VS Fashion Show: A Woman’s Perspective

Unpopular opinion alert:

I will not be watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show tonight.

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Every year, come mid December, in the midst of indulgent holiday consumption, Christmas cookies, eggnog, and holiday party food, society has decided that now would be the perfect time to showcase a parade of frightfully thin, Amazonian-physiqued women in lingerie.

And I was about to write that these women were “fit” but honestly, I can tell you for a fact, that many of these women have eating disorders. And the only way I have the authority to make that claim is because I am the survivor of one myself, and can recognize the signs and traits of one, plain as the nose on your face.

The Victoria’s Secret fashion show…I mean, I don’t know if it’s the Kardashian/Jenner infiltration into the modeling scene, or that we as a culture are obsessed with sex, but it seems that in recent years, the fashion show has just *exploded* in visibility.

Women flock to this television event in numbers that rival the Bachelor finale. It is the female equivalent of the Super Bowl.

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And men, well, let’s just say they’re not complaining.

Thinking about it…in terms of people who watch/relate to the fashion show of – let’s call it what it is: soft porn – I am a bit of an anomaly.

This is a parade of thinness and beauty and sex. And I…am an eating disorder survivor, and a virgin.

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Both of which, seem to be at odds with this spectacle of greased up bodies that appear hungry and cold.

But actually, that couldn’t be more from the truth.

My decision not to watch the fashion show is not in protest to the fashion show, nor an attempt to boycott the brand.

I’m not watching for me.

My not watching this exhibition of scantily clad women with unnaturally attained body types is my very own celebration of what they are attempting to “celebrate” and showcase.

They claim to be celebrating the female form and beauty and feminism and empowerment.

Well, by not watching, I’m doing the exact same thing.

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Being in recovery from anorexia, it’s one of those things that people can’t really understand unless they’ve lived it.

Like other addictions, you don’t just snap your fingers and then *BAM* none of the triggers or temptations have an effect on you anymore. No. They’re always still there. You just get stronger.

I still have to check myself when I look in the mirror and actively silence the negative self talk. I don’t keep full length mirrors in my apartment, for I know that I don’t want my mind going to those places that are not healthy for my recovery.

It’s not that I am fragile and on the edge of a relapse, but it’s because I have the wisdom (and been given the discernment by God) to know not to put myself in a situation where I could be tempted into a bad headspace.

So it is with the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

I’d be lying if I were to say that I don’t still struggle with comparing myself to other women. As a woman that’s about as “well endowed” as a 12 year old boy, it’s safe to say that there are things that I wish could be different about my body.

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So why then, would I willingly submit myself to an hour-and-a-half celebration of unhealthily thin bodies, which results in me feeling badly about myself, and seriously having to fight those ED voices that harangue me about thigh gaps and rib cages.

No thank you.

You can check that at the door.

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And lastly… let’s talk about sex.

Because one could get the idea that because I am a virgin and not partaking in this societal rite of passage that is idolizing Giselle and these other sparkly bra-wearing Angels, that I am in some way “anti-sex” or that I only approve of orthopedic shoes and shapeless wool turtlenecks. And although I do love an occasional cozy moo moo, that is far from true.

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I am not anti-sex. Nor anti-lingerie.

In fact, much like the “meaning” behind the fashion show, I too will one day want to celebrate the beauty of my sexuality and the delicate female form I have been blessed with. That is something that I am looking forward to embracing and celebrating.

But with my husband.

I am reserving that priceless gift for the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with.

And you better believe that I’ll want to wear something equally as exquisite for the occasion. (sorry dad!)

The Victoria’s Secret fashion show was better left off my television screen tonight.

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God has brought me too far in my recovery to willfully walk back into the lion’s den. Watching the glorification of all the things, aesthetically, that fed my eating disorder…it doesn’t matter how strong I am. I don’t need to be filling my head with those thoughts and images.

So tonight, I’m choosing me. I’m choosing to protect my mind. I’m choosing to guard my heart and defend my recovery.

I’m appreciating that my body is healthy, and cherishing the second chance I have been given by a gracious and loving Father. I’m recognizing that I’m not bulletproof — there are areas that can still strike a nerve. So I’m engaging in self respect. And self protection. And self love.

And I think that is the most beautiful celebration of empowerment there is.

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281 thoughts on “VS Fashion Show: A Woman’s Perspective

  1. I have never seen a Vitoria Secret’s Fashion show. But then I haven’t had a TV in over 30 years. I’ve seen ads in magazines and the models are usually way too skinny for my taste. It seems to me it would be boring and a waste of time to see such a show on TV.

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  2. Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes. I find it hard to distinguish one “model” from another. They are there after all, ultimately, to sell what they are wearing – clothes, shoes, makeup – and it is their job to not display anything in either in looks, personality or expression that might distract from what is for sale. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is a grotesque parade.

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