I’m already mentally preparing myself for tomorrow night. In case you’re out of the loop, tomorrow, Selena Gomez, Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd, and nearly 50 of the most beautiful women in the world will be broadcast into our living rooms for the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (CBS, 10pmEST).
And my social media feeds will be filled with body hate, skinny shaming, and vows to quit eating carbs forever.
For whatever reason, seeing other women looking confident in lingerie triggers our evolutionary jealousy reaction, and it makes us all say bad things. About the models. About skinny women. About ourselves.
The only thing that sucks about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the way women react to it.
It may not even be intentional. Subconsciously, we may genuinely feel inferior or self-conscious. But perhaps that is less an indication that the Fashion Show needs to go and more indicative of women, as a whole, needing a little help in the self-love department.
The solution isn’t to get rid of anything that might make us feel inferior, but instead to question why other women succeeding makes us feel inferior in the first place. Lily Aldridge looking totally gorgeous in a $2 million dollar bra doesn’t make the rest of us any less hot in our off-the-rack counterpart. The two are not mutually exclusive.
And so, today, I’d like to challenge women (and men!) to try their hardest to follow the advice of Thumper from Bambi: “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say anything at all.” At least with regards to the women modeling, and, of course, with regards to yourself. Here’s a few of the worst offenders:
“Today is the day where every girl’s self esteem goes down the drain.” Why? Because there are fifty women in the world with the proportions perfect for modeling bras and panties? Why not instead use the VSFS as an opportunity to celebrate our bodies, as the unique and awesome things that they are? Here, I’ll start: I’m 5’6″ with a booty and some thighs. They’re awesome because they help me run marathons and deadlift 230+ pounds.
“I wish the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show would show *Real* Women.” What do you think these women are? Holograms? I hate to break it to you: some women are genetically engineered as six-foot-tall glamazons with both boobs and a booty. And you know what? These women work really hard to maintain their figures. They work out, they eat healthy food, and many have been working for most of their young adult lives to find their way onto that stage. It’s not nice to skinny shame, just like it’s not nice to fat shame.
“Today is the day I stop eating.” “Tomorrow, I need to get on the treadmill for hours.” “BRB throwing up my dinner.” If you are not eating, throwing up your meals, or exercising as punishment, you need to hear that your feelings about food are not normal or healthy, and there are people who can help. It is possible to have a healthy relationship with food. Here are several places you can start. If, however, you are posting about these things for likes and click bait, you are being irresponsible, and you need to stop.
This year, let’s try to be better. Let’s recognize that negative commentary – whether it’s about the models or ourselves – does nothing but make us feel (and look!) bad. That the sexiest thing about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show isn’t the lingerie or the sky high heels or the women’s bodies… The sexiest thing about the show is their confidence. It’s that each woman is on that stage, owning her moment, and loving herself.
This year, let’s try to suck a little less in our reactions to the show. And if you really, truly hate it? Don’t watch it at all.