February 2nd, 2020
Separating the brand or artist from their scandal has become increasingly difficult in this day and age. Now, what I mean by that is, are you still able to shop from places with tone-deaf or racist ads, use Snapchat after an insensitive sexist poll about Rihanna, or go on Facebook after your data was possibly leaked?
Things like this happen to brands all the time, yet most of them continue to bring in major sales every year. Today, I’m talking about one of the biggest marketers or women’s lingerie, clothing, and beauty products, Victoria’s Secret. For years, this multi-billion-dollar company has practically designed femininity for millions of women worldwide and it has been doing so with numerous critiques and complaints about its lack of diversity. In 1995, Victoria’s Secret Fashion show began where “Angels” or the models for Victoria’s Secret would walk down a runway while people watched in awe and admiration—these were the prettiest women on television, they were usually white, tall, and thin.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, the New York Times reported that there was truly nothing angelic about Victoria’s Secret and specifically for the women who worked there. That while on the outside this company may look heavenly, these angels are actually living in hell. Two powerful men presided over this company and both have been accused of misogyny, bullying, and harassment. A number of women within the company have come forward and said that these two men, Ed Razek and Leslie Wexner have made inappropriate advances at them and then also stopped hiring them once their advances were rebuffed.
Both men claim these accusations are untrue, but things are not looking great for the 4.7-billion-dollar company. These incidents are not isolated, and news like this is becoming normal and expected. In a day and age when companies are meant to be acting in an ethical manner and if they’re not, they should be punished, the question must be asked, why are companies like Victoria’s Secret still thriving and making millions of dollars daily. Personally, I believe this stems from the thought that one person believes they themselves cannot change anything. One person deciding not to shop from Victoria’s Secret won’t do anything, so what’s the point?
I get this belief, I really do. It is so hard to feel like you can make a difference in anything you do when it’s just you. But really, when it comes down to it, if we are people who believe businesses, and people in them and who run them should behave ethically, then we cannot continue to support franchises that are dishonest, corrupt and immoral. We should, as consumers, demand change, and demand respect for the people working in these industries. I ask you to think about how even the tiniest actions you make, can affect even the biggest of companies and that as a consumer who believes in business ethics, you have all the power in the world.
Original Source: “‘Angels’ in Hell: The Culture of Misogyny Inside Victoria’s Secret” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/01/business/victorias-secret-razek-harassment.html?searchResultPosition=1