There’s something inherently flawed when a brand that is supposedly about female empowerment supports an image that makes a good chunk — if not most — women feel bad about themselves. Even those of us who have seen firsthand the hours of makeup and prep that go into getting Victoria’s Secret angels ready for the show (face, body, butt … everything gets endless camouflaging attention!) can find it hard to remember that comparing ourselves to that TV-ready image is absurd.
While it’s true that most of us do want an element of aspiration from the fashion brands we look up to, we also want to see ourselves reflected to some extent, which is precisely why Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek’s comments about transgender and plus-size models are so hard to forget. All eyes will certainly be on the show’s casting this year, scrutinizing model picks more than ever before. In the meantime, Razek’s jaw-dropping comments have left the door wide open for competitors that embrace a more expansive view about what is beautiful to swoop in.
All that said, the lingerie business is a $9 billion industry and Victoria’s Secret accounts for about 62.8 percent of that. No matter what side of the fence you’re on, it’s important to remember that we can only push change by voting with our dollars. Check out the slideshow above for some of the best brands looking to give VS a run for their money.