In 2018, Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Executive, Ed Razek was asked why the annual fashion show did not include plus-size or transgender models. His response to why they don’t have transgender models included was such:
“No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is” (Cadens, 2018, p. 1).
Despite the fact that I am not part of either community, this comment appalled me. What right does Ed Razek have to say what constitutes a fantasy? In fact, Nikita Dragun responded to Victoria’s Secret by making a video that demonstrates and epitomizes the “fantasy” Victoria’s Secret is attempting to sell. And as I am sure you could predict, she is a Trans Woman.
Before Razek’s comment, I shopped at Victoria’s Secret. However, once I was made aware of their beliefs, or the beliefs of a single individual it made me shift my purchases to another brand. While I recognize that not all individuals associated with the brand hold this belief, but in a market where I have agency over which companies I support, I will support a company that does not ever endource this behavior especially within executives.
Lastly, I am asked to respond to the question if this would impact my decision to work for the company in the future. 100% it has influenced me to never work for this company. As women, society influences our perceptions of how we view ourselves and our worth. I refuse to work in an environment that continues to perpetuate these harmful stereotypes and ideologies around me. Where we work will consume a large portion of our lives. Therefore, I want to work somewhere that makes me proud to go to work everyday and upholds similar beliefs.
Cadenas, Kerensa. (November 10, 2018). Victoria’s Secret Apologizes After Executive’s Statements About Transgender and Plus-Size Models. Vanity Fair. Fashion Industry. https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/11/victorias-secret-ed-razek-comments
Dragun, Nikit. (December 5, 2018). “dear Victoria’s Secret, you said trans women can’t sell the “fantasy” so here i am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY!” @NikitaDragun. https://twitter.com/nikitadragun/status/1070453128321847296