is disseminated by media.

“Is the beauty myth good to men? It hurts them by teaching them how to avoid loving women. It prevents men from actually seeing women. It does not, contrary to its own professed ideology, stimulate and gratify sexual longing. In suggesting a vision in place of a woman, it has a numbing effect, reducing all senses but the visual, and impairing even that.”
Naomi Wolf

Should the answer to this power imbalance be to have an all male VS Fashion show? Should Jockey or Joe Boxer get in on the ground floor of this idea?

All this would do, would further promote physical appearance of both sexes as a means of selling a product. Would it work? Maybe for some, but the negative toll it would be sure to take on men and women alike would cause a new set of problems for the dynamics between genders.

I can only hope that more people continue to educate themselves, dissect what is being sold to them, and turn off their televisions to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Maybe, if ratings continue to dip, the broadcast will be cancelled and VS can go back to selling underwear, and only underwear.

 

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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

In anticipation of the Gilmore Girls revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, I’ve created a wish list of things I NEED to see happen during the four part series!

This article was originally featured on Hello Vancity, the lifestyle blog I contribute to for all things pop culture, fashion and beauty. 

Enjoy! 

The long awaited revival of the beloved dramedy, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, will hit Netflix on Friday, November 25th.

I would describe myself as a fan, but I don’t feel as though the term conveys the intensity of my emotional investment in the series. Stars Hollow is my happy place. It’s like a suburban Island of Misfit Toys where I feel my brand of neurosis and caffeine addiction would be welcomed. It’s a magical place, home to some of the funniest, most complex, aggravating but lovable characters ever to appear on television.

Like many passionate Gilmore Girls viewers, I was deeply unsatisfied with what ended up being the series finale in 2007. It’s been ten years, and I am beside myself/physically sick with excitement to see what’s in store for everyone’s favourite Mother/Daughter duo.

 

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In anticipation of Friday’s premiere, I have compiled a Wish List to the universe of things I would like to see in the four part revival. Ask. Believe. Receive.

Not Another Fuller House

Please, TV gods. I beseech you! Do not let us stray into Fuller House territory with nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake! Like all progeny of the 80’s I was curious to see the beloved TV sitcom back on Netflix, but not even John Stamos’ immortal beauty could save that franchise.

I’m hoping, nay, praying, that with Amy Sherman Palladino back at the helm of the show, Gilmore Girls feels true to it’s original self. The show had a distinct rhythm and humour that I’m hoping will still be apparent on the revival.

Luke & Lorelai Forever

I’m firstly going to give an unpopular opinion here but go on the record saying that Lorelai doesn’t deserve Luke. Loving Lorelai is like loving a rickety wooden emotional roller coaster. That being said, I need this central relationship to still be intact during the revival. Please, don’t break-up again. Don’t marry Christopher. Don’t even talk to Christopher. No more Digger’s. No Max Medina’s.

 

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I’m aware that I’m talking to a fictional character but Lorelai: Luke is the zenith of men. Sure, he’s a little surly at times, but you can’t do better than him. You’re the reacher. He loves you despite your apparent insanity and emotional instability. Snap out of it!

Please tell me Dean went to college

I feel an affinity for Dean similar to my first boyfriend, who was conveniently also named Dean.

PLEASE tell me Dean went to a state college. A four year school. Tell me he moved on from the wreckage that was his brief starter marriage with Lindsay and his ill-fated go-around with Rory (I’m still cringing at them hooking up in a twin bed), and made something of himself.

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Dean has always had a complex when it came to work, school and money. Sure, maybe Rory didn’t do the best job at calming these insecurities, but wouldn’t it be a Pretty Woman “Big Mistake. Huge”  moment if Dean went to school, married somebody even more WASP-y than a Gilmore, sired some children and was living the picture perfect life?

Dean, you deserve it.

Not today, Huntzberger 

Keep on walkin’, Logan. Walk right on back to your trust fund and successful turn on The Good Wife.

I never liked this pairing ever since Rory got bangs and decided quitting Yale was a decent idea. Logan represents everything Lorelai despises and that alone is enough for me to dislike him. I don’t wish this fictional character ill. Maybe it would be nice if the Huntzberger enterprise fell on hard times and Logan could relate with the average American and their struggles, but do I want him with our Rory?

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rory-et-logan

 

 

No. No I do not.

Goodbye, Richard Gilmore

I have no doubt that the show will give the late actor Edward Hermann, the tribute he deserves. I hope beyond hope that for the sake of the story, Richard’s passing will finally end the tension between Lorelai and Emily. Once and for all, I’d like for Emily and Lorelai to be moving towards a healthier relationship and for the icy Gilmore stares to be kept to a minimum.

 

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Jess & Rory: The Sequel 

I will need to be sedated if Jess and Rory don’t end up together.

I’m not exaggerating. I wish I was. This is the plot point that has been putting knots in my stomach for years. Is that sad? No. Because if you cared as much as I do about this show, you would feel it to.

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Jess Mariano: The intellectual, creative, reformed bad boy that dreams are made of. He’s basically Jake Ryan in a leather jacket. Jess may have been a bit of a lost soul in his teen years, but he’s gotten his shit together, and made something of himself. Jess has made several appearances on Gilmore Girls throughout the years, but the characters have never given their love a second chance.

If Luke and Lorelai were together since the show’s ending in 2007, we can only assume that in the fictional/alternative realm that is Stars Hollow, Jess and Rory have seen each other at family events. Maybe Thanksgivings. Christmases. Stupid events for Luke’s stupid daughter, April.

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However, here’s what I’m going to need to prevent myself becoming tachycardic: I’m going to need a mutual declaration of love, and as steamy of a sex scene as Netflix will allow. YOU OWE US, Gilmore Girls. You owe us this!  I don’t need any of my Gilmore Girls to get married, I just need some loose ends tied, and those loose ends are Jess and Rory.

 

I can’t wait to binge watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life!

What are you hoping happens during the four part revival?

We’d love to hear from you!