Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Last night CBS broadcasted the Victoria's Secret fashion show, and of course I have something to say about it. Now I admit that my intentions in watching it in the first place were to criticize it. And I know that's a flawed method, but I've seen the show in past years, read the catalogue, and been to the store so please excuse my poor research tacticts. Let's say I went into it with a hypothesis, because yes I think my guess about the content was educated. And if they had wanted to prove me wrong that would have been great, but guess what? They didn't.

This years theme seemed to be bondage and fairies. The same confusing message our society has been sending women for a long time now: to be sexually attractive you must somehow appear innocent and virginal as well as extremely sexual at the same time. Furthermore, many of the models looked packaged with strands of fabric, jewels, and belts. Packaged commodoties for the consumption of the audience and tv viewers.
The show also had various "backstage moments" before and after commercial breaks in which you could watch the models run from place to place in their heels and underwear or short pink robes. Viewers could see Karlina Kurkova dancing around and singing to the song being played and every model who walked by blew kisses to the camera or gave a sexy wink. One of these interludes was a "comedy skit" in which a model brandishing a pink riding crop with which to threaten the other models instructs them on a map which way to walk on the runway (up and down, that is). Here again we see the same mixed messages as well as the encouragement of stereotypes about the anti-intellectual nature of models. In another one of these interludes they show the bleeding ankle of a model who sustained her injury while walking the runway in her heels. They aren't taking the heels off of her, though, just wiping up the unsightly blood with a tissue so she can walk in them attractively once again. Wow.
Usher was the musical guest this year and had the privilege of singing tunes fully clothed from head to foot in the middle of the runway while models in their underwear flirted with, kissed, and held hands with him.
Yep, the models walked up and down the runway all night, and despite any pain they were enduring, fulfilled their purpose as objects of the fashion industry to display robotic comfort and to be "sexy."

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